I like to think of myself as “The Accidental Co-Sleeper”. Allow me to explain.
Before having a baby I had grand schemes for what our sleep routine would entail. We had planned to use a co-sleeper for a few weeks max and then we would transition Fern into her own room where she would sleep on her Montessori style floor bed. In this dream-land alternate universe, I also had a baby who slept 12 hours every night and I awoke to little birds who would dress me each morning a’la Cinderella.
Needless to say I had delusions of grandeur.
The reality is that Fern has slept in our bed since day one. It was a lot easier for nursing purposes, but I quickly realized that sharing a bed with a husband and a newborn isn’t the most conducive for getting sleep. Every night I found myself waking up curled up strangely with no blankets and appendages that had fallen asleep due to the awkward positions they’d been contorted in. It was obvious that it was time to try out the co-sleeper next to our bed rather than co-sleeping in the same bed.
The only problem? Fern hated her co-sleeper.
Find out how I tricked her into sleeping in her own bed after the jump!
Each night I’d nurse Fern and get her into what I thought was a sound state of sleep and then ever-so-carefully place her in her co-sleeper, only to be awoken 40 minutes later by a sad, crying baby. And instead of trying again, I did what any sleep-deprived parent in my situation would do…I let her sleep in our bed where I was then rewarded with 3-4 hours of terribly uncomfortable sleep, but it was sleep nonetheless.
We started swaddling, thinking that might work, but it was a total fail. Then we tried giving her a pacifier – also a fail. We even tried putting one of my sweaters in there with her so she would be comforted by my smell, but it was no use.
Just when I thought we might all still be sharing a bed when Fern was in high school, the heavens opened up and a beam of light shone down. WHITE NOISE! White noise was the answer! Once we provided Fern with the sweet sounds of studio created rain (in addition to swaddling, pacifying, and cozying her up in my sweater) she slept like a baby – both literally and figuratively – for four-and-a-half hours! I was so happy I could cry.
Of course, it hasn’t worked out so well to get her to fall back to sleep in the co-sleeper in the middle of the night, but we’re working on it. For now I’ll take the little victories as they come.
What is your sleep routine with your baby?
Do you co-sleep?