Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I'm a fairly AP/TP kind of parent, especially to Heidi.

I breast feed (as much as I can) and intend to let her self wean, despite the fact that she bites.
I baby wear (I have a Baby K'Tan wrap that my wonderful Morgan bought me - see Doctor's office picture below).
I try to use gentle discipline, but I'm more an advocate for "what works" and "we talk and then we hug" doesn't always work.  But Heidi is only one, so her discipline is still very gentle (and ineffective but that's another story).
I did cloth diaper, but I hate my HEFL washing machine, and quit (cloth diapering isn't really AP but they seem to go hand in hand frequently).
I answer her cries as quick as I can.  She isn't allowed to CIO no matter how tired I am, or how frustrated I am with holding her.
And, as the title of this entry suggests, we co-sleep, a fact my husband is less than thrilled about.

I enjoy all of these things MOST of the time.  Breast feeding is less fun when she's biting or pinching me, and baby wearing is less fun in the middle of Florida's summer.  But still, for the most part, I do these things willingly and not JUST because it's better for Heidi.  Except co-sleeping.  I do not like co-sleeping.

Heidi is not the first kid to sleep in our bed.  I was against any kids in the bed for the first 2 years of Luke's life.  But at 2, he was still waking up multiple times a night, and we were so sleep deprived that we were contemplating suicide.  So finally, we brought him into our bed at night, and wondrously HE SLEPT!

If you don't know my family well, let me mention that my son, now nearing to 4, is also nearing to 60 pounds.  He outgrew his 40 pound limit car seat when he was still 2.  He's not the pillsbury dough boy or anything, but I admit he's a little chubby.  This is him now:

We have a queen-sized bed.  Not enormous, but relatively large.  Two adults and an enormous toddler in a queen sized bed? It's doable, right?  We often woke up like this though:

Then Heidi was born.  Sweet wonderful Heidi.  And we were now co-sleeping with an enormous toddler and a newborn, in a queen-sized bed.  Please, shoot me.  We finally got Luke out of our bed on MOST nights, though he still comes in and says "I wanna lay ness to you" at least a couple times a week.

But Heidi.  I found this link a while back, and it really sums things up for me:

Particularly THIS picture:

Heidi is a Starfish.  And a twist - she's a star fish with my sense of personal space.  And she's a bi-polar sleeper.  So she spends the night alternating between "cuddle me, I want to nurse" and "DON'T TOUCH ME I NEED MY SPACE!"

Cuddle me, DON'T TOUCH ME, cuddle me, DON'T TOUCH ME!  This wouldn't be so bad if she didn't star fish.  But she does.  And we end up contorted into odd shapes in an attempt to not be touching her as she sprawls out in the middle of the bed.
Note her position in the middle of the bed, and the fact that she's sort of sideways? She does this at night when we're in the bed, too.  You see the problem here?

We can't get her OUT of our bed, because then she wakes up every hour wanting to cuddle and/or nurse again.  So we're kind of stuck.  Do we try and sleep with her in the bed, or do we try and sleep with her out of the bed? If she's in the bed we do get more sleep, but we wake up needing a massage and a chiropractor every morning.  If she sleeps out of the bed, we wake up... well, we wake up a lot, all night long.  It's kind of a lose-lose situation.

Maybe she'll grow out of it? The AP advocates always make co-sleeping sound like this amazing special experience, full of nothing but joy and good feelings.  Liars.

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