I love watching my kid sleep. Sleeping kids amaze me because I can’t remember a time when my sleep was so peaceful, completely knocked out, and restful. Even when I was a kid, I was a light sleeper and I tended to be more of a night owl. But, I LOVE sleep. I can’t get enough of it and sleeping in is a bit of heaven! It’s a strange paradox.
I’ve been rethinking the whole sleep thing recently since our ninjette has been going through some restless sleep. As new parents, we were pretty lucky that she liked to sleep. She still likes to sleep and needs at least 10-11 hours of sleep at night with a nap during the day. However, ninjette has been delaying her bedtime sleep, complaining of being tired (because she can’t sleep in!), wanting the door to stay open, getting up and out of bed in the middle of the night, and wanting the lights on (although the turtle light has helped this). She also has been wanting to sleep in our bed or have one of us sleeping in her room with her.
All of her sleep disruptions become my sleep disruptions and then everyone is wearing their cranky pants a lot more often. It’s not a pretty sight.
I read all the sleep books that were out there when were trying to sleep train ninjette and we ended up doing a bit of a mish mash of all the different sleep techniques and theories out there. One thing I had never considered was co-sleeping. It wasn’t until I read a book called, Parenting Without Borders, that I reconsidered the whole idea of co-sleeping and that it could actually be something that could lead to more independent kids. The author, Christine Gross-Loh, really made me consider the whole notion of why we sleep train and why the idea of co-sleeping was also seen as negative in my eyes. I really did think it would make ninjette more dependent and clingy and that she would be a terrible sleeper. Thinking back, though, I think she always slept much better when she was near us. I might not have slept as well, but she slept better and much longer.
I’m not ready to buy a king sized bed and have her move in with us, but I’ve definitely been reconsidering why we choose to parent the way that we do and what really feeds in to the decisions that we make. Co-sleeping wasn’t something that my parents did with my brother and I. Having your own bed and your own space was a big deal for me while I was growing up and I just assumed that this is how everyone slept in America.
I’ve decided to be a bit more relaxed about ninjette’s sleep and let her have some nights where we do a “sleepover” and whenever we are away somewhere, we let her climb in to bed with us. It’s been a good compromise for all three of us. It’s also been an interesting time seeing the different things we all do in our sleep – ninjette definitely got her sleep talking from her dad!
What about you? How do you feel about sleep for yourself or for your kids? Did you sleep train? Do you co-sleep?
Hope you got some good sleep last night!