Morgan crawled into our bed this morning at 4am…it was pretty chilly. When we woke up, we had a light blanket of snow! It has only snowed twice in the three years that we have lived in the Southwest…so it was awesome to snuggle under the blankets and take our time greeting the day.
I had been reading Laurie’s Discussion on sleeping habits and toddlers last night before bed and marveled at the reactions that sleep management seems to stir in all parents…biological and adoptive. I didn’t weigh in on the blog…because I agree with both sides of the argument. Sleep Training works for a lot of families and does not work for a lot of others 🙂
As for us…we just do what seems to feel right at the time. When Morgan first came home at 10 months he was painfully insecure about being left alone. I carried him all day, slept by his side with his tiny hand clutching mine. He would frequently wake and check that J or I were both there. It was common to see that kid’s head swivel back and forth…Mommy? Check. Daddy? Check! and then back to sleep.
So we co-slept on and off for over 6 months. As his comfort grew, so did the length of time he spent in his own bed. At about 2 years of age, he started to sleep through the night with some regularity. Now–I try to judge my trips into his room by the sound of his cry. Most moms can tell the difference between the short irritable cries of a kiddo trying to get back to sleep and an alarm cry. I give him time…listening while he attempts to get back to sleep. Allowing him time to sort it out himself really improved his sleeping patterns! I think he sleeps better and longer now that we don’t rush in as soon as we hear him.
At first, he had a hard time soothing himself. We placed a crib soother in with him with lights and music…some nights I will wake hearing music and nothing else. I take that as a healthy sign. Other nights, I hear a little stuffed puppy that sings and interacts that is in his crib as well. These items provide lighting and a friendly noise to calm him. It seems to work more often than not.
If it is an alarm cry, we go get him. Unfortunately, we have never mastered leaving M in his crib once we are in…very much our fault as we both had demanding jobs the first year and brought him to our own bed to make sure that we all got adequate sleep. I worried about this one for a while…but an experienced mom friend pointed out that one never sees an 8-year-old still sleeping with mom and dad so I try not to sweat it. It’s hilarious when we do enter the room, though. The kid looks like he’s fleeing the Titanic–throwing blankets and pillows at me while clutching a stuffed animal and repeating “Mommy’s bed”. He knows….oh boy does he know.
I’d say that M ends up in our bed 1-2 nights per week…my husband being the bigger softie than I am. J has trouble sleeping and gets up very early so his tolerance for crying is lower than my own. In short..we do what works for us and for Morgan. I confess to enjoying the snuggle time as well…he’s still my baby 🙂