Sunday, 9 November 2008

Sweet dreams

Hush little baby, don't say a word,
Momma's gonna buy you a mocking bird.

Last night as I was laying in bed beside my little boy putting him to sleep, he snuggled up against me and put his arm around me, resting his tiny hand on my back. I think I melted. It got me thinking back over the months of co-sleeping - months of little fingers grasping mine, months of warm snuggles, months of peaceful sleeps and easy wake-ups.

If that mocking bird don't sing,
Momma's gonna buy you a diamond ring.

It also got me thinking back to how our co-sleeping began. We hadn't planned to co-sleep, not really, but we knew we wanted our baby close in those first few months. He had a bassinet right next to our bed. He slept in it at night and during the occasional nap - the rest of his naps he slept either on my lap or snuggled close in a baby carrier (usually a wrap back in those days).

If that diamond ring turns brass,
Momma's gonna buy you a looking glass.

This worked for a while. We were extremely spoiled with a baby who slept six hours straight each night by the time he was a week old, and slept ten hour stretches by the time he was a month old. Like I said, extremely spoiled. But he started making up for it when he turned 3 months old (as those early sleeping babies are prone to do), waking up first once each night, then twice, then more and more until he was up nearly every.single.hour for a stretch of I-was-too-tired-to-remember-how-many weeks.

If that looking glass gets broke,
Momma's gonna buy you a billy goat.

Exhaustion. At first I kept up the whole bassinet thing. He'd wake up for food, I'd sit up and feed him, try not to fall asleep, change his diaper, and put him back to sleep in the bassinet. Repeat as many times as he woke up in a night.

If that billy goat won't pull,
Momma's gonna buy you a cart and bull.

One night it was same as usual - he woke up, I fed him. Suddenly, I don't know how much later, I snapped awake in a full-out panic and realized I had no idea where my baby was, had no memory of putting him back to sleep, the light was still on, and oh-my-goodness where was he and was he okay and how could I do such a thing? I frantically searched the bed and the floor. Finally I noticed him sound asleep in his bassinet - apparently I had put him back to sleep after all, despite having no memory of it and having fallen back asleep with the light on.

If that cart and bull turns over,
Momma's gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

From that night on, he slept with us. When he woke up, I'd latch him on and we'd both lie there peacefully until we fell asleep again. He didn't start consistently sleeping through the night again until he was a year old, but co-sleeping made it so much more bearable. We both got more sleep because of it. But more than that, there's just something so sweet and so natural and so right about having your children tucked up beside you while you sleep at night. Now that we do it, I couldn't imagine it any other way.

If that dog named Rover won't bark,
Momma's gonna buy you a horse and cart.

We still nurse to sleep most nights, but we've had a few nights lately where he's fallen asleep with me kneeling down beside the bed and singing to him instead. He even has his favourite songs already. He'll point at my mouth when he wants me to start singing. If it's not the song he wants, he'll cover my mouth with his hand until I stop, then point at it again for a new song. When I finally start singing the song he wants, he breaks out into a big grin and lets out one of his adorable little maniacal giggles that I love so much.

And if that horse and cart fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

Much to my chagrin, he has decided that his favourite song is Hush Little Baby. While I am pleased to have finally memorized the lyrics to this song (I used to always get confused somewhere around the looking glass breaking), it's never been one of my favourites. I mean, what a materialistic song! I most certainly will not buy him all of those things! I think I should rewrite it, sing him my own version.

Hush Little Baby, don't you cry,
Momma's gonna sing you a lullaby.

When your blue eyes start to close,
Momma's gonna kiss you on your nose.

When you wake all bleary-eyed,
Momma's gonna be right at your side.

When the laundry must be done,
Momma's gonna let you in on all the fun...

And so on and so forth. Brilliant, no?


  1. Love your version of the song!

    and the way he gets the song he wants is SO CUTE!

  2. You know what this song has always confused me too..

    This was a great entry. So creative!

  3. Your co-sleeping journey came about just like ours. We hadn't really planned on it, and Hannah slept so well the first 3 months or so on her own...but then, well, things change. :) I'm happy about it! I really enjoy having her near me at night.

    Hannah's favorite song for me to sing to her at night is 'Hush Little Baby' as well. ;)

  4. Oh, I love that version! I also hated the whole idea of singing to your children about how every time something's defective or broken you just buy something new, but it's such a lovely little tune. I think I should learn your words and sing them instead!