i really just have more stuff to write about, hence the part two. here’s a bonus 17-week maternity swimsuit photo (unaltered) to ease us in.
so, i’m totally stoked & simultaneously a little chagrined that it took me 17 weeks of pregnancy (plus the eight solid months of trying to conceive, plus the two years of pre-conception baby rabies) to think up the perfect place for the baby to sleep! i knew from the get-go that i didn’t want this baby in a crib. that’s just not my jam at all, & i don’t want to have to deal with getting up & having to bruise my armpits on a crib railing to pick baby up for a middle-of-the-night feeding. plus, in our tiny little house, there’s really nowhere to put a crib.
i pitched the idea of co-sleeping to jared & he was on board. (as he has been for like everything i have suggested for this baby. cloth diapering? let’s do it. baby-led weaning? sounds great. baby sign language? why not. babywearing? makes total sense. d.i.y. baby purees? as if we’d do anything else.) at first, i figured we’d get an arm’s reach co-sleeper. the baby can be on my side of the bed, so i can just reach over & scoop it up for nighttime snacks, but it wouldn’t actually be IN the bed, which is a morass of ever-shifting blankets & pillows & adults. i am seriously the thrashiest sleeper, & my side of the bed looks like a hobo encampment that’s been hit by a tornado EVERY morning. it’s even worse now that i have the snoogle. it’s just really not a safe space for a baby. with the baby in its own zone, maybe it will have a fighting chance at staying alive.
but then i talked to some co-sleeping mamas who sleep with their babies in the bed. they say your sleep habits change when you have a baby & you’re always aware of where it is, even if you’re asleep. one mama i know said she used to be a really thrashy sleeper too, but now she sleeps through the night in one safe position so her baby can sleep next to her. i was like, “okay, sounds legit. maybe that will work for me too.” & then i heard about the humanity co-sleeper, which is a kind of mat thing with a pillow built on to the side to keep the baby from slipping between the mattress & the wall. i decided we should do that.
but after a few weeks, it suddenly occurred to me that babies nap a lot during the day. where would the baby nap if all we have is this weird mat/body pillow thing for an adult bed? once the baby can roll, it’s not really safe to leave it in the bed without pillow forts on all sides, & before the baby can roll, it risks being smothered by our mattress pad. plus i don’t want to be stuck in the bedroom keeping an eye on the baby while it naps. sure, sometimes i’ll be napping too, but sometimes i’m going to want to seize the opportunity to brush my teeth or pay some bills or something. so we went back to the co-sleeper idea.
& suddenly today i remembered that some people (including a mama i know, so i have no idea how i forgot that this was an option) buy regular cribs & turn them into side cars for their beds! duh! this is fucking genius! it addresses all the problems! baby has its own nighttime sleep zone but is still right there for feedings. it can go down for naps there & will only require a pillow fort on one side. it can stay in the sidecar until it’s kind of old–but the arm’s reach co-sleeper isn’t safe to use as a co-sleeper anymore once the baby can sit up (like six months-ish). it can be used as a play yard then, but obviously that’s not really where you want your baby to be sleeping at night. jared’s pretty handy & can probably transform a cheapo crib off craig’s list into a side car. i’m so stoked! i was looking at dropping like $200 for a co-sleeper we’d only be able to use for like maybe a year, tops–& that’s if we get a really lazy baby. we can find a used crib for a fraction of the price & use it twice as long!
i mean, part of the reason i want to do all this co-sleeping babywearing breastfeeding baby food-making natural birth stuff is because it’s the CHEAP way to have a baby. if you don’t have painkillers at birth, you don’t have to pay an anesthesiologist. if you breastfeed, you don’t have to shell out money for formula. cloth diapers require an upfront investment, but over time, they are WAY cheaper than using a fresh disposable diaper every time your baby “visits the office,” as jared puts it, & cloth diapered babies are sometimes toilet trained sooner too. a sling is way cheaper than a stroller. mashing up some bananas or avocados for the baby is a lot less expensive than buying bananas & avocados pre-mashed in glass jars.
there’s this natural parenting community thing i read on the interwebz, & one of the women involved posted an article last night about how a new study shows that vaginally birthed babies have higher IQs than cesarean-birthed babies. i thought it was so totally stupid. like, “sorry you didn’t get into college, junior, i just could not dilate for the life of me!” i recently took an IQ test & scored 138–that’s “smarter” than 99.5% of all other people. so smart, in fact, that i can tell you that IQ tests have been shown to be culturally biased & not predictive of successful life outcomes. just look at me, i dropped out of high school. maybe it’s because i was born via cesarean–i’m smart, but not smart enough to do anything with it. maybe there’s some benefit to pureeing your own baby food & toting baby around in a sling, but i don’t subscribe to this whole “parenting choices determine a child’s success or failure in life”. ultimately the kid will start making its own decisions. i’m just trying to do what i can to mitigate the beating my checking account is taking in the meantime.