Soon after Bill was born, I blogged about co-sleeping with him (as I had my other children). He’s been a fantastic mattress buddy: quiet, cuddly but not clingy, and rolls away after nursing to allow me the space to get comfortable and go back to sleep. (The girls all insisted I hold them all night. VERY high maintenance.)
But in recent weeks, I have noticed a change. First of all, he’s bigger than he was as a newborn. (He’s now 18 months old.) He still nags me to nurse several times a night, and doesn’t take kindly to refusals. And he’s taken up the habit of rotating himself in the bed so that he’s perpendicular to the Cap’n and me, forcing both of us to the edges of our mattresses. In addition to these issues, summer is here with an unusually high mosquito population, and Bill has been eaten alive on several nights.
The girls were this age (or younger) when we transitioned them into their own beds. The fact that we live in a house with stairs now means it’s a bit more complicated than putting baby in a bed down the hall and escorting him back if he tries to sneak – or storm – back into the room. So Bill is in a portable crib (with a fitted mosquito net) in an alcove off our room. This keeps him out of traffic areas in our bedroom, and out of sightlines of us.
We’ve had a few pretty sleepless nights (erev Shabbat he howled for three and a half hours straight), but every night it gets better, and he’s slowly coming to accept that this nylon-and-mesh hoosegow is his new bed. And I am finally able to put away the bedrail, stretch out, and – theoretically – sleep through the night (though I think motherhood has ruined that for me forever).
There’s something bittersweet about going through all the familiar phases with Bill: swapping up the infant carseat for a convertible one, retiring the baby backpack, and now moving him out of the bed. Bitter because we don’t anticipate doing this again in the future, and it’s gone by so fast. But sweet because every piece of my body, my personal space, and my life I get back is a little bit of sweetness that was temporarily suspended, and is now returning.