Posted by Duff

Thank you,  Graco, for allowing my household to sleep.

When I was pregnant with The Dervish, I registered for the Angelcare monitor and never got around to getting it.  No big deal, I thought. Instead, I just checked on her 55 times a night, sometimes waking her up when putting a hand on her chest to check for breathing. Infants, when they sleep, sleep so very soundly, it’s crazy-making.

It wasn’t until Atticus was born that I stopped this practice (at least where The Dervish was concerned).

But, as babies do, Atticus had his own agenda, and it boiled down to acrobatics. Since he wouldn’t sleep away from me, he slept on my chest. He didn’t sleep well. When I finally fell asleep, I slept so deeply that Atticus was able to attempt a feat of newborn gymnastics without my waking. It was the end of the co-sleeping I’d never wanted to do in the first place.

My son screamed at me from carseats, bouncy seats, sleep positioners, and of course, his back until he was a sweaty mess. And I had a breakdown. We were all exhausted, and he couldn’t be prevented from readjusting himself  to his belly. The poor thing was beyond overtired, and spent the better part of his days and nights howling, trembling, inconsolable.

And we gave up. And took shifts watching him sleep. Even though he rolled over at two weeks and could do a pushup by six, I was (and still am) petrified of SIDS.

And then a seasoned mother of three tummy sleepers recommended the Angelcare monitor. *

The first night we used it I had a lot of trouble falling asleep. Until the alarm sounded. Atticus had scooted too far away from the sensor. Which assured me that the monitor took its job very seriously, and was highly sensitive to lack of movement.

We have slept better ever since. The alarm still sounds occasionally, but only because Atticus already uses the full expanse of his crib and could probably scoot the length of the house if bars didn’t hold him in.

I always said my kids would sleep on their backs, in their cribs, from day one. 

Kids have a way of stomping on “I Never”, though.

The Dervish fell for a sleep positioner and partial swaddle. From day three, Atticus had no intention of staying asleep for more than an hour unless given free reign, and his insomnia was in danger of hampering his development.

Now, he flings dimples at me far more than the frustrated, irrational tears of sleep deprivation. I daresay he is happy. Most of the time. Something that, as a parent, I am not used to.

I still worry, because I usually believe the AAP when they make recommendations. But Atticus has all but told me I have no choice but to trust his judgement.

I will breathe a sigh of relief when he turns one. But in the meantime, the Angelcare monitor helps us all sleep at night. That and having adopted the zen attitude I’d previously reserved for staving off fears of various apocalyptic events.

Nine and a half months to go.

*IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Graco does not recommend that infants sleep on their stomachs and does not state that their product will make such positioning safe.