15 February 2007

Not the silver lining: rambling about bedsharing & sick kids

A meme I recently filled in asked about a secret I wouldn't mind others knowing. While I still maintain that it's not a secret if you're willing to tell anyone who happens to read your blog, I did think of something that sort of/almost falls it that category — it's not something I typically talk about, because I get tired of correcting other folks assumptions.

Both Mairi and Nora have slept in our bed as babies. Yep, we do "family bed."

FAQ: No, it's not inherently dangerous for the child — Dr. James McKenna has some excellent reading material on the subject here, I'm not going to try to explain it better than he can. No, the child doesn't end up sleeping in your bed forever — Mairi moved into her own bed when she was two, Nora will do so as soon as it gets warmer (she enough used to our body heat that trying to move her in the cold of winter would be setting ourselves up for a harder transition than need be). No, it doesn't ruin one's sex life (but I'm not getting into any further explanation on that one).

I'm not saying everyone should sleep with their babies, but it is what worked for us. It was especially helpful in terms of me being able to get a fairly good night's sleep even while the girls got in their nighttime breastfeeding. And it was good for my new baby anxieties — I loved being able to be able to wake up, feel or hear them breathing, and go back to sleep.

Why am I babbling about this today? Well, bedsharing is not without its drawbacks. Nora is a restless sleeper and an early bird, so Chris hasn't slept as well with her in the bed as he did when Mairi was there.

And this morning, Nora got sick to her stomach. Ug, what a mess. I mean, if a kid gets sick and there in their own space, at least one of the parents can still get a good night's sleep. You can strip their bed, throw the mess in the wash and either stay up with 'em or bed 'em down elsewhere, as circumstances dictate. When it's your bed the mess is in, everybody's up and dealing with it.

Oh well, that's parenting I guess.

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