Friday, February 05, 2010


Over Daniel's increasingly busy four years we have run the spectrum of sleep issues. There was the waking every two hours early on, the sleep all day/play all night phase, and the I'll only sleep in the swing/bouncy chair/with you stages. After many tears on all our parts, we got him into his own bed and his own room, although the need to have "company" as he falls asleep has been a struggle.

Recently we have been getting more night-time visits from the little guy. In many ways, I don't mind too much. He's not crying, or being loud and obnoxious. I'm just suddenly aware of a little presence next to the bed. If I say softly: Do you want to come in? He doesn't do more than nod his head and clutch his blankie tighter. I flip back the covers and let him crawl between H and me, and all three of us drift off to sleep pretty quickly.

I'm torn, as I know that most recommendations are to take him by the hand and lead him back to bed. At three am, though, a peaceful family snooze holds lots of appeal. Early on, I read lots of baby books on sleep, and I have to say that after awhile I tossed them. They didn't serve a lot of purpose other than to make me as a new Mom feel horrible about everything I had done wrong since Day 1. And I remember blessing the Pedi who once told me: Sometimes you just do what you have to do, so that everyone can get some sleep.

If I ask Daniel why he comes to visit us, the usual response is: I was cold. My restless sleeper, he gets rid of any covers pretty quickly and doesn't really think to cover up again. That same restlessness means that I wake up with blond hairs tickling my ear, and H has Daniel's feet firmly planted in his kidneys come morning. Yet I am reluctant to give up a little cozy family time while I can get it.

Did you have sleep issues with your kids? How did you wind up handling them?

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