parenting · whine and cheese

In which I compare my daughter to a sea-creature

Sleeping arrangements in our house are as follows: K and N share a room – K in her toddler bed and N still in his crib. Mr. December and I share a room (duh) and a King-sized bed. R sleeps with us. In the bed. Not in a co-sleeper, not in a snuggle nest, just in the bed, between me and a snuggle nest that she’s never slept in.

N slept next to me too, and I can say with confidence that in 8 total months of bed-sharing with my babies, nobody has been hurt. People often ask what prevents me from rolling over on R in my sleep. I’m not sure, but clearly something does. Several times I’ve woken up mid-roll to realize that R is this close to ending up under me.

That’s probably because wherever I sleep, R worms her way in. I move away from her a bit so I can stretch and have some space. I wake up an hour or two later and she has somehow managed to close the 18-inch gap between us and is cuddled up against my back, like some kind of heat-seeking barnacle. It never fails. When I sleep facing her I often wake up to find that she’s using my breast as a pillow. When my back is to her, she presses her whole body against it so that I can feel the rise and fall of her chest as she breathes.

As a result of all this… closeness, my neck is starting to hurt. I’m sleeping in positions that are unnatural for me just so that I don’t wake R or crowd Mr. December on his side of the bed. Would it spoil some vast, eternal plan if I had my half of the bed to myself? I suppose not. I could put R to sleep in a bassinet next to us, or I could start to let N sleep in his toddler bed and give R the crib. But there are two things wrong with that: first, I’d have to get out of bed to nurse her, and thus would get much less sleep, and second, that this won’t last forever – and there’s something indescribably sweet about having your very own, very cuddly, pet barnacle.

One thought on “In which I compare my daughter to a sea-creature

  1. We didn’t plan on bed-sharing with our itty bitty, but from her very first day it was what we wanted to do and we love our decision. My girl slept on my chest for her first month because it was the only way she would sleep. The she migrated to our bed and has stayed there ever since. Now at almost a year old, it’s getting very crowded and I also spend many a night in odd positions and wake up with a pain in my neck or shoulders. We’re thinking of getting a twin-sized bed the same Ikea brand as our Queen bed and putting it right next to our bed (up next to the wall) so that there is enough room for the three of us. (It’s amazing how much space a child 72 cm long can take up!) With the twin bed we can start getting her used to her own space while still having her nearby.

    Sometimes I call her Warf … because she’s my cling-on 🙂

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