Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Again with the Not Sleeping

The latest frivolous inconvenience setting off my internal whine-o-meter is lack of sleep.

I've mentioned the sleeping problems that have befallen us. Things have improved a bit: Sean seems to be falling asleep more easily, and Allie's multiple wakenings have diminished because her most recent tooth finally erupted.

In the place of the every-few-hours wakenings, though, is one big wakening midway through the night. And it seems to have one and only one peaceful solution: bringing Allie into bed with us. Oh, yes, I know all about the co-sleeping controversy, really I do. I am well versed in the arguments from the entrenched camps: 1) co-sleeping is natural and essential for forming an attachment with your baby, co-sleeping is the way that humans have slept for thousands of years, cribs that separate baby from parent are a modern monstrosity that fosters poor attachment and 2) co-sleeping is unsafe for babies, babies need to be able to soothe themselves to sleep, parents need to establish a space separate from their children.

As with many other divisive parenting topics, I see merit to both sets of arguments. Call me an advocate of the mushy middle. In this case, our decision to have Allie sleep with us midway through the night is motivated by sheer pragmatism: The fastest, most efficient way for all of us to return to sleep is to sidestep the endless cycle of rock, bounce, walk, sing, put in crib, pick up after instant awakening.

Part of me likes snuggling with Allie. It's soft and warm, and it's one of the only times she's ever stationary enough to cuddle with. But truly, Jeff and I sleep so much better when there is just the two of us in bed, not the two of us separated by a squirmy, roving baby.

The alternatives? I hate the cry-it-out approach, and I'm reluctant to resort to the Ferber method here. We tried Ferberizing with Sean and it was traumatic for all of us. Maybe reluctance will yield to desperation at some point, but we're not quite there yet.