This is how Aiden likes to sleep. The trouble with this sleep position is that at 8 weeks of age, he is in his “falling” stage where he startles all the time because he feels like he’s falling. Lying on his back with arms and legs sprawled wide open like this is the perfect position to trigger this sensation. So what happens is that he wakes himself up constantly when he sleeps like this. He startles, and then he starts crying hysterically because he scared himself. So then I have to comfort him back to sleep. Poor little guy. And poor me, because he doesn’t sleep for more than a ten minute stretch in this position.
Now, when he’s on his tummy he will sleep for hours. No falling sensation happens when he is on his tummy. The trouble with tummy sleeping is that they warn you that it could possibly be a cause of SIDS. Now, whether tummy sleeping actually contributes to SIDS or not does not matter. What matters is that we have been warned, and if we’ve been warned, and if we go against that warning and something happens…well, then I know I’d never forgive myself. So that is why I don’t sleep him on his tummy — at night! But during the day, when I’m awake and I can peek over at him often…well the truth is I just can’t resist sleeping him on his tummy during the day because it’s the only time I can get things done around the house! He will nap for two-hour stretches! I put him in the same room that I will be in so that I can always see him, and I let him sleep. And sleep. And sleep.
As for me, I keep getting asked, “How are you sleeping? Are you getting much sleep at night?” because it’s assumed that with a new baby you have sleepless nights. Not the case for me. I sleep with Aiden right next to me, in our bed. He’s slept next to me since the day he was born. He sleeps on his back in his favorite sleeping position. Funny, but he doesn’t have his startle reflex when he’s next to me. He and I both sleep straight through the night. We typically go to sleep at around 10:00 or 10:30 and then Aiden wakes up at 6:00 or 6:30 the next morning. And then I will get up, put him in a fresh diaper, and then take him back to our bed. I lie next to him and nurse him, and I will talk to him a bit and he will look into my eyes and it’s just the sweetest time, I swear, my favorite part of the day. And then we usually fall back to sleep and will sleep for another hour or so. This has been our sleep routine since he was about a week or two old.
I know co-sleeping isn’t for everyone, but wow, it sure works for me. This is what I’ve done with all of my infants, and I’m one well-rested mama! You don’t change what works, right? Right!