the streaming rewards of cosleeping and sleep deprivation

We have two children; we have two light sleepers. Well, the toddler is sleeping pretty soundly. So, really, it is now all about baby sleep.

We also cosleep, meaning that we sleep in the same bed, or more accurately, a series of ever shifting beds in ever shifting combinations of parents and children (the toddler does go to sleep in her own bed in her own room, but usually with me beside her, and she never ends the night there).

We believe in this, really believe, if you know what I mean.

Which means we suffer, have suffered exquisitely on two continents, in a bat-infested house in New York and through the Swedish winter, through hard pregnancies and in a tiny apartment. We speed past the point of breaking, zoom around and go past that point again and then, just for fun, race past it again.

0ne constant – the kids have stayed in the bed with us.

In the latest chapter, I have spent hours in the past weeks walking around the apartment in the darkest night holding a baby with jangling, kicking, crawling legs. For long stretches, he simply cannot sleep on his own. Way too busy. So I am not just walking. I am high stepping or jogging or singing or turning on faucets for the noise (horrible, I know, I know – but we do not own a car, that is my answer to all enivronmental guilt).

His sister crawled in her sleep. I know babies do this. But he is in the middle of a months-long learning to sit, scoot, crawl, stand, walk continuum of poor sleep.

Then he wakes up at 4:30. This behavior we have tried to manipulate – early bedtimes, late bedtimes, extra naps, no naps.

It always comes back to about 4:30. It always comes back to choppy sleep at best, no sleep at worst.

More than three years of this.

But suddenly, there is a light in the night. Specifically, the light of a computer screen, the light of playoff baseball.

And in the mornings, if I want, there is the dim bulb of the NBA regular season, though I find I cannot actually watch the games, so boring that I can’t justify drawing the attention away from the baby, who is cute and charming even at 4:30 in the morning, even when I am pretty grumpy with him for waking up.

But the baseball. Glorious. I watched Johnny Damon steal two bases the other night. I have seen A-Rod strike out in the clutch and hit homers and doubles. I watched the Dodgers lose (always a pleasure to a San Francisco boy). I finally have watched the Phillies with regularity and realize how much I like that team, and not just because I went to college in Philly.

I kind of, sort of, even hope that the baby will be too fussy at 3am for me to put him down. Because if I do soothe him and he hits that blessed deep sleep, I can’t quite justify watching sports in the middle of the night. Sleep is too precious. The bones ache just a mite too much.

But game six of the World Series starts at 2am Central European Time.

Hmmm, he seemed awfully fussy tonight. I might just have to stay up and hold him an extra hour – as long as the Phillies don’t fall too far behind …

4 thoughts on “the streaming rewards of cosleeping and sleep deprivation

  1. does the baby appreciate voices? now, I was blessed in that our daughter was always a pretty good sleeper, but I breastfed for over a year, so I understand the sleep deprivation/sharing a little bit. And I could not have done it without podcasts. Specifically, news podcasts – just people talking. It kept me from getting hopelessly bored, too, and a lot of the time it lulled both of us to sleep. Anyways, it’s just an idea.

  2. Podcasts are a great idea. I do sing, though that is another post on how well and what I sing. Let’s just say that he is getting tired of Yankee Doodle …

  3. I love co-sleeping and BELIEVE in it also. We had twins and life was made easier by them being, right there, when THEY needed US! They are older now, so no more co-sleeping and that is also nice!

  4. Would love you to share your co-sleeping thoughts on our new video on parents ask (parentsask.com). Your dedication to co-sleeping is great (really…) and it would be wonderful to hear from a dad. Would you come by and take a look? Would really appreciate it. We’ll also be linking back to your post.

    best,
    Romi

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