Co-Sleeping: How I Fell Down the Rabbit Hole
OPINION: Listen, we all start out with the best of intentions, for example when buying all the baby bits and bobs. The top of the range travel systems to ensure our child's comfort while being transported around, the high-end cot that you lovingly prepare for your child, with the appropriate (expensive) bedding.
But what happens when said child refuses to let her pampered bottom grace the deluxe apparatus and instead wants to snuggle, with you, in your decidedly down market bed?
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Getting a baby to sleep is easy, they sleep at the drop of a hat, keeping a baby asleep -aha, now that’s the hard part. If like me, you had a baby that decides to wake up at forty minute intervals round the clock despite doing everything, and I mean everything every baby book and internet article suggested then Co-Sleeping is the only way to go.
Yes, I know babies respond to routines, and, ideally, they need to get used to self-soothing but some babies never will, no matter what you do. Having had a relatively uncomplicated first pregnancy I was prepared to tackle the sleeplessness head on. I knew it came as part and parcel of the baby experience but naively I expected my baby to settle into some sort of night time routine-eventually.
Well, that didn’t happen, not after the magic six-week milestone I was assured of, not after six months, not ever. I was driven to the brink of madness with the lack of sleep so I’m here to tell you Co-Sleeping is the road to a satisfying rest for both you and your baby. While it can be quite nerve-racking with a very small baby, it gets easier.
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There are some things to be aware of though:
- Never sleep with a baby on an armchair or sofa as there is a danger of the child overheating
- never co-sleep with a baby while under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances.
- There is a lot of information out there on the subject and it’s best to do your research
For the nervous among you, a Co-Sleeper is a good alternative to having a baby right in the bed next to you. That was never good for my two girls though, invading my space was the only way to go, but it worked. I finally got some sleep. And while my second baby stayed in a cot until she was eight months old, a holiday abroad brought that ideal to a crashing halt and she’s been in the bed ever since (she’ll be two in December).
Her sister still isn’t a great sleeper (some children just aren’t). She frequently gets up from her own bed during the night and finds her way into my bed too. Yes it can get quite crowded and sometimes it can impact on your relationship with your other half, but they’re only young for a small while and I’m a sucker for a chubby hand thrown over me in the middle of the night.
As I said before we all start out with the best of intentions. if your baby sleeps from the get-go, fantastic. If not, well there is an alternative.
Did I start out as an advocate of Co-Sleeping? Not really. But, do I regret it? Not in the slightest.
We'd love to hear your experience of Co-Sleeping. Let us know in the comments!