"I Sleep In Mommy And Daddy's Bed?" CRAP! Nooooo. What Have I Done...

The advice I heard the most while pregnant was, "Do NOT! Let that baby into your bed. EVER!" I was warned that from newborn through infant, it was incredibly dangerous. Then, some of my been-there-done-that friends, through tears in their eyes--or possibly just blood shot eyes from lack of sleep-- said not let my son in my bed at any age, because I would NEVER get him out again. 

So I didn't. 

Except this one time. 


FTD and I were incredibly careful to not let our infant son in our bed, no matter how tired we were.  As Ollie got older, we still didn't let him in the bed, not even to nap. Our friends took too much care to warn us of the, "you will never sleep alone again," fate we would face if we let him in the bed. Lucky for us, Ollie never seemed bothered by it. From his first night home from the hospital, until recently (2yrs4mos), he slept in his crib every night.

Then he got really sick.

I was afraid he was going to have horrible breathing problems from the sickness and die. (It really wasn't that bad, I was just suffering from first-time mom paranoia.) So, I let him sleep in our bed so I could watch him--FTD slept on the couch I barely slept that night. Partly because I was so worried about him, and partly because he kept tossing and turning and kicking the crap out of me.

I will admit, I did like cuddling him, and having him close... So I may or may not have let him sleep with me one or two more times while he got better... Being that hind sight is 20/20 I realize that decision may have been foolish for a few reasons.

1. I quickly learned that once cuddle time was over, I couldn't get to sleep thanks to his Chuck Norris scissor kicks and headbutts... in between barrel rolls from one pillow to the other.  

2. There is absolutely no solid sleep to be had when that sleep sucking machine is in my bed.

3. The kid is now OBSESSED with sleeping in mommy and daddy's bed. 

Getting him back in his bed has been the challenge of the century. (Think: F-Bombs sprinkled with tears and frustration.) Thankfully, after a few days, he's back to going to sleep in his bed initially, but the minute he wakes up in the night, he comes into my room and tries to get into bed. He cries to me and FTD like a monster is going to eat his face off it he has to go back to his room. Feeling horrible, but still desperate to keep him out of my bed, I sit in his rocking chair and rock him back to sleep. Sometimes this process takes up to an hour.

Holy crap, it sucks!

But, I am adamant to right what I have done wrong.  I am not going to break.  His ass is going back in his bed every night. I know what it's like to sleep without a toddler foot in my kidneys all night. 

I want that back. I will have that back.

My friends, I now join the ranks of been-there-done-that parents preaching the most important rule of thumb when it comes to babies/toddlers and sleep: DO NOT let that child in your bed.  If you do, you will either NEVER get them out again, or lose many a hours of sleep trying! 

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


April said...

We bed shared with Ryleigh when she was first born. I quickly realized at around 4 months old she would sleep 8 hours in her crib at a time and two in bed with me so we started putting her in her crib until she woke up to nurse and then she slept with me until I got up for work. Now she won't sleep with us at all. Our bed is a jungle gym to her....... She is such a weirdo and won't sleep anywhere except her crib and the rare car nap. Hopefully Ollie gets back to his crib soon!

Alissa said...

Man oh man... I hear you! After we came back from a trip without the kids, James would scream and cry and throw a fit when we tried to put him to bed and refuse to let us shut his door. For a week I had to sit in his room or in the hallway until he fell asleep. He'd wake up and do the same thing in the middle of the night. Finally enough was enough and I started to invent "chores" to do in the hallway or bathroom so that he could see me moving around and after a few days he was cool with us just putting him to bed and going downstairs. Eventually he quit waking up in the middle of the night too. It took about 3 whole weeks though... I vow not to let that happen with Micah.

April McCormick said...

That's exactly what happens with Ollie. That first night he had croup and just felt horrible, so he laid still. The next few nights, as he got better, it was like our bed was Disney, and he needed to roll around and laugh and play. when he comes in at 3 am, if I let him in the bed he rolls around until I take him back to his room. So now, I just get right up and take him back to his room. The only way our house sleeps well is if everyone is in their own bed.

April McCormick said...

3 weeks you say? OK. we are on week two... NEVER AGAIN!!!!

Unknown said...

For about 6 months now I have had my daughter in our bed. Yeah. That's probably why I am such a cranky-pants these days. We got her a "big girl" bed with flowers and fancy Dora sheets. I've finally got her going to sleep in her own bed, but she still sneaks into out bed in the middle of the night.

I guess we are both learning the hard way!

April McCormick said...

I just got a comment for this post via email from a friend and reader who has been co-sleeping since day one. Her youngest is just under 3... I had to share it...

"Can't get the kid out of your bed huh? Yeah I've got nothing...except... Ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha!!! Welcome to hell.😈"

I really do love her... even if she sends me these "encouraging" comments.

Anonymous said...

The only time we "successfully" slept in the same area was when my daughter had the stomach flu and we camped out in the living room. I didn't really sleep mainly because of the images depicted above. Occasionally she'll get into our bed in the middle of the night (crying) but soon after I fall asleep and get kicked or punched I ask her if she wants to go back to sleep in her bed. She always says yes. THANK GOD!

April McCormick said...

That's exactly why Ollie is not in a Big Boy bed. I at least have a small success rate with his crib still.

April McCormick said...

LUCKY! Ollie will NEVER volunteer. I have to beg, borrow and steal to get him back to sleep.

Unknown said...

I am a co-sleeper parent. My son slept with us until he was 5, then #2 came and he got kicked to the curb (aka: his own bed in his own room) and now we have a 17 month old with us.......I am jealous of parents that can have their kids in a different room, my anxiety won't let me be apart! <3