So we did something kind of wild last weekend, and we sold our crib. I know what you’re thinking: why sell a crib when you still have a crib-aged baby? Yep, we still have a little baby and now we have no crib, and the reason for that is because despite being of an age where babies usually sleep in cribs, Oscar never wanted to sleep in his crib, or any kind of other baby-appropriate container that meant he wasn’t sleeping next to me. In fact, from the moment he entered the world all that he has wanted to do was sleep next to me and be close to me. But, everyone kept telling us that wasn’t what he was supposed to do, so we tried to change it. We tried to ‘train’ our baby to sleep in the crib. And because he is my son and Dean’s son, he stubborn refused to be trained or change in any way. He asserted himself quite clearly, and the more we forced the point the worse we all felt about it, the more we felt like failures. And, of course, the more exhausted we all became (particularly me) from trying, in vain, to get our kid to sleep in his crib.
Then a few months ago we gave up, and Oscar started to sleep in our bed with us and we adjusted our bed accordingly and everyone slept a lot better and felt a lot happier. But, there at the end of the bed stood this crib, this strange cage-like piece of furniture that Oscar disliked so very much. I just got so sick of seeing it there, staring at me with this expectation that Oscar would NEED to learn to sleep in the crib. But all around me were people telling me that I was doing Oscar a disservice by not having him sleep in a crib and that I was making my life harder, when really I felt it was actually so much easier.
So I kept telling people that I’d be ‘crib training’ Oscar at some point in the future, and I’d accept advice, all the while thinking that I really didn’t want to do anything of the sort. In fact the whole time I was thinking that I’d be quite happy snuggling up to this little baby, who would not be little forever, even if that meant being woken during the night for a snack, or being occasionally sleep kicked. I was thinking that I actually felt it was a blessing, not a chore, to fall asleep listening to his gentle breathing and feeling him reach his little hand out towards me just to make sure I was still there. That to me, these things were a part of what I saw as being Oscar’s mum, and just as valuable as the opportunity to sleep like a log for 8 hours at night. But for some reason, I just couldn’t say these things out loud to anyone but Dean, and so I kept talking about crib training.
Then, a few weeks ago, I decided that I was done with this weird charade, with pretending that Dean and I were suddenly going to become ‘by-the-book’ parents who would train Oscar to sleep in his crib. We knew that wasn’t us, and that whatever people say, co-sleeping was working for us as a family and for our relationship too. So, we sold the crib. And here we are a few days later, relishing the extra space in our bedroom and the cash in our wallets, and loving nothing more than falling asleep to the gentle breathing of a little boy who got exactly what he wanted, which turned out to be what we needed all along.