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- Sleep is such a hot topic. Before the baby came people warned me that I’ll never get a good night of sleep again. They were wrong. I sleep better now than ever before. It makes me wonder if I had missed out on some heavenly sleep earlier in life. Perhaps people weren’t partying all night as I thought they did. Or maybe I had stayed up too many nights cramming for law school exams. Sleeping with my baby is infinitely better in comparison.
Once I became a parent, people constantly asked if my baby is a good sleeper. I don’t know the proper answer to that. I have no point of reference. I have never counted how many hours he slept or how many times he woke up. How he sleeps is how he sleeps. I trust he knows when to sleep and it’s not up to me to change it.
And then there is the question of how do you sleep outside. What baby gears do you use? We sleep together the same way inside and outside, in the van, a tent, a teepee, a yurt, or on a boat. We are always on the same surface sharing the same blanket.
We started backpacking and camping with our baby when he was six weeks old. We camped out the first night in the same setup as we had when we camped as a couple. Our two person tent was so tiny the baby had to sleep on top of me. Switching to a three person tent was the extent of our modification for adding the baby. There was no need for any baby gear except for a carrier (only because I have weak arms and didn’t recognize the chance to change that. If given the opportunity again I’d make a bigger effort to strengthen my arms and shoulders to be less dependent on baby carriers). Once we knew we could get by without anything outside we knew nothing is needed inside either. No bouncers, swings, walkers, high chairs, or even strollers at home. Those early backpacking days with our infant forever changed our perspectives on parenting and materialism.
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