Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sleep deprived. Mr. Wiggly Toes makes co-sleeping hell

I can't sleep.
Because Sonny Boy is busy sleeping.

I can explain that. I bet ALL mums who co-sleep can explain that.

Sonny has entered that phase where he not just rolls around in his sleep, but in addition to that he also rotates. He's growing tall, and even though it's just the two of us in bed (daddy got thrown out long ago!), there's no space.

Even if I start the night putting him to sleep at the farthest end of the bed, he snuggles close and says "Amma, huggie". So we hug and cuddle up to sleep. Then he slowly turns over, pushing himself against me and throwing his weight onto me. So I move towards the edge of the bed, so that he can sleep flat on his back. Sometimes I slowly push him back toward the other end of the bed. But by the time I've finished this tedious move, he just rolls back on to my pillow before i can return to it!! Bah ghastly!

Deeper into his sleep, he'll start sleep talking. And he can't talk without action. I'm so tired of having his fingers poking into my eye dreaming of elephants, trains, zebras and his grandfather (four words that always figure in his sleep!), and waking up with a shock with him  slapping my ear or cheek with the back of his hand as he keep wringing his hands in air.

Then deeper still into his sleep, he starts being the hands of a clock -- going round in circles real fast. Peeping through my heavy eyelids I sometimes see his toes under my nose and sometimes find his head tucked into the cusp of my tummy. And then he has to lift his legs in the air and slam them on me. Ouch that hurts, specially when you're sleeping.

Towards early morning, he starts nudging my waist with his toes! The gumption of the little brat...So I move away so his toes can't reach me. And this is where he gets mean. He wiggles down in the bed, stretches his toes, seeking some part of me to poke. Rascal.

I've been thinking i need to slowly phase him out to his own bed, placed next to ours in our room. And then go on to get him to sleep on his "own". I know know. Every one's told me it's gonna be hell. He won't. A cousin has bought her son a car-shaped lovely bed paying a bomb of a price. And the kid snuggled into their bed anyway after a few minutes of "sleeping alone". I don't have the luxury of space or money for a new specialised bed that may not even be used. (I still keep patting myself on the back for my decision to rent a baby cot in his early days and not buy one. He barely slept in it!).

In India co-sleeping is not a choice we make. It's just the way to go...natural way, the expected way. I remember my mom being so scandalised when I suggested we look for a bigger home so Sonny can have his own room to sleep in! I can't really figure out what to do.

Moms who've co-slept with their kids and have managed to move them out to their own bed -- when did you do it? At what age I mean? AND HOW??? Tips and tricks, suggestions welcome.

POST-SCRIPT: My dear mommy friend and fellow blogger from Bangalore, Aparna, has given a blow-by-blow account of how she transitioned her kid into sleeping alone. Practical lesson learnt! Here's the link: Aparna's blog "Life as a Mom"


Aparna said...

I still haven't managed to transition my 5-yo old into his own bed, but that's because I don't want to :) Also we've been lucky that Advaith is a great sleeper. He stays in just 1 position all through the night. Couple of suggestions. 1) Don't buy a fancy bed. Try getting him a nice sleeping bag, putting it down on the floor next to your bed and see if he will sleep on it? 2) Temporary solution - Have you tried erecting a "wall" around you in the bed? A pillow wall? I used to do it during Ads' kicking phase when I was pregnant with my daughter. I didn't want him to give me a solid kick on my tummy! It was very effective.
It looks like you need some serious protection :) How about asking sonny boy to sleep with his dad for a change?!!

Garima said...

All in a nights work! It really read like.. he was donig all this in a week... but no, its a night... make sure you have your coffee in the morning to get through your day.
Now... V did have a phase where she was co-sleeping (When she was 18 months old.. She co-slept for 4 months! so basically 18 to 22 months of V's age, I took an extra expresso shot each morning)
Here is what helped tranitioning her. - Her crib was in our room. - We would put her down in her crib with her favorite stuff toy, hold her finger throught the crib slats untill she fell asleep. In the beginning it took 1-2 hours.
THen 30 minutes and then zero. It took us a good week to have her sleep in the crib. There were nights, we slept in on the floor beside the crib since she was having a hard time sleeping, or would wake up in the middle of the night.
Worth all the effort. V is now three, sleeping in her crib!
We now sleep in the guest room. So V is in her own room (which is orignially our room).
Start the transition sooner rather then later. ... and remember... it takes time!

Aparna said...

Wow that sounds like a rough night!! Poor you !

My daughter was a little like this - their arms and legs seem to weigh a ton in the night don't they. I would suddenly get rudely woken up by a foot on my face, which felt more like a brick fell on it of course!

You've given me an idea for a blog post.. i've too much to say about this :). See my blog in a couple of days and maybe something out there will help a bit.

Forever mother said...

Dear Aparna
Thanks a ton for your inputs -- a sleeping bag sounds like a good idea...maybe just a mattress might be fine too na...should give that a shot. And maybe get him a low bed that can be slid below ours during the day (woes of a small-apartment life).
Dear Garima,
Woman, I always insist you have too much patience and I reiterate that again. But yeah I think i seriously better start thinking of the transition.
Hey Aparna,
Haha, did eagerly wait for ur post and read it. I'm sorry I tried linking to it here, but I don't think I can form a "link' in the comment section :-(
You are a smart strategist and congratulations on the success. Hope I'll be able to learn some from you

Sirisha said...

In this regards i appreciate what US folks strictly do! Atleast get babies to sleep in cribs by say 1 year.
I know its a quite private question but doesnt cosleeping with ur kid affect ur relationship with ur hubbie? You know what i mean? :p
I have a 11 month old girl who sleeps in a crib attached to our bed mostly throughout the nite but around early she comes up and snuggles in between us sometimes.