Well, the day we brought him home from the hospital, not only did he sleep in our bed, but he slept on my chest. Probably not the best idea since I was taking some serious pain meds because I'd had a C-section. After about a week of that, I'd had enough. Oh, but didn't I love having the little guy lie on my chest while he and I breathed in unison and we could feel each other's heartbeat? Yeah, during the day, but at night, I just wanted to sleep for the love of God! The kid only slept for like 2 hours at a time and during those 2 hours, I didn't particularly want to lie there stiff as a board with no pillows around me for fear that he might accidentally roll off my chest and suffocate.
So, we moved him to his crib. Yes, it was hard to have to get up every single time he cried, needed changed, or wanted to eat, but we knew we were doing what was best for the whole family. I'm not opposed to co-sleeping, it just wasn't for us.
Fast forward 2 years. We now have a happy, healthy, talkative preschooler that goes to sleep at 7:30pm in his crib and stays there all night. (Minus the period when he was 6 - 9 months old). We read him a couple of books, put him in bed, and he says, "Night night, love you." How awesome is that? Very, except for the fact that in order to actually go to sleep he has to have the Holy Trinity with him: Blankie, Ninnie, and Little Red Car.
Blankie and Ninnie (pacifier) are no big deal. The blankie is big and blue and he's had it since he was a newborn. Ninnies, please, we have like 350 of those lying around the house. We will never be without a ninnie. Believe that. However, Little Red Car is going to cause me to have a stroke.
Little Red Car is exactly what it sounds like. This little ass red car that we bought for him at Toys R Us about a year ago. Seriously, he has hundreds of cars, but for some reason (probably because it's the smallest one EVER) he loves that LRC. He absolutely has to have it in his hand in order to fall asleep. He also likes to carry it around during the day. I cannot even tell you how many nights we have put him to bed and the minute we walk out the door we hear, "Diddle Ded Har." Shit.
My husband and I go flying around the house as the cries for "Diddle Ded Har" get louder and more hysterical. Eventually my husband and I get hysterical, too. "Where the f*ck is the car?!?!?" One of us will shout to the other. We've always managed to find it and then we immediately go on the porch to have a beer to calm our nerves.
I'm sure you're asking why the hell I don't just go buy 10 more Little Red Cars. Well, because we can't find another one exactly like it. I've tried to give him other cars but he is having none of that.
So, a couple of lessons we've learned:
1. The hardship that is getting your child to go to sleep in his or her own bed, in his or her own room, is completely worth it. However, I would avoid moving into a house where your bedroom is on the first floor and all other bedrooms are on the second floor. Especially when your child is only 6 weeks old. Like we idiots did.
2. When you're baby gets sick, it's OK to have him sleep with you as long as you are prepared for him to stay there. For months. Please refer to the 6-9 months reference above.
3. Never let your child take anything to bed with him that you don't want to him to HAVE to have in order to fall asleep. Otherwise you'll find yourself running around the house looking for a 2 inch piece of red plastic with wheels on it as if it's the only thing that will save your soul from the devil himself.