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Rip Van Grommet.

2006-03-29 - 9:25 p.m.

A confession: we’re co-sleeping.

I feel almost embarrassed saying that because I have to admit I’ve always thought that people who were into co-sleeping were kind of hippy-dippy. Now all I have to say is, we drifted into it and it really works for our family. It started out innocently enough, Grommet would be in her cradle beside me while I was still downstairs. Then towards the end of the night I’d bring her into bed on the couch with me so that I could cuddle her and warm her icy hands, plus feed her while lying down instead of heaving my c-sectioned self into a sitting position. I noticed that she seemed happier and slept longer and more soundly when she was with me. I started bringing her in earlier.

When we moved upstairs I think we only tried the cradle for a week but as soon as she started making noise and stirring in her sleep I’d pounce and bring her into bed. J gets up at 3:30 am so I didn’t want her disturbing the limited sleep he got. And when she’s with us she sleeps like a rock most of the time. Every couple or few hours she’ll start to stir, I’ll pop a boob into her mouth, she’ll eat with gusto, then drop right back to sleep. She never cries during the night and I feel almost bad for having to disturb her to burp her after feeding, or change her diaper.

So I may feel kind of funny about admitting we’re co-sleeping, but everyone talks about the sleep deprivation of the first couple of months, and we’re not sleep deprived at all. And when people ask us how the nights are and whether we’re tired, we honestly answer that we’re not tired, and that the nights are fine. Grommet has never, ever cried during the night once she’s been put down. She has never needed walking around to be soothed back to sleep. She doesn’t need music or white noise or swaddling to be lulled to dreamland once it’s night time. Sure, she has her fussy times, but they’ve all been during the day. I can’t help but think that this has to be attributable at least in part to the co-sleeping. She never has to work up to a cry in order to get her needs met because I’m right there. And J doesn’t get disturbed – he sleeps right on through to his alarm. Then in the morning she wakes up with the sunrise and fusses for about half an hour while all the gas and poop that’s built up over the night gets expelled, and generally she goes back to sleep again for most of the morning, waking intermittently for food still.

Don’t tell my father in-law though; before the Grom was born I mentioned that she’d probably spend her first weeks in a cradle in our room and he disapproved, citing J’s need for sleep (seeing as how he gets up so early) and how having a baby in the room would disrupt it.

We don’t know how long this arrangement will last – our current plan is to move her to her crib when it warms up and the situation becomes more “sweaty, sticky closeness” than “cozy nest” – but we’re going to play it by ear. Whatever keep Grom happy and gives us the added bonus of being well rested, we’re totally down with.

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