Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Off Topic Tuesday - Evolution of Sleep

Introducing... Off Topic Tuesday... :) We can't talk about boobs all the time, can we? Well, we probably could... but other stuff is important too.

With Chicken Little (CL) we initially started off with him in a bassinet next to the bed. This was the same bassinet that my husband slept in as an infant. It had been through six children and had seen better days, but we still used it. Rooster took two weeks off of work and stayed in the room with us.

When Rooster returned to work it was painfully obvious that he needed to sleep in another room as CL was waking hourly for feeding, and even during his sleep he made gremlin gurgle noises all the time. We asked around for advice, and only received responses of putting him in another room and closing the door. THAT wasn't going to happen, so Rooster set up the spare bedroom for himself and came in to help me around two times a night by doing a diaper change so I could go get a snack or use the bathroom. Team work!

When CL was a few weeks old I booked myself a massage. I had been getting monthly massages for a few years, and knew I was overdue after having baby. While CL slept in the car seat he continued to make his gremlin noises. At the end of the massage Katy asked me if I knew that his noises were timed every 3-4 minutes on the dot and she thought that CL might be having some flashbacks to his traumatic delivery. She suggested I take him to see a chiropractor. Longing for better sleep I figured it was worth a shot! I booked an appointment with a trusted chiropractor I had seen years earlier for a back injury. Long story short, three visits later and he never made the gremlin noise again AND he slept much better. I cannot tell you how happy we were!

CL still seemed a little restless overnights, and I officially decided that he did not like the bassinet. The mattress for it was very noisy and crinkly from the waterproof features, and I felt like he was just too low and far away from me. I purchased the First Years Close and Secure sleeper. It is essentially a travel bed. I kept it on the mattress right next to me and loved it!

When he outgrew that little bed I was super sad. I tried having him just sleep in the bed with me, but he did not appear to like that and I was dangerously close to getting some chipped teeth from his leg braces as he moved about in the night. If you think co-sleeping with a baby is dangerous in it of itself for regular kicks in the face... try adding the feature of hard plastic molded shoes and a crossbar!! The next option on my horizon was putting him in a pack n' play next to the bed using the lofted function. This worked, but I was not a fan of the added stress on my back from lifting and reaching down to comfort him.

Then I had the idea to put our bed on the ground and sandwich the crib mattress between it and the wall. This worked wonderfully... until CL started to get more mobile and slide out the bottom which had no wall to trap him in. We tried several things to block him in, but he always found a way to end up on the floor.

I'm not sure how, but I stumbled upon a video explaining how to side-car a crib. Basically you take a regular crib and only install three of the sides, leaving the front open. The open end should match up with your own mattress. It was like having a separate wing to our bed! Everyone loved it - and Rooster even moved back into the room! We slept this way until CL became mobile at 11 months old, and then put the front on the crib. He was never much of a cuddler for co-sleeping, he just wanted to hold my hand occasionally. I would slip in through the slats of the crib whenever he needed it.

At 18 months we finally gave him a room of his own. He had actually had our room all to himself for about a month. I sustained a serious leg injury and was sleeping in the spare room alone, and my husband was a hermit just sleeping where ever. We reclaimed our room with vengeance. But we set it up "family bed" style by taking a queen mattress and double mattress and putting them together. We have a giant bed all ready for with the kids want to snuggle.

For my newborn Chicklett I'll probably go straight into the side-car crib once she is old enough to need some corralling. For now she is a cuddle bug and enjoys being right in bed with me.


  1. Oh I love the idea of just butting the crib up to the bed! I always kept my baby in the bed with me for the first nine months straight- then I started her off in her crib in our room and then bringing her into our bed after the first waking. I would have loved to be able to have her crib right there.
    Breastfeeding and co sleeping, oh my favorite things :)

  2. It's funny how much better things get when the parents are willing to be flexible with sleep arrangements!

    Here's my blog post about our evolution of sleep with twins: http://attachedatthenip.blogspot.com/2010/12/evolution-of-sleep.html

  3. Why does he have to sleep with his feet in a brace? Just curious.

  4. Good question Heather - my son (and actually also my daughter) both have clubbed feet. Here's our blog outlining our journey and adventure; http://adventureswithtriangles.blogspot.com/