Last night was a hard night. Baby boy was up for two hours in a row – from 2 am – 4 am. We fell into co-sleeping by desperation. Before baby boy was born, I went out and bought a co-sleeper. Set it up like a sidecar alongside the bed all ready for baby boy. He has never slept in it longer than an hour. Soon I discovered he would only sleep in my arms and I would hold him propped up on a pillow as he slept just for a bit of peace. Eventually I too would fall asleep from exhaustion — holding him. This soon evolved into baby and Mommy sleeping in the bed. Dad – who had to work during the days – had already moved to the couch in the first few weeks. Baby’s insistance on sleeping with Mom has meant he has stayed on the couch. Occassionally Dad passes out on the foot of the bed and we sleep together as a sort of family unit.
Five months later, I am loathe to make him “cry it out” but would like to reclaim my bed for my husband and myself. Baby boy won’t sleep for longer than an hour in a proper baby crib and he still wakes up a few times a night to feed making co-sleeping still the best way for me to maximize sleep. Last night though as 2 am rolled into 3 am, I got desperate enough to let him “cry it out” a bit. He was laying right beside me whimpering because he was so tired. He just wanted someone to help him to sleep. Everytime he got close, he coughed and woke himself up again. Finally he allowed himself to be nursed to sleep.
I am not sure how I will transition him to sleeping in his own bed. I have friends who have children much older than him who are still in bed with them. I can’t bear letting him just cry. I can’t believe that is a good thing. Has anyone else ever taught a child to self soothe themselves back to sleep while co-sleeping?