Tuesday, March 4, 2008

To Sleep. Perchance to Dream?

As a parent? Well, maybe. Personally I found that I became a much lighter sleeper once my son was in the room with me. Recently, a colleague of mine who is soon to be a father, asked about my feelings about co-sleeping with your baby. Actually, I'm a big fan of it. Mind you I think it depends on the parents. If the parents are heavy sleepers, drink a fair amount, take sleeping pills or are on heavy cold medication etc it's probably a bad idea. The basic rule is if the parents judgement or ability to react is impaired in any way the child should probably go into their own crib. Other than that co-sleeping allows you to react to your child's needs a lot faster, get them settled quicker, they sleep more securely and thus you sleep better.

For my youngest my solution was more of a hybrid one as I take up a lot of bed space. The crib was pushed up against the bed with the side only raised slightly for easy access for midnight, 2:00 am and 5:00 am feedings and there was a change station set up nearby so that if James was wet I ...(Yes, I, thank you. Chivalry isn't dead, it's just really, really tired.) Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I could change him relatively quickly. These days manufacturers seem to have caught on to this whole "Family together? Good!" idea that was making the rounds at the end of the last ice age. As such they've come up with things like the co-sleeper bassinet http://armsreach.com/original_cosleeper.php that keeps your kids within easy reach while alleviating the fear of accidently asphyxiating your child every time you go out for Mexican. Also, I can't stress this enough, making sure you have everything within easy reach for after light's out is of paramount importance. You don't want to be navigating a toy block slalom run in the dark at 2:00 am because you forgot to restock the diaper pile. Trust me on that one.

So, essentially if you want to have the best chance at enough sleep, cosleeping is definitely the way to go or at least some variation thereof. Every mammal does it. We seem to be the only one that has elements that still recommend against it. As for which side for sleeping, that's up to you but once the child is rolling, (or if you have a smaller bed) and you're not going with the crib or bassinet, squarely in the middle of the bed is probably better so the child doesn't find itself in freefall at 3:00 am.

Silence the Dragons....

I know this is a parenting blog and we'll get back to that in a moment, folks but I wanted to ask for a moment of silence for the fallen. Gary Gygax, the father of Dungeons and Dragons and the modern Role Playing Game passed away today. Details can be found on the link here:

Pax Eternus, Gary. And thank you for sparking the imagination of millions.