My friend texted me tonight: “Thoughts on the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper?”
“I have one… they both ‘slept’ in it until about 5 months old.”
A few days ago, I answered her questions about the Rock ‘n Play. She can keep the inquiries coming; we probably could have paid for a vacation with all the money we’ve spent over the past four years chasing baby sleep.
Before my beloved first child was born, I bought a beautiful bassinet for our room. I had plans. We would start a routine early. I would sleep train at the appropriate time. And I most certainly would not co-sleep. There would be bumps in the road for sure, but (after all!) I had experience. It would turn out fine.
And then he was born.
And the nurses sprinkled their hospital fairy dust on him as they swaddled him into a perfect baby burrito. They patiently taught us the technique, no doubt giggling as they left the room, knowing full well that no actual human being would ever reproduce the magic they performed.
And we went home. And the child did not sleep.
We swaddled him. He did not sleep. We paced the hallways. He cried. I slept with his sheets tucked into my shirt (he just needs to smell me!). I’m pretty sure he laughed at me. We begged and we pleaded and we cried and we cajoled. He stared at us. Awake.
But then! Miracle of miracles! The internet taught us about the double swaddle! Of course a measly SINGLE swaddle would not compel our angel to sleep. We confidently double swaddled; the bassinet continued to lay empty.
It was at this time that I began to blearily stumble into Babies ‘R’ Us about once a week holding out my credit card and incoherently mumbling, “Just take my money and help.” Halo, Summer Infant, The Miracle Blanket. Something shaped like a pea-pod. Cotton (he’s too cold!). Mesh (clearly hot!). Velcro, zippers, duct tape (kidding). One arm in, both arms in, legs in, legs out. Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit was a particularly entertaining attempt. A noise machine, a snuggle nest, a lovey, all the pacifiers, and at least four different nursery chairs (the parents of children who do not sleep have strong opinions about nursery chairs). I’m actually shocked we didn’t seek out a shaman (here, my husband interjects: “It’s not too late for exorcism!”).
I vividly remember the night I decided I NEEDED the aforementioned co-sleeper, and the triumph I felt when my emergency 9 p.m. trip was a success. I made my husband set it up then and there. We had a modicum of success with this — as long as I lay in my own bed holding his hand. Needy little bugger.
After finally moving him into his real crib, there was a baby sleep regression. Obviously the crib mattress was too hard for our sweet little cherub’s delicate constitution. I pranced out to get him a cushioned mattress cover. The cashiers at Babies ‘R’ Us took up a collection for my next visit.
At present we have a king-sized bed in our room, queen- and twin-sized mattresses in the preschooler’s room on the floor, and a crib in the nursery. The pack and play we bought before we even had children lays dormant. I’m quite certain our kids have actually flipped us off every time we’ve tried to put them to sleep in it. The rejected queen box spring is in the barn. There’s another twin-sized mattress in the basement.
And guess what?
Nobody. Flipping. Sleeps.