Hush baby... Go back to sleep

When I was a lowly pediatric intern, no kids of my own, I was merciless during my newborn follow-ups: NO CO-SLEEPING. ABSOLUTELY BACK TO SLEEP!

After Daniel was born, the saying: you become a better doctor once you have kids of your own was totally true. I was still a proponent of the back to sleep campaign – to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death syndrome). But the co-sleeping part, I was a little more relaxed. It was way much easier to have the baby in the same room when a mom is breastfeeding. But I always made sure to place Daniel back in his co-sleeper. But I am not perfect mom. I probably fell asleep with him next to me <5x. We borrowed a co-sleeper from a fellow resident doctor which was a huge saver. Daniel liked it. It was a crib that could be attached next to our bed.

With Isabel, we had to buy our own co-sleeper (my friend got pregnant with baby #3 and needed it back). But it was a waste of our (parents’) money. I laid her there night #1, she cried and cried and I gave in. I fed her and she fell asleep next to me (aaaaaahhhh…..)

Everything post-partum about baby #2 was messed up. I had more plugged ducts, baby blues worse, sleeping issues worse. I eventually caved in and let her sleep with us. Up until her 13 month birthday! Oh yeah, bad mom alert. Bad pediatrician alert!

This past weekend, my husband finally cornered me and said: it is time, hunny. So this Friday, I tried to undo all 13 months of having my baby girl sleep next to me. How did I let that happen?

Reasons (i.e. excuses) why I let the sleeping thing go:
- I was tired
- I was guilty that I was gone once a week, being on call at the hospital
- Isabel needs her nightly feedings
- Derrick reads to Daniel (and falls asleep in the toddler bedroom, stays there till MN) whilst Isabel and I sleep in the master

Now the crying battle has started. Isabel hates her room. She hates her crib. But I know it’s the best for her. She cried ~30 minutes first night, then ~10 minutes second night. Less and less these past nights. Unfortunately she has been waking up 2-3x in the middle of the night crying. Derrick gives in and goes to her room and sits there until she falls asleep again. I reminded him not to start this other cycle or battle.

What I learned after this (fail) parenting for baby I:
- will NOT cave in and follow easy fixes.
- easy fix does not equal best solution
- best solution is harder in the beginning but best plan long term
- will not let our other babies sleep next to us for months and months. Start early in the co-sleeper stick to that plan. Follow through.

Links below regarding sleep:

Your baby's sleep - newborns and infants

4 Bs of bedtime - it's all abt the routine.

Daniel in his co-sleeper
Such a peaceful looking baby

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