You see, I have this incredibly snuggle-y cuddly baby that loves to be curled up right next to you. He loves to rub your skin and pat your back and play with your hair. It is melt your heart adorable.
From the time he was teeny tiny he has rubbed our arms and skin with his little bitty fingers. It's a funny self-soothing quirk. But it's not really self soothing is it, because he needs an arm to rub and that arm is attached to me or David, ergo we are part of the soothing process. No blankies will suffice for the feel of skin to tiny Ford.
Also, He has never slept super well.
We've always rocked him to sleep and then laid him down in his bed. I tried to do a little sleep training a handful of times...just trying to get him to be able to self-soothe and put himself to sleep in his crib. I read dozens of articles and books, spoke to several of my mommy-mentors and readied myself emotionally to listen to him cry for what the books said would be "15-30 minutes" for a few days before he eventually complied to our new sleep plan.
What actually happened was that he cried for 30 minutes the first day, 45 on the second day, and 1.5 hours on the 3rd day. No matter how tired he was, he could not calm down enough to sleep on his own. I gave up. This maddness was repeated each time we revisited the idea of sleep training.
So then, my amazingly snuggle-y, not so good sleeping baby got sick right around Thanksgiving. Ford got a little cold and was coughing and couldn't breath well while he was sleeping. After trying everything we could think of and everything that people suggested to us (including but not limited to: oils, ointments, medicine, no medicine, humidifiers, mattress adjusting, and prayers for miraculous intervention) the only thing that seemed to help was for one of us to hold him and sleep propped up on pillows.
He was pitiful. He couldn't sleep most nights, so we didn't sleep most nights. Sometimes it was so bad that he and I would go sit on the bathroom floor with the hot shower running and watching videos on the Ipad. For a week or so the coughing fits ending in him throwing up on me every. single. night. Needless to say, we felt so bad for him and wanted him to feel and sleep as good as possible, so of course we slept with him every night in an effort to relieve some of his suffering.
Though Ford slowly recovered from his maladies (thank you, Lord) he could not seem to shake the need for a sleeping buddy.
It's becoming a bit of a problem. Since Thanksgiving we have been sleeping with the baby. We have tried to get in back in his crib with little or no success, sometimes staying up nearly all night caught in the cycle of rocking him to sleep, laying him the crib, him sitting straight up and crying, then back to the rocking chair again.
We also think he may just like the big bed instead of his crib. Even if we are not in the big bed with him, he sleeps much longer there than in his crib.
I have conflicted feelings!
I want to "do the right thing" and have Ford go to sleep in his own bed and sleep through the night. Is that too much to ask? I want to work while he sleeps. I want to be able to clean the house (read: look at pinterest and watch TV.) I want him to stay in his sweet little crib. By himself. And SLEEP!
But on the other hand he smells so good after his bath and he IS so snuggly. He feels really soft and warm and you just look at him being so sweet and sleepy. He sleep SO LONG when he sleeps with us. It's a huge sleepfest. And he's only going to be little and want to sleep and cuddle with me for a short season. Why not enjoy it?
So what's a mama to do?!
At this point I feel like these are my options:
1. Kick him out. Just go without sleep for however long it takes and make him sleep in his own bed. There will be much crying and gnashing of teeth. I may never sleep again.
2. Pray to sweet baby Jesus (who is still missing, by the way) that he gets over it and wants to get back in that crib.
3. Give in. Surrender the guest bed to Ford for him to use as his new big boy bed. Put side rails on it and hope for the best. Cry because he is too old. Immediately work on having another baby.
3. Embrace it. Start reading Dr. Sears books and declare that we are a co-sleeping family and this was our plan all along. Tell everyone else that co-sleeping makes your child smarter and that they are ridiculous to want their babies in a crib. Start making my own granola.
So that's where I am on the issue. I don't want him in my bed anymore and I simultaneously and equally want him to sleep with us and snuggle forever. I feel guilty that he's not sleeping in his own bed and want him to be able to soothe himself to sleep because "they say" that's important. I want to watch him breathe while he sleeps.
I also want to enjoy the heck of out this little guy while he is still little. I don't think there is any "right way" necessarily to do most things in parenting, but most of the time, as a mom, you feel like surely there is a right way and everyone knows it, but me.
Maybe this baby is just ruined and we'll try to do better next time.
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