Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baby B co-sleeps and Daddy K wears a cat cap

Baby B is now one month and 4 days old and we're finding that parenting time with a newborn is trans-dimensional: one day can disappear in a blink and stretch out to years simultaneously. It's an erratic metronome that bends time and loses sleep.

Speaking of sleep, or lack thereof, what are the best scenarios for living with baby? We've heard so many recommendations and where baby should sleep in the first year (and beyond), and the arguments for co-sleeping and crib-sleeping can be emotionally charged on both sides.


We get Parenting magazine and Mama A marks the pages she wants me to read (great pub with quick, easy-to-read articles for overworked, sleep-deprived daddies). She had me read an article titled Dad's-Eye View: The Baby in the Middle. It's funny and scary – another erratic metronome – and shares the story of sharing bed with baby and how long it can take to get them into their own room and bed.


We're taking the co-sleeping route with bed sharing as well. We're familiar with the SIDS and roll-over arguments (we do have fans going), and even the good folk I talk with at DadLabs mostly agreed to not have the babies in bed with you. But I'm used to sleeping on a sliver of bed on the edge of my side; our cat Chelsea had claimed the center and has recently tried to reclaim it as well.


Oh God, I know. We're making sure the cat doesn't sleep too close to Baby B, no worries there. But Chelsea and Mama A have kept me fused to my side of the bed for years – now there are three girls keeping the man down. (I need a shot of Life on Mars – great new gritty cop show with a twist.)


Bea didn't want to be born at home, but she sure as heck will share our room for at least the next 6+ months (which is recommended by the America SIDS Institute). And as we transition her to the bassinet next to our bed, we'll share the bed with diligence, awareness, much love and a 133-year-old cat.


So while the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warned that bed-sharing was associated with an increase in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the work of James McKenna, Ph.D., an anthropologist shows SIDS rates to be lower in countries where co-sleeping is the norm, and the attachment-parenting theories of Babytalk contributing editor William Sears, M.D. (Both experts believe parents can -- and must -- co-sleep safely). More women do it that you think.


My hip and progressive Aunt Margene recently shared some incredible insight with us about breast feeding and bed sharing and one line that truly resonated with me was this:


An independent and self-assured child results from being accepted and allowed to be as totally and unequivocally DEPENDENT as they clearly are born to be.


I agree. Thanks, Auntie M. Baby B is a love child and we're her flower children. Somebody get the cat off my head.

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