Three times a mummy

Co-sleeping. Whose choice is it?

on November 27, 2012

Someone asked me the other day about whether or not I decided to co-sleep with my babies.

My answer – I had made the decision not to co-sleep, the first reason being, safety. I had read far too much on the risks, although I am sure most of it was “fear mongering”, I did not want to be that one in million person. Secondly, I didn’t want to encourage bad habits. I had heard people talk about there 3 year old getting into bed with them every night. And thirdly, I wanted to enjoy being close to my husband without a child in between us, the night would be the only time we would get alone together.

I am currently in bed writing this post with my 3 year old asleep next to me.

He didn’t share the same views on co-sleeping as we, his parents, did. And from a very young age, of a whole one day old, he made his feelings on the matter very clear. He wanted to co-sleep.

The first night we had him home we tried everything to do get him to sleep. In the wee hours we gave to him and let him sleep laying face down on our chests. We both took it in turns to hold him whilst the other slept. But tiredness took over and we both fell asleep with him on us. That was the start of things.

Baby number 2 came along. During my pregnancy I was adamant that this time we would not let the same thing happen. Bear was born 8 weeks early. He was in hospital 4 and a half weeks. He was an angel at sleeping. He barely cried. You could put him down in his cot awake and would fall asleep without a murmur. Then we brought him home and he turned from sleeping all the time to being awake all the time. Sleeping only when he was being held, and waking as soon as you put him down. With him being so small I really worried about him being in bed with us. Again, we tried everything to get him to sleep in his Moses basket, cot, pram or anywhere. Nightmare. I tried swaddling, sleeping bags, putting clothes I had worn in the basket with him, a dummy, a slumberbear, stroking him to sleep, putting a hot water bottle in on his mattress to warm it up before putting him in and more. Something’s did not work at all, something’s worked once, even twice. But nothing worked long term. I was sleep deprived. Having a toddler at home too meant that I couldn’t nap when baby napped. I gave in every night, and he ended up in bed with us. I had to position myself in the most uncomfortable position so that I wouldn’t be able to roll on him.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is, some decisions a parent makes, and some decisions a baby makes. They don’t always match up and we have to given in, this is not always a bad thing.

Bear now sleeps like a dream. From 7 months he slept through the night and always sleeps in his cot. Jack on the other hand, still takes massive comfort in our bed. I think he has been going through some neurological development recently and has had a run of bad nights sleep and nightmares. I am glad he can find comfort in snuggling up to his parents and feel safe in our bed.

I don’t regret our babies choices to co-sleep. I am glad we had the extra cuddles and satisfaction of knowing that we were all the comfort they needed. And let’s be honest, there is nothing more special than looking down at your sleeping baby. Even at 4am!


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