Friday, November 17, 2006

Don't Kick the Bouncy Seat--Sparring with 3B

What cosleeping is like . . . except in the Bradstein household, where
you'd have to replace that man with Mama. She's the black belt.

We didn't start off cosleeping, but that's how we've ended up, although after nights like last night, we wonder if it's the best way to go. Last night nobody except 3B got enough sleep, although we're not sure how he managed to sleep through the Tae-Bo workout he was throwing down. Mama said it feels like she went 15 rounds with him, and as a second-dan, she knows what she's talking about.

Last night started typically and innocently enough, with 3B getting sleepy and a little fussy while we ate dinner. Then Mama took a shower and started drawing a bath for him while I entertained him to keep him from a full meltdown. (Note: Bouncing an 18-pound baby on your stomach has its effects--but you won't feel them if you don't need to sit up, bend over, stand upright, or breathe during the following 24-hour period.) 3B was fine through the bath and as I dressed and swaddled him for bed and then while Mama nursed him to sleep as I answered email and pecked out a blog post on the sloooow laptop in the living room.

After nursing 3B on one side, Mama came out, enjoyed a brownie with me, settled in on the couch next to me, had a nice conversation, leaned over for a kiss . . . and that's when the fussing started. For the next hour or so, I tried to comfort 3B by lying next to him, walking with him, swaying him, bouncing him, singing, not singing, laying him on my chest, laying him down by himself, all to the not so soothing accompaniment of his mewling, squirming, and--for brief intervals--crying.

Eventually, Mama came in and tried nursing him on the other side. Usually this knocks him out and he then lays, tightly and safely swaddled, between us during the night. We have a king size bed so there's plenty of room and no risk of rolling over on the little bean.

When we first brought him home, Mama would do this--nursing him in bed--then we would try transferring him to his bassinet next to the bed, but that movement was always just enough to wake him up. Nothing seemed to work to prevent awakening him--we had him swaddled, we kept the room quiet, we didn't jostle him, we lay him down as slowly and carefully as our lower back muscles would allow, we would hover over him so he could feel us still holding him as he lay in his bassinet . . . and he would wake every time.

OK, and there was the one time when we got him down and as we were leaving the room, I warned Mama to "be sure not to kick the bouncy seat," then proceeded to smack into our desk chair, which slapped against our keyboard, toppling the crap stack on the edge of our desk into our empty plastic garbage can--the whole Goldberg cacophony being topped off by Mama's Blackberry slapping down on the only patch of our wooden floor not covered by carpet in our whole room. Now, whenever I caution her about something or give her unsolicited advice, she just glares at me and says, "Don't kick the bouncy seat."

Eventually, we gave up on moving him to his bassinet so that we could get some sleep, and after doing some reading on cosleeping to ensure that we weren't putting him in some sort of peril, we decided to continue cosleeping. Last night was no exception, but after nursing and drifting off, 3B never stopped bucking, kicking, and punching, even when swaddled. Mama eventually evacuated to the bed in his room so I could get some sleep before work today. It seems that we'll need to get the boy some little sparring gloves and booties and add sparring pads to our nighttime wardrobe if we're going to keep cosleeping.

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  1. Anonymous9:01 PM

    Sounds like you need to wear a cup to bed!

    Good luck and 'night 'night!

  2. do whatever works, baby. whatever works.

    I found that 6 months was the watershed time for me. With both babies, once they started on 'real' food, I put them into their cribs for all of their sleeping and put them on a 2-nap schedule. Seems to have worked - they both sleep 12 hours at night, in their own beds, and 3 or 4 hours in the afternoon.

    Like I said, though - whatever works!

  3. We wanted to co-sleep, but it never worked. I would have sacrificed my own sleep, but the kids never slept well either.

    But the whole "get the baby to sleep and then somehow lower them into their bed while fully supporting all floppy limbs and head while not making any noise or shaking the bed with your hip and then getting your hands out from underneath without waking the baby? That was a touchy process until he got older. Nowadays Duncan and Rebecca both can sleep through almost anything.