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The Sweetest Part of the Day

I wanted to finish off our official Sleep Week here at 1M2A on a positive
note. I look back and see a week of frustration and venting and hysterical
relief that things have gotten better, and I have to cleanse my kvetching
palate with the part of Maddie and sleeping that I love: mornings.

also have to make a confession in the interest of full disclosure.

been on the record as a Ferber girl and have already said that the family
bed doesn’t work for us. But the truth is, we do sometimes snuggle up
together and I’m honestly a bit addicted.

We’ve never brought Madeleine into bed with us in the middle of the night;
I’ve often wanted to just to be able to go back to sleep, but the fear of
having to train her back into her own crib has kept me from doing so. And
in the early days I was never comfortable napping with her: I’d lie there
terrified to breathe or stir, incredibly uncomfortable and counting the
minutes until naptime was over. But the older she got and the lower SIDS
got on my list of Things To Worry About Nonstop, the more I found myself
enjoying a midday snuggle with her.

It was never a regular thing
with us; it was more of a Sunday Afternoon Treat when we would all lie
down together, or a last-ditch attempt to get her to take a much-needed
nap. See, Maddie’s never been much of a napper; 30 minutes was the best
you could expect – unless you were next to her. Put a warm body next to a
four-month-old Madeleine and she’d sleep four two hours.


You can see why it was attractive.

As she got older
and started moving her wake-up time from 9 a.m. to 8 a.m. (or sooner) I
began to see the merits of bringing her into bed with me. At the very
least, I could give her the first nursing of the day while I stole a few
extra minutes of sleep. And if she woke up crying at 7 a.m. or so, well
then bring her in with us and she’d sleep for a few more hours!

we’ve gotten into a routine now, girlie and I. She wakes at 8, Brian (good
man) gets up and brings her into bed with us, she nurses while I slowly
wake up, and then we cuddle and talk for a half hour or so. I love seeing
her face when she rolls over, pushes herself up on her arms inches from my
face, and beams at me –the first big, awake smile of the day. She’ll
collapse back on me and snuggle up for a few seconds before popping up
again, ready to get up and move. With Maddie sitting between me and Brian,
the snooze button counts down a few precious minutes of the three of us
hanging out and cuddling. Madeleine chats excitedly about her plans for
the upcoming day while we half-doze and smile at her.

The older
she’s gotten, the more attractive co-sleeping has become, purely for
selfish reasons. I love taking an afternoon nap with her spooned up
against me, arm flung over her face. I love waking up in the early
morning, bringing her in with us, and sleeping as a family for a few extra
hours. I know I’m lucky that she hops easily into our bed and just as
easily back out of it, so I get the best of both worlds. Because I also
know that having her full-time in our bed is not an option, either for her
or for our marriage.

But oh, I do love the mornings.


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