Monday, November 7, 2011

Co-Sleeping = No Sleeping

Ask any stay at home mom and she will say that nap time is like a lunch break for moms. When you do not get to take your lunch break, it makes for a very long day at the office. The months that EJ was not napping were some of the longest, more trying months of my life. I was so unequipped to handle a new baby, never mind one with sleep issues. So for months I ran on minimal sleep and minimal knowledge. Desperate to make this overtired baby sleep just for an hour and in his own crib. It was exhausting and very frustrating. It eventually led to him sleeping in our bed. Ah yes, the co-sleeping parents. Crazy, hippy people I would have called them. But in reality, they are just desperate, overtired parents who will do anything to get some sleep. We became those parents. So at two, EJ wakes up yelling for me every night and asks to come to our room. He then spends the night kicking, moving and pushing in our bed, so that all 3 of us are never really sleeping (well maybe my husband is).

I know I am mostly responsible, but most nights I am so tired and practically sleep walking, that it has became second nature to grab him and put him in our room. I hate the sleep books, the parents whose kids slept for 12 hours a night since birth, and that Ferber guy…I hate him. But most of all, I hate myself for being unable to fix it. It is an ongoing issue that affects us all and I just can not get a handle on it. The advice comes from everyone:

Let him cry it out.”
Let him cry for a few minutes then go in.”
Put him in the pack and play in your room.”
Sleep on the floor in his room.”
Sit by the door.”

After a while, it all started sounding crazy and was just overwhelming. We even visited a sleep clinic to get professional help. But one cold or stomach bug, a bad day, or tired night and we were back to square one. Nothing seemed to work.

So here I am now, almost two years after bringing our sweet baby home from Ethiopia, sitting on the floor of a dark room for almost two hours every night. I must say, “EJ lay down.” about 100 times. But after two years of rocking and co-sleeping, we need to make sure that he learns to put himself to sleep. I very well may go insane from listening to the Bob the Builder theme song on my iPhone, on repeat, for two hours every night for the next few weeks but this is it. It is our last chance. He has to sleep in his own bed so that we can all get some sleep and get our nights back!

I still hate that Ferber guy…


Lauren Jordan is a part-time stay at home mom.  She has been married for 7 years and is the mom of a very energetic, hilarious 2 year boy!  She hopes to some day get a full night of sleep.


  1. For me the experience is opposite, I very much regret not co-sleeping with my first two babies. I was sleep deprived all the time. Now I get plenty of sleep, I never have to get up no matter how many times my 5 mo old wakes up (which isn't too often), because I just roll over nurse her and roll back. Best decision I every made. For me co-sleeping = sleep for everyone. Sorry you're experience has been difficult. My kids still came in my bed all the time until they were about 3, and they were crib sleepers. So I don't think co-sleeping is really to blame for that. Babies just want to be with their mama's.

  2. Lauren: a friend of mine has written a pair of books (I know, don't say no yet) which has one for KIDS and one coordinating one for adults about sleep issues. My friend is a mom who's kid didn't sleep so she and her parents (child psychologist and social worker here in RI) wrote the books together.

    You may want to check it out. I have the kid book here (as well as the adult book) and it's a picture book for kids about "What's the Rule" and the rule is they stay in their beds.

    I'm not sure if it'd help you or not, but I just thought I'd throw it out there for you. I'm about to feature the books as a review and giveaway on my own blog this month ( and share my own sleep (or lack thereof) stories as well with my three kids.

    Here is the amazon link to the kid book and below it is the list of things "often bought together" with the adult book.

    Hang in there...

  3. Oh the sleep much fun! As a mom of triplets, I have definitely been in your shoes! The kids slept in our room in a pack and play for the first 6mo and then we "put them in a crib in their room"...but we let them fall asleep downstairs first. I kicked myself for quite some time for doing that because we were up until 10-11pm just waiting for them to fall asleep so we could go to bed! With the encouragement and support of some friends (my husband was working at night), I did the whole "cry it out" thing. First two times....two of the three cried so much they vomited all over the crib!!! So, I threw in the towel and said forget it! I'd stay up all night instead of dealing with that. LOL We waited a few months and tried it again. This time I think that the kids were actually ready. It took three nights of listening to them cry (for actually a short time) and they did it! So......we were set! Or so we thought~!!! It worked until we switched them into their they are 3 and we have a gate in their doorway so they "can't" get out (which is pretty funny, because they know how to open practically every gate that has ever been made!!!) But anyhow, that is where we are now. Some nights they cry and put up a fight about going to bed, but most nights they go up willingly and just talk to each other until they fall asleep. I know that we will encounter a new "stage" of bed time soon....we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Try not to beat yourself up about what you did or did not do...although, I do know that is easier said than done!!!