Since Ivy was born I have been a big fan of the theory that everyone should sleep where everyone in the house gets the most sleep.
I became a fan of this theory when we co-slept with Ivy the first night she was born. I hadn’t been specifically planning on co-sleeping, but we did it and it worked great. Why mess with a good thing? Ivy shared a bed with us for a few months before moving into her crib in a separate room. We also co-slept with Clara up until she started the dreaded “sleep crawling.” Now Clara has also moved out into her own room and crib across the hall from Ivy’s room where she now sleeps in a regular bed.
Or should I say where Ivy slept in a regular bed. We have now entered a new phase of sleeping arrangements that I did not foresee.
It started when Ivy kept showing up in our bed in the middle of the night. Going with my theory if she was actually sleeping when she showed up, I probably would have left her there. Ivy is not fun to sleep with, first she spends far to long, talking, whispering, wiggling and touching my face, then when she does fall asleep she turns into a dead weight that is impossible to move off your pillow and is only revived when it involves wiggling and flailing around to take up more of the bed. Ivy in our bed is not a plan where everyone gets the most sleep.
Here is how it would go:
Ivy would come into our bed.
I would try to ignore her.
It wouldn’t work because she would do really awful things to me (like set paper snowflakes on my eyelids, and if that doesn’t sound awful then clearly you’ve never been subjected to it!)
I would get up and put her crying back into her bed.
She would want to snuggle with someone.
Depending on my level of kindness (directly related to amount of face touching I had endured in the last few minuets) and time of night, I might lay down with her for a few minutes.
I would get back up and go back to bed. Or if John returned her to her bed he would fall asleep there and I would never see him again.
Ivy would show back up…
If you add into that the fact that Clara still wakes up in the night you have the recipe for one grumpy sleep deprived family!
One memorable night recently I put her back in bed three times only to find that when John got out of bed in the morning she had been sleeping on the other side of him! Something had to change.
A few daytime discussions about how we all sleep in our own beds was getting me nowhere. Ivy’s room was “Not for sleepin’ in”, she was lonely, her room was dark and before we knew it she would be back in our bed poking at my face. Then Ivy told me she wanted to sleep with Clara. I said, “Nnnn…. ummm…. OK.” And we tried it. Thank goodness I was able to curb the automatic “No.” that almost slipped out!
Clara goes to sleep about an hour before Ivy, Ivy goes through her night time routine then slips into Clara’s room and sleeps on the bed we’ve made for her on the floor in there.
Since sleeping with Clara, she has not: come into our bed,woken Clara up, been woken by Clara (how, I have no idea, I think the girl could sleep through WWIII),or been woken by John or I (she has been stepped on at least once with no reaction).
Then in the morning Ivy likes to tell me that I can’t come in when they wake up because they are playing. Really could life get any better?! I have been able to laze in bed for an extra half hour or so while I listen to them play- I have nothing but good things to say about our current arrangement!
I’ll admit it’s a little odd, I never thought I’d have a three year old who would want to sleep on the floor in her baby sisters room. I also never thought that when I said “OK. Great!” when I was informed by that same three year old that she was peeing in the bathroom that I should inquire if she was using the toilet… clearly there is quite a bit of this parenting gig I haven’t thought of yet.