We were accidental co-sleepers for about six months. Noise was perfectly happy in his crib from about 3 mos to 6 mos old, and then he went on strike. We are a peaceable people. And I cannot be peaceable when I am not getting any sleep. Knowing that the worst dangers of co-sleeping were past us at 6 months, we began a pattern that can only be construed among the crib-only folks as bad.
See, Noise wouldn't put himself to sleep. He nursed to sleep. But the second you put him down in that crib, it was like the entire piece of furniture was wrapped in electric fencing. He would scream! So, we got in the habit of letting him drift off between us. For awhile, we would move him back into his crib once he was asleep. But when he woke in the night, he would invariably scream out, again unable to put himself back to sleep. Noise was a joy to sleep with. The child just flat out did not move for twelve hours. And he slept with his little arms up by his ears (I sleep the same way, we call it "wings") flat on his back. On weekends, you could always cajole another hour or so of sleep out of him by nursing him and then snuggling in. It was like having my very own Snuggle bear.
When Noise turned one, we decided it was time to boot him. I was newly pregnant, and not so comfy, and my milk was drying up which was a constant source of frustration for him-- to be so close and yet so far from milky goodness. It took only four nights of slowly sitting closer and closer to the door, and since that time he has been a child who would just lay there for hours, willing himself to sleep, never even contemplating getting out of bed.
Until the last month or so.
At some point in the middle of the night, sometime between 2 and 5, we have been getting a visitor. Often, we don't even notice he's there until Funk wakes up coughing. Or until Noise starts caressing my face in my sleep, cooing how much he loves me. Or until he gets the wiggles. Part of it is that he's just not sleeping as soundly as he used to. Part of it is that he's scared, I think. Part of it is that we're snuggly.
But I am at a loss. On one hand, we are not sleeping well with him in the bed. On the other hand, we're really not sleeping anyway because of Funk's coughing. He's so sweet and snuggly, but I don't want to fight kicking a 10 year old out of our bed, you know? I just don't know how hard to fight this fight. Is this really a problem if everyone is getting sleep? It can't last forever, and I will miss these nights when they are gone. And I remember being a kid, laying awake and terrified, and knowing that if I tried to crawl into bed with my parents that my dad would be angry.
I'm just torn. There's the idea of what I "should" do(boot him back to his own bed,) and the reality of what I feel should be done (nothing,) and they are definitely at odds.