Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Politics of Sleeping

We had a good system for a while. Anna would sleep in her bassinet next to Chris while he was up in the living room and then next to him while he slept on the bed in the dining room. When she'd wake up after midnight to be changed and fed, we'd switch places, and he'd get to sleep off duty while I tried to sleep with Anna. I didn't bother with the bassinet, though. I pulled her into bed with me. We both would sleep for two or three hours stretches at a time. It was wonderful.

This last week, Anna stopped sleeping in her bassinet. She would fuss and grunt and eventually work herself up into screams. She'd only sleep while curled up in someone's arms, against their chest. That totally ruined Chris's routine. He cannot, I repeat, cannot sleep with Anna against him.

Friday morning, while he was changing her diaper and we were both half asleep, he announced that it was my fault that she wasn't sleeping in the bassinet. I had spoiled her by co-sleeping. Not only that, he was going to ask her pediatrician to have a talk with me about the dangers of co-sleeping.

I haven't had the strength or the will to fight Chris since an argument we had just after Anna was born. It feels futile to me. So I just sat there, staring at him. I couldn't believe he was going to "tell on me."

Eventually, we tried to remember what we had done with Ben, since this was an issue with him as well, one that sparked one of our first huge shouting fights as a married couple. We couldn't really remember. I think he slept in a swaddle while in the carseat. So we're going to try that. During the day, I'll try to remember to put her down while she's sleeping instead of letting her sleep on my chest (like she's doing right now. Shhhh.)

The thing about co-sleeping is that if both parties aren't on board, it doesn't work. Even if I said I'd only sleep with Anna in the other bed, Chris still wouldn't be happy. He doesn't really think it's dangerous, he just doesn't want to give up his "shift" with her. I think it's like a badge of honor with him that he lets me sleep undisturbed for 3-5 hours every night. He really wants her to be able to sleep on her own.

I'd love to keep co-sleeping with Anna. It feels right to have her nestled against me. When I roll over, she rolls with me. I was even getting the hang of nursing while lying down. My "gut" feels that one month old is too young to start sleep training... we'll keep trying out some compromises until something works... or Chris gives up and lets me sleep with her.