We’re cosleepers. That is, we let our baby sleep with us in bed. It’s pretty nice for me because I get the nice feeling of knowing that my baby’s near at hand, but it’s rough on M, who generally spends the night either nursing or being climbed upon. Lennie is an acrobatic nurser, an acrobatic sleeper. She’s been known to nurse standing up on M’s lap and bent over at the waist, mostly asleep. She’s nursed nearly upside down. It’s crazy. She also used to be a big pincher, and M’s got one mole that Lennie likes to twiddle and tug on. This, we’ve decided, is hereditary, and I figure it’s just payback for all the bumps M’s picked at on me all these years, often in spite of my loud and spastic protestations.
In the last couple of months, we’ve actually been able to put Lennie down in the bed in her room (I say “the bed in her room” rather than “her bed” because our old queen bed is on the floor in her room, and we can put her down in it but not in her own bed, which has pretty much never been used). She’ll sometimes sleep in there for hours at a time, and it’s been a big relief for M, who can get a few hours in until Lennie wakes up at 3:30 in the morning to begin the slugfest. I suppose we could be hard-asses and let the kid scream, do the whole cry-it-out method. That seems to work for many, but it’s not something we’re comfortable doing, though we know perfectly well-adjusted kids who’ve cried it out.
A few weeks ago, I woke up in the morning with no recollection of having heard Lennie crying but with a dim dreamish memory of having woken up to find her walking through the living room and having brought her to bed. A few nights later, I woke up to a tiny rapping at our bedroom door, and when I got up to see what was up, there stood Lennie. She broke down as soon as she saw me, flopped onto the floor, and started crying. This was sort of a big milestone. She knows that we’re around when she wakes up, and she knows that she can come find us. She’s done this a couple of other times as well. Last night, I heard her crying in the living room and went in to scoop her up.
We’re careful now about keeping a living room and a kitchen light on so that she can see her way to our room. While this is a very cool milestone, it’s also a little scary. I can see her waking up, not feeling especially tired or clingy, and playing in the living room by herself. When she’s under even peripheral observation, her playing more or less alone is fine, but her doing so with both of us dead asleep in the other room freaks me out a bit. The other day, she climbed up and stood up on her little play table, for example, and she sometimes crawls up onto the coffee table or stands on the couch and bounces. Unpoliced, she could hurt herself. For now, she’s usually too groggy to do any of these things, I think, but that may not always be the case.
All worries aside, we’re very pleased that our little girl has demonstrated this new trick and feels enough at home to make her way to our bedroom. It doesn’t surprise us, but it does please us to know that she feels secure that we’ll be where she expects us to be.