How I Turned My Back On My Baby and why it was a positive thing.
“Are you ready?”
“Are you scared?”
“Is your hospital bag packed?”
“Will you breastfeed?”
“Is his nursery ready?”
“Where is he going to sleep?”
Of all the (moderately invasive) questions that we get asked when the world knows that we are pregnant, I absolutely did not expect, “Where is he going to sleep?” to throw me for such a loop.
As you grow up, you just kind of assume that someday you will get married and then have a baby.
As a result, you assume you will have a home and that your baby will sleep in his (or her) own little room in that home.
Then suddenly before you can even blink (or so it would seem) that little imaginary future person is in your arms staring (or glaring!) up at you.
Now is when you can go ahead and take all that logic and assumption that you have relied on SO much… and go ahead and toss it out the window. Cause my darlin, you are DONE.
This little person will now consume most every single thought that you have. And if you are anything like me… where he is going to sleep is going to be in like the top 3.
(Only rivaled by oh my God breast feeding hurts, and do epidurals make house calls?)
Now my husband and I were lucky enough to have been gifted my DREAM bed for Reef by my wonderful Mom and Stepdad since it was the only thing I really wanted. (Thanks guys :).
It was the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper and it was practical in addition to being safe.
I wanted it because he would be right next to us, I could swing it over the bed if I wanted, and to get him out all I needed to do was gently pull down the side bar and pick him up.
Well… sort of…
I mean, it was great having him beside the bed. And it COULD swivel over the bed, technically, however I never used that feature… Ever… And to my biggest disappointment, the side bar takes some serious muscle to pull down. Muscle which I don’t have on my best days, let alone after birthing a child.
None the less, I enjoyed it and it definitely got the job done.
Until I realized something, I wanted my baby sleeping in the bed with me.
And then I realized something else that I would bet 90% of mothers realize.
SIDS is real. SIDS is terrifying. And SIDS makes you feel like you have zero control over protecting this tiny little person that means more to you than your own life.
For those of you unfamiliar, SIDS is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,(it can also be referred to as SUIDS – Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Syndrome) and my heart bleeds daily for those whose lives have been affected by the saddest of tragedies.
As a new mom I have done a lot of research on this because frankly it absolutely terrifies me to my very core. And because of this I would like to share some of the most current safety tips when it comes to SIDS:
- DO always put your baby to sleep on his back.
- DON’T put blankets or toys in her crib.
- DO use a pacifier at sleep time.
- DON’T smoke while pregnant, and don’t allow anyone to smoke around your infant.
- DO try swaddling your child.
- DON’T put your baby to sleep on his side.
- DO have her sleep in a crib in your room.
- DON’T share your bed with your baby.
- DO make sure the crib mattress is firm and tight-fitting.
- DON’T overdress your child or put his crib near a heat source.
Now, I read lists like this OVER and OVER and OVER.
There were no stuffed animals, blankets, or bumpers.
The temperature was never too hot, he was always placed on his back. Smoking didn’t exist around me throughout my pregnancy. And of course we had our bedside bassinet!
However I still could not shake the fear and discomfort I had.
In fact things got SO crazy that I started refusing to sleep with my back turned to him because I was convinced that it would aid in my inability to help him if something happened. (I swear, this is all true)
So now I was only sleeping on my right side, facing him, with a low light on so I could be sure to see his face at all times and I was sleeping SO minimally that it was starting to get unhealthy.
Then there was a glowing green light at the end of the tunnel. Our heroes (Brad and Victoria) got us the Owlet, which truly is one of the greatest blessings I have ever experienced. It helped me to sleep better than I had in weeks and started to help me to ease my mind.
Unfortunately, the problem still arose that I felt uneasy.
In fact, the only time I felt comfortable sleeping was when he was lying on my chest and we would both sleep with neither of us moving. (I know it makes NO sense considering my irrational fear).
However, I would’t allow myself that comfort very often because of those fears. (I was of course convinced that my husband, who basically sleeps like the dead, was going to roll over onto him and suffocate him.)
But for me, co-sleeping is something that I knew was right for us, I just needed to find a way to do it that felt safe for me.
And finally, at 4 months old, we found something that fits our family.
And the item that has pretty much saved my ability to sleep?
Our DocATot Grande.
It is honestly amazing. It allows us to have Reef in our bed without the constant fear of one of us rolling over on top of him.
Made of air permeable materials that are breathable, in addition to being washable AND hypoallergenic.
The DocATot is perfect for co-sleeping.
We just rest him in it, directly between us, and there we sleep soundly throughout the night
It is amazing.
(And on top of that, we use it for his nap time as well. Fear of him rolling off, or getting stuck between anything like the couch cushions does not exist, and we can put him basically anywhere in it. Not to mention he sleeps like his father in it. Two hour naps are a constant reality in this house when he is put to bed in his DocATot. And that makes this momma a truly happy woman.)
Basically, now, for the first time, I can turn my back on my baby and sleep soundly, comfortably and without guilt.
I only wish I had known about it sooner!
There is a DocATot Deluxe and a DocATot Grande.
The DocATot Deluxe is recommended for babies ages 0-8 months old.
While the Grande is generally recommended for babies ages 9-36 months.
We ended up with the DocATot Grande, however.
Since Reef is already so huge I thought the Grande would be a better fit.
And now as we near closer to his 6 month “birthday” I am getting more and more comfortable in my new mommy role.
BUT, I will say, there are some amazing products that have helped me along the way.
The DocATot is one of those products, therefore I would recommend it to anyone out there.
Especially anyone who is looking for a sleeping option that is a little different than what you might have expected when you thought of your future baby all those years ago!
(Head on over here to purchase one of your own!)
(I also just want to say that I believe every parent should be able to make their own decisions about what are the best sleeping arrangements for their family, without the judgment of anyone else. This just happens to be my personal opinion on what works best for us. Rock on Mommas!)
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