Co – Sleeping is always a bit of a taboo topic as the rules and safety regulations are always changing and I often find people are usually very quick to judge a mother based around if she co-sleeps. As far as I’m concerned, as long as the parents ensure they are co-sleeping safely, then I don’t see the problem nor a place for others to comment on what you as a mother are doing for your child. A sleeping baby means a happy baby, and a sleeping mummy means a happy mummy, which means everyone’s happy and nobody cries the next day! –
Disclaimer – Whilst I appreciate some of you might be reading through gritted teeth because you are totally against co-sleeping, why don’t you think about how there might be another mum reading this, who is despareate to try everything, anything, because they have a very grizzly baby who wont sleep, the baby is ratty, the mother is on a whole other level of feeling shit, feeling shit about the situation, feeling shit that her baby wont sleep, and feeling like a shit mum because shes already tried everything else, that maybe reading this might give her something new to try, and that it might work even for one night to give both of them a rest and some relief from stress. Sometimes you have to play the short game and that’s when all the rules go out of the window and by that point, you care a lot less about what some opinionated mum thinks on her latest passive aggressive tweet aimed at you / latest Insta Story rant trying to make you think what you’re currently doing with your child is wrong, and you prioritise you and your child and you do what works for YOU.
Now, the safety guidelines are there in place, and as a new mum I read them and they helped me to take precautions, but if I was practising some of the ways that they mention aren’t great, that isn’t to say it’s not great for MY baby, it’s that obviously for others it’s not been great and may have contributed to SIDS so it might not be advised. I’m not advocating you chuck the guidelines out the window, I’m just saying there is more than one way to skin a cat and your baby will want what it wants, regardless.
As it’s Safe sleeping awareness week, I thought I’d share with you guys why we can’t and don’t co-sleep, and don’t judge those that do!
People often ask “Is she good?”..Is she good? What does that even mean? Well, I can tell you all they really want to know is does she sleep at night, and thankfully now, Yes, but there was a point when it was a hard no when she was 2 months-3 months old and would be getting up every 2 hours. I literally wondered if you could die from lack of sleep/ broken sleep, I would find myself sat up on the edge of the bed feeding Amelia contemplating sleep deprivation as a form of torture and how it was so effective when she just wouldn’t settle. I would feel my temper rising, James still asleep oblivious to my struggles and I’d often mutter something loud enough to hopefully wake him, praying to the baby night shift gods to please let him take the hint and offer to help, and one blessed evening, he did.
He laid on on his side and ushered me to place Amelia in his arms he held out on the bed, so I placed our temperamental daughter in his arms and with a sigh of relief, went to the toilet that I’d been holding in for ..well I’d lost track of time and space and sanity by that point, but by the time I had got myself a drink and gone back in, they were both sparko, James holding Amelia in the middle of the bed cradling her, the duvet over him and her.
Amelia may of gotten sleep that night as well as James, but did I? No. I’m a large plus size woman and James is a 6ft, built bloke, and we sleep in a double bed. Most nights we’re almost touching anyway so add a baby into it and you’ve got a baby sandwich right there, and seeing as I’m like a bloody radiator I’d worry I’d over heat her anyway, let alone factoring our duvet into it. Thankfully it’s a thin duvet as we both get too hot in bed, but still.
So I got into bed forming our Amelia sandwich and faced in to them both, I tried 101 positions, each one more uncomfortable than the last, and eventually I got into a position I didn’t think would kill me too much by the morning and I looked across at Amelia cradled into James arms. It was picture perfect, then I went to go to sleep, pulled the cover up and then I noticed the cover was almost up to her neck… well that was enough for me to then pull it back down and half off James. I was like a mummy cat fussing over her kitten, moving her arm a bit to ensure she would be comfy, moving James other hand off her mouth that he’d used to hold the dummy in and comfort her to let her know he’s there (which she loves and wants all the time when we self soothe) but at the time could just envisage a limp hand suffocating our daughter.
I must of drifted off after what felt like hours of overthinking about all the ways we could harm our daughter in the bed together as I’d got my phone out and started googling ‘safe ways to co sleep when you’re fat and take up all the bed without your baby in it’ – nobody had wrote about it, so that means it’s probably not a good idea…right? Fast forward a few hours later and I’d managed to roll over with my back to James and Amelia and woke myself rolling over and my arm hitting James hand. I darted off the bed thinking I’d hit Amelia. “NOPE… NOPE… CO-Sleeping is NOT for us” I demanded as I got out of bed to leave the room and sleep on the couch.
I have spent months in my little whatsapp mum squad group talking about their babies, and how they co-sleep and they are all doing it safely and it’s working a dream for them, for some of them they had no choice but to try it as it was the only way they got a few hours of sleep, and for them, it’s their way of life and that’s ok, however for me, it’s not something we can do and if I’m honest, it’s not something I want to do as I’m always going to worry and that will keep me awake and I’ll be one grumpy mummy and I don’t want to fear falling into a deep sleep and rolling over and hurting Amelia – and that’s ok too!
Here are some of my mummy blogger friends thoughts on Co-Sleeping/ their sleeping story :
So if we aren’t Co-Sleeping, what are we doing to get a good nights sleep?
I spoke to one of our friends Kate, and she recommended she did a Gina Ford lite version of a routine based around E.A.S.Y ( Eat, Activity, Sleep and You) and now because we Amelia a lite daily routine, that has really helped with sleeping in the evening and I’d say for the last 2-3 weeks she’s been sleeping either 9pm-4am or 10/11pm -6/7am which is lovely, she may need the dummy once or twice after 4am but then goes off to sleep again.
So I thought I’d share a day account if we were at home of what our day would usually be in our routine.
6.45am – Amelia Wake up
7am -Change Amelia Nappy and Feed
7.15am -Rocker and TV Time – I usually put on an hour and a half compilation of Peppa Pig, Peg+Cat or My Little Pony off youtube and leave her in her rocker and that’s when I’ll either put a wash on, do the washing up if I didn’t do it the night before, have a quick shower before James wakes up and get dressed for my day if we’re going out, and when I’ve done all that, make a cuppa and come back into the living room and either chat to her or do some blog bits.
8.45-9am – Sleep time
9.30-9.45am – wake up and we chat and play on her mat while I change her nappy
10am – Feed
10.15am – Rocker while her milk goes down and playing with me whilst shes in it
10.30am – Jumparoo time
12.45pm – Wake up and we chat and play on her mat while I change her nappy
1pm – Feed
1.15pm – Rocker while her milk goes down and playing with me whilst shes in it
1.30pm – Lay on our foam puzzle piece floor playing with our toys/ tummy time.
2.30-2.45pm – Sleep
4pm – Wake up and we chat and play on her mat while I change her nappy
4.15pm – Feed
4.30pm – Rocker while her milk goes down watching Peppa, Peg+Cat or My Little Pony (I’d of needed to put the washing out or tidy washing up away and potentially prep dinner.
5.30 -5.45pm – sleep
7pm Wake up and wait till daddy is home for Bath
7.15pm Bath + play
7.35pm Dry on mat, moisturise and get snug
Depending on the evening, If she is still in our arms sleeping, I’d take her to change her bum whilst she was still asleep and dream feed her at 11, she might not take a lot, maybe an oz or 2 but it would be enough to keep her down till 6/7am. Sometimes depending on how she has been sleeping I may change her at about 10.30 to give us enough time to change her nappy and feed her so that if she did wake during either of the 2 there is still some time before 11pm so we could tucker her out playing so we could all go down by 11pm.
This routine has been working for us and I’m sure we’ll be incorporating more things like a night time read and 1 puree a day whilst we start weaning.
No matter how you and your child are sleeping, as long as they are safe and content, and you yourself are getting sleep also, then you’re laughing and the opinions of others should be just that, their opinion.