Tuesday, April 20, 2010
There is a Baby in my Bed!
Ben fell into the extreme end of poor sleeper as a young baby. My anxiety about his breathing aggravated this to the point that if he was sleeping I was convinced his unconsciousness could only have resulted from lack of oxygen. I would have to drag myself out of bed to check on him. Additionally I woke multiple times in a panic throwing the bedding on the floor terrified that I had rolled over on Ben, who was not then, or ever in bed with us.
Functioning normally during a state of constant sleep deprivation is not one of my strong points. When exhaustion compounds my IQ decreases as my mood instability increases. I was, justifiably worried about a repeat of this scenario. I have been amazed then at what I found the most simple of solutions to be.
When I fell asleep with Jacob beside me the first time it was accidental, when I woke up with him stirring beside me five hours later I was shocked. This was it? I had talked to so many people about infant sleep issues I was shocked that no one had given me this simple advice. Just put him in bed with you! Jacob has slept in our bed, beside me now every night of his life. He wakes 1-3 times a night, eats quickly enough that I barely wake up and best of all I am greeted by happy coos in the early morning and a grin from a baby who never has to cry to have his needs met, he simply has to move around and I am instantly awakened enough to see what he may need. Often only the light touch of my hand is enough to reassure him back to sleep. Did I mention...I love it! I feel like a light bulb has gone off. No wonder Ben cried all night...he needed me. He was alone and afraid down the hall behind bars. Hmmmm. Sadly the light bulb did not go off then.
I thought the anxious episodes of baby smothering I would awaken to frequently would leave me unable to relax in the bed. I think however it was my subconscious overreacting when I did roll over in bed during the night in a babyless bed because he was SUPPOSE to be there and I shouldn't be rolling around. I am amazed at the connection between a sleeping mother and her baby. Dr. Sears has multiple studies and observations of this...and I have been lucky enough to experience this in the times when he holds his breath and I immediately awaken in time to hear him gasp and exhale.
In addition to the coos and smiles I wake up beside in the early morning I think that a Japanese physians anwer when asked about the high rate of co sleeping in asia sums up my feelings "A baby is too precious to ever be left alone".