Co-sleeping is not something I ever did, ever wanted to do or ever envisioned happening at my house of little ladies. Yet here we are. I’m afraid I’ve turned into a co-sleeper without even being conscious of it.
Literally, without even being conscious of it. Because that’s what happens when you are in a dead-sleep and your almost-4 year old sneaks into your bed in the middle of the night, wedges her little body between you and your husband, and you wake up the next morning confused about how you could have zero recollection of said events night after night.
How long has this been going on? Almost a month now. (I know, I know.) It started out happening every few nights. It soon escalated into every night. So I guess we’re co-sleeping now with an almost 4-year-old. As much as I love her, I’m not thrilled.
I never co-slept with my kids. The words co-sleep make me unreasonably antsy. After each of my girls’ first three months of life sleeping in a bassinet right next to my bed, we then moved our precious nuggets into cribs and into their own room. It was what we wanted. It was what we decided. It worked… until it didn’t. My big one was a baby-sleeping dream (still is). My little one would wake up and cry on and off from the time she was a baby, through toddlerhood, and yes, NOW. I’d sleep train, I’d be stern, I’d be caring, I’d be comforting, I’d be flat-out mean. I’d run her around during the day to make sure she got enough exercise and felt pooped out. She’s never had sleep in her. (Fear of missing out?!?) “Everybody sleeps in their own room, in their own bed.” I’ve literally been saying this phrase repeatedly (in the middle of the night) for about four years now. We put her to bed in her bed, do the back-and-forth and up-and-down thing for an hour or so, and then she finally falls asleep. Come 1 a.m. on the dot, she’s up again and in our bed.
But I am tired. Tired of interrupting my own sleep and feeling like angry junk the whole week. Tired of arguing with my husband at 1am about the most effective way to get her back to sleep and how each of us are doing it wrong. Tired of waking up our 5-year-old because of our arguing and interrupting her precious sleep. Tired of physically getting up and down and walking back and forth in my hallway in a consistent effort to keep my self-proclaimed co-sleeping daughter in her own room (with her sister, mind you — it’s not like she’s ‘alone and scared’ in there). I’ve followed every suggestion, guideline, scientific recommendation and have been consistent with it all… nothing works with her.
So I’ve given up for the moment. (Notice I said: MOMENT.) If she wanders into our room every night and snuggles her way in, and us grownups remain asleep through her shenanigans, so be it. Keep in mind the words I’m writing here go against everything I believe in (seriously!), but right now, I NEED SLEEP. So I’ll take my sleep even if she’s there. (She is cuddly.) As long as she doesn’t wake me up, and even if she hogs the covers.