Sunday, January 13, 2013

We Sold Our Co-Sleeper to Pay for a Vacation

Mrs. LIAYF and I had a co-sleeper sitting in our garage for the past 5 and a half years.  It'd been there with all the outdated baby stuff we crammed in there after Lukas grew out of it all.  We were saving it for child #2.  I'm not sure exactly why we saved this item though.

Let me clarify.  He didn't actually grow out of the co-sleeper, rather it made it's way there within a couple short weeks of his birth.  You see, we tried the whole co-sleeping thing.  First with our newborn in the actual co-sleeper right next to the bed, but then in our bed when in the course of late night feedings he would simply end up staying in the bed with us.  That didn't work out to well for us.

The No-Sleeper

We just weren't getting much sleep doing it that way.  Not that we ended up getting a lot more sleep for a while afterwards, but at the time we bore a striking resemblance to a couple of Zombies from The Walking Dead.  We tired of that in a hurry, so to speak.  This might have been our blaming co-sleeping for the general tiredness that comes with having a newborn, but the fact was we were tired, and blamed it on our attempts to co-sleep with our infant.

We'd been doing it, the co-sleeping thing that is, for a couple of weeks when things finally came to head and we realized that this wasn't going to work.

We awoke one morning to the realization that co-sleeping has serious drawbacks.  At some point the previous evening co-sleeping became bed sharing.   I had apparently been snoring and on several occasions my snorts had woke up Lukas.  I say apparently since I still have no proof of this (Sweetie).  Anyway, with both Mrs. LIAYF and I sleep deprived, at some point in the dead of night we all passed out into a deep slumber, with Lukas sleeping between us in the bed.

When Mrs. LIAYF awoke she was mortified to see me asleep with the weight of my arm covering Lukas' face and mouth.  Further investigations confirmed the suffocation dangers of bed sharing with an infant as well.  Suffice it to say, that was the end of our whole co-sleeping/bed sharing experiment. We moved Lukas into a crib in his own room that same night.  He has not slept the night with us since.

And now, with Annabelle's arrival we have started her in her own room from day one.  Sure, it's a pain to get up out of the warm bed at 3:00 AM to go feed her, but that's temporary.  Like it did with Lukas, we figure this will pay off in due time in the form of sounder sleep for us all.

The benefits of this strategy became apparent to us again a few days ago when we sold it on Craigslist.  The father who came by to pick it up and his wife also had a newborn, a boy.  They needed the co-sleeper because, as he put it, they didn't have room in the bed for the baby.

The extra spot was already occupied - by their nearly 4 year old.  The dad was lamenting this fact to us as he was handing us the three Jacksons, and was quite surprised that we had a newborn as well.  We informed him of our choice not to co-sleep, but he told us that this was not the same choice he and his wife had made, unfortunately.

I know co-sleeping/bed sharing is a good or necessary choice for many families, and I am sure that those families probably make it work just fine.  It just wasn't for us.  I couldn't imagine Lukas, or Annabelle for that matter, still sleeping in our room let alone bed at the age of 4, 7, or even 10! - as sweet as they both are.

The Beautiful Scablands of Eastern Washington
We'll put the $60 from the sale away to pay for a vacation.  Invested properly it should net us a couple of days in beautiful Eastern Washington in a few years when we are once again able to travel.

Plus, both kids do quite well in their own rooms.  And we do still get short cuddles with Lukas between us in our bed a couple of times a week. We make those count.

What about you readers.  Do you, or did you co-sleep?


daniel said...

There are so many things we buy that wind up getting tossed, donated, sold or whatever. So many of these are great ideas or useful for one child but useless with other children or as you get more experience and figure out ways to do the same thing differently. Every child is different, yet also the same, and there are a gajillion different products and you never know what will and won't be useful until you shell out the money and use it. Or not. Even with our last kids we wound up buying crap that we didn't need because the kids didn't like it.

Juli said...

When they were little they were either in the bed with me or on the couch with me. Horrible I know, but I am a VERY light sleeper, and it was far more horrible to have me getting NO sleep than a few hours in the recliner. I was still married at the time, but for the most part it was all me as well, I divorced when youngest was 10 months old and Oldest was 26 months. Occasionally, we did have nights when we had "camp outs" and we all piled in my bed for the night on the weekend, but we all sleep better when we have our own space. A few years later, when Tony started spending an occasional night over, Youngest would get up at 4am, and crawl into my side of the bed to snuggle and catch an hour or so more sleep.

They are 10 and 12 now, and now the only snuggling that happens is on the couch for movie night. And that's what works for us.

Co-sleeping is fantastic for bonding, but there is a limit in which the kids need to self soothe. Not to mention, it tends to kill relationships between spouses, which are hard enough to maintain on their own.

John said...

I wanted to cosleep, but my wife didn't. She read some books about it and decided it was the wrong choice. In the end I think she was right!! Better for kids to grow up able to soothe themselves and go to sleep on their own.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@daniel - I agree. There is so much stuff that a new baby will never get to use because, well, you can only use so much. That's why we try as much as possible to buy used things or use items we had from when Lukas was little.

@Juli - I agree, we all do get a better nights sleep in our own spaces. So we have to make sure to bond in other ways. Thanks for the comment.

@Coach - Yes, that is a huge aspect of it. Teaching kids to self soothe will pay off in spades for years to come. Thanks for stoppin by to comment.

Kevin McKeever said...

Co-sleepers are actual items? We just used a Pack n Play until the boob went dry.

Slamdunk said...

We never did co-sleeping. I would have had the same issues that you described--me rolling around and flattening everyone.

And those days of no-sleep are still etched in my mind. I remember when we were knee deep in twins, and I was reading a book to our older son. I fell asleep while reading aloud. haha.

Pandamonium said...

We will not be co-sleeping. For many reasons already mentioned but also because I've watched kids for friends that co-sleep...and the kids won't sleep if they're not held or laying with you...which is REALLY hard on a babysitter.

We have a bassinet for when he's a little itty bitty. He'll move to his crib when he's a little bigger and we'll just get up to retrieve him when he needs something in the night.

That's the hope anyway :)

jetts31 said...

My oldest daughter we kept in her bassinet in our room for 4 months. A hiccup would have woken her up. It was hell.
My youngest we kept with us for 4 weeks and shipped her out to her own room.
Co-sleeping/Bed Sharing? Nope.

Anonymous said...

Our first was a challenge. Our lactation consultant at the hospital where he was born said he was having trouble latching on, probably because he had a really high palate, according to her. He would only put up with the effort it took him to nurse for as long as it took to take the edge off his hunger, but I don't think he ever really got full. He nursed in short spurts, he slept in short spurts, and was generally irritable for the first several months, while we tried desperately to get the hang of our new "routine," and to make nursing work. Years later, when he was a walking, talking child and we discovered his sensitivity to sensory issues (lights, loud classroom singing in preschool, certain articles of clothing or tags in the clothing that drove him totally crazy) we figured there was probably more going on during his first months than just the nursing issues, but in any case, we co-slept, in our own bed (no purchased products) just because the nursing was so frequent and so challenging, and it was the only way to get any sleep. I remember sometimes putting him up on top of a pillow between us, so we didn't have to worry about rolling over onto him, or getting his face covered by our blankets. He was too little to roll himself over, so he wasn't able to get off his back and face-down into the pillow. It didn't have any lasting effects. By the time he was 6 months old and rolling himself over, he was in his own crib, I'd given up nursing all but the occasional bedtime feeding, he was eating baby cereal, and sleeping much better. He was never a toddler who came into our bed, and we never even had to deal with any bad dream wake-ups or anything. When we had our second, we started out co-sleeping right from the beginning, just anticipating sleeping issues, but he latched on like a champ, ate like a champ, slept like a champ, and nothing seemed to irritate him. He was in his own crib probably by his second month, I think. They have always shared a room, never woke each other up, and I think were comforted (if they did wake up) by being able to look over and see the other one sleeping nearby. Missy