Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Co-Sleeper's Dilemma

On Saturday night, illness invaded our house. At first, we didn't realise how bad it was going to be, it just seemed like both kids had a little cough. We had a marvelous day with friends and then at bedtime, the reality of our situation hit. There was absolutely no sleep and both kids were feverish and miserable. The coughing made the house sound like a t.b. ward. We began to implement the usual - we got out the humidifier, brought them into the bathroom with the shower running, began dosing with Advil and for Pk, we started dosing with honey (Baby Bean isn't a year yet so honey wasn't an option).

Monday evening led us to the walk-in clinic, where we were told it was viral and other than dosing with Advil and Tylenol, our options were fairly limited. Things did not get better and Baby Bean taught us that there is no limit to the amount of time a baby can be awake at night (I had been under the misconception that all children will eventually sleep - I was wrong). Wednesday night, we went back to the walk-in with Baby Bean. He didn't seem right and had cried constantly all afternoon. I had resorted to driving around randomly, hoping that the car would lull him to sleep. We were told that he needed antibiotics for a double ear infection, that he likely has bronciolitis and possibly pneumonia, as well. The doctor said that we were doing the right thing but that we needed to ensure that he was sleeping upright.

We are a co-sleeping family. The children are committed co-sleepers (at least, Pk was until about 8 months ago and this illness seems to have reawakened her need to have someone with her at night). Dh and I would probably be happier without little bodies in our beds, only because we might get a bit more sleep but we are weak and not fit for the battle. It's amazing how exhaustion can take the fight from you. I love my time with my littles and as a nursing mother, there are convenient aspects of co-sleeping but truly, I have very detailed fantasies about cool sheets, pillows I don't have to keep away from sleeping bodies and an urge to move my legs and sleep in the position most comfortable to me without having to consider the comfort of others.

As co-sleepers, that left us a bit flummoxed. We sleep in a large queen sized bed with a very solid pine frame. It doesn't lead to being tilted up. Baby Bean has always slept with me for the majority of the night. We couldn't figure out how to do it. He is too big for his swing, his carseat is now permanently in the car and we didn't think he would be willing to sleep in his crib.

When you really want something, you find a way to make it work and there are not words to express just how much I wanted more than 10 minutes of sleep. We remembered that our co-sleeper converts to a playyard and an idea was born...

The even bigger miracle is that it seems to be working. He slept much more last night than he has all week, despite still being miserable during the day and tonight, he is asleep again in the chair. Cross your fingers for me that it continues to work until he is well. This wave of illness is beginning to feel endless and I find that exhaustion often leads to sick mummies and daddies.


  1. Prayers are going up for you right now! It is miserable, and even more so without adequate sleep.

  2. That's exactly a bigger version of what we did with the Bun when he was tiny and had a cold! I had forgotten about that. How funny.

    Not funny? sick babes and no sleep. Hope everyone is better soon and spring reappears, the big tease.

  3. Thanks, guys. It's still a struggle and today we found out that 1. Baby Bean needs an inhaler for a bit for his wheezing and 2. Pk has an ear infection but at least we seem to be reaching the end of this run of poor health. Actually, horrible parents that we are, Dh and I have been having a laugh at poor Pk's expense - she can't hear anything right now and totally ignores much of what we say so we are having fun saying things that would normally get quite a reaction.

  4. Ooh... I hope you all have been having better sleep now. I know, this is older post already, but I'm reading in order, haha. I hope that you've been doing better!