Night time cuddles

by statia on July 25, 2010

The time:  Anywhere between 2 and 4AM

The Scene:  I blearily hear a small voice on the monitor.  ”Mama…Mama…Mama…Mama…Ma-Ma.”

I stumble out of bed, throw on some pants and make my way over to LG’s room.   She sits up, and looks at me, with her arms outstretched: “Utee.”   I pick her up, and we sit in the chair under a blanket for about ten minutes, while her body twitches and she falls back to sleep.    I put her bak in her crib, and she stirs a bit.  I say goodnight and she rolls back over and goes to sleep.

Because I’m not a good sleeper, I’m used to waking up at some point during the night for whatever reason.  Going to the bathroom, anxiety attacks, hearing a child wail or call me. So it’s not really much of a big deal for me to get up and rock LG for five minutes or so.   The Mini was worse in that he would want to be rocked until he was out cold, and should he wake up, at least half of the time, we’d have to start over.

Overall, my kids are pretty good sleepers.  So when I get “the look” from people when I tell them I still cuddle my kids in the middle of the night (not so much the Mini, because he mostly doesn’t wake up unless there’s something wrong, but I would rock him at night just like I do for her now), I feel somehow as if this is wrong.

But truthfully, there’s no right or wrong.  I know this.  This is what works for us.   I’m not in the cry it out camp.   They go back to bed with ease, so I see no problem with the snuggle time.  Especially since that time is over in the blink of an eye.

But I’m curious.  What type of sleep method parent are you?


donna July 25, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I am sort of a combo of cry it out and cuddler. I can usually tell when she really needs a cuddle or something is wrong, and when she’s just stalling going to sleep. I don’t go in when she calls when she’s stalling. But she’s not the sort that wails and cries about being alone in her room. If she were, I’m not sure I could do cry it out.

Betty M July 26, 2010 at 3:16 am

My method is whatever is going to give all of us the maximum possible sleep! So this can mean cuddles in the middle of the night or co-sleeping from whenever they wake up. I’ve not needed to cry it out but then I am relaxed about bedtimes within about an hour window and usually they are asleep within that window.

jesser July 26, 2010 at 8:32 am

I am all for cuddles on a sporadic basis – when they’re scared or sick or just having a rough night – but I don’t do it routinely. Our kids generally both go down and sleep all night though, so it’s not an issue. And I love it when I get the chance … but I don’t think I’d feel the same way if I had to wake up in the middle of the night all the time for it …

Wombat Central July 26, 2010 at 11:12 am

My kids are now 5 & 7, so they only get up if they’re sick or have had a bad dream. I’ll let them crawl in to bed with us if they’ve had a bad dream. Thankfully they’re both good sleepers. :)

Siera July 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Fuck what other ppl say. I still snuglge my 27 month old son. sometimes he just needs his mommy cuddles to settle. Be it b4 bed or the middle of the night. If he’s up and ready to play it’s different I give him a few toys in his crib and he’s on his own (if he is crying that’s different story) I don’t like the CIO either. He still has a bottle b4 bed, and my favorite time is cuddling him while he drinks it. He will take my hands and put it on the bottle for me to hold it for him. I’ll never breast feed him again so it’s all I have left of his baby hood. I am trying to savor the moments as they’ll never come back.

Tommie July 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm

We co-sleep. Not because we’re crunchy and enjoy it so much as because I’m lazy and my older daughter (now seven) was a HORRIBLE sleeper and didn’t sleep through the night until she was two years old. Even then, she was sleeping with me, but I could wake up, hand her the bottle of water sitting on the bedside table and go back to sleep.

I can’t do cry it out either. Just can’t. Tried it with older daughter, failed miserably and never even bothered with younger daughter.

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong either, just a ‘whevere works for your family.’

I’m all for cuddles anytime I can get/give them, though.

Betsy July 26, 2010 at 4:24 pm

We have a 5 minute rule – if he doesn’t put himself back to sleep in 5 minutes, I go in and cuddle. It’s so rare now – like once every couple of months that I kind of enjoy it when it happens.

Aunt Becky July 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I operate under the “whatever gets you through the night” way of parenting. They don’t sleep with me because I sleep like hot ass, but if they get up, I go and see why.

Veronica July 27, 2010 at 8:32 am

We did a CIO type thing when I was night weaning, but not really. I still snuggled and cuddled and I still do. Normally, one of the kids will need me at some point between 12am and 5am and they’ll get a cuddle and Isaac will get a nappy change and warm milk and then bed. 10 minutes, max. Like you, I sleep terribly, so I wake up often overnight anyway.

And really, there is nothing nicer than a snuggly sleep drunk child who wants a cuddle.

Faith July 27, 2010 at 12:27 pm

I’m not a parent, of course, but I just wanted to chime in and say that I think that the cuddling in the middle of the night thing sounds adorable, and very sweet, and not like it’s going to cause problems with sleeping down the road or anything like that. I don’t see a problem with it, really. (I do it with my 2.5 year old shih tzu-poo, though, so maybe I’m biased due to that!)

I give more of a side-eye to people like Tommie, personally (sorry!), because my brother and sis-in-law let their oldest sleep with them for several of the first years of life, and it’s been a bitch to them further down the road now that they realize they want to reclaim their parent space back. I can’t comprehend the desire to just allow the child to sleep in the bed from the start, until god knows what age, because it’s easier somehow.

But! Take that with a grain of salt! Because I don’t understand the desire to have kids in the first place, so there’s that. ;)

Mina July 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I like the phrase Betty M used: “My method is whatever is going to give all of us the maximum possible sleep!” Because of this, I normally wake up in the middle of the night and notice a warm body between me and the husband. We are so into our sleep, we actually taught our 3 year old that rather then sit in his room and call out to us, just come in and go to sleep. I think he’s so use to it he sleep walks to our room.

Mrs.Mayhem July 28, 2010 at 6:43 pm

I was so strict when my kids were babies, jokingly calling myself the “Nap Nazi.” But I shouldn’t have been! Time passes so quickly. Enjoy those cuddles while you can!

Lasha July 28, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I can’t do the CIO either, and I used to feel embarrassed when people “found out” that Will always ended up in our bed (or me in hers). Now she’s 3 1/2 and still ends up in our bed at some point every night. Truth is though, I have more trouble falling asleep than staying asleep (years of waiting for the inevitable wake-up) and I actually sleep better once she’s with me.

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