Before you fell pregnant and while you were pregnant, did you have any clue what co-sleeping was?
I must admit I had no idea. The only time I read about the term “co-sleeping” was through my fellow Instagram moms. Like many parents, I had a set idea of how I was going to mother my children, I asked many friends many questions on what they did with their babies, how they put them to sleep etc. I had no intention that Skylar was going to ever sleep in our bed, she had her Moses basket and cot, and that is where she would sleep, right? How naive I was…
Skylar was born mid-winter and breastfed. I also chose to breastfeed her on demand too. Another important aspect that formed our co-sleeping journey was my babies’ lack of interest in a dummy, she did not want to self-sooth. We were her comfort, I don’t know if this is right or wrong, but it was right for us. On those cold nights and late night feeds it was just easier to have her fall asleep in my arms, and many times that is where she would stay till her next feed. I learnt the art of sleeping sitting up, with many pillows behind me.
We are not full time “co-sleepers”. Before Skylar turned one, she would spend half the night in our bed and a half in her Moses basket. I wanted her super close, as I would check on her throughout the night (I still do and she is 3… you know, is she still breathing?) I was also selfish and wanted her close to me, during her first year, her dad worked away a lot and it was easier for her to be in the bed with me. Have you noticed how the word ‘easier’ comes up a lot in parenting? From age two she has been sleeping in her own room most nights, with the exception of coming to our room one out of seven nights.
You would think children that did co-sleeping would battle to sleep in their own bed, but I can tell you that is not the case. When they’re ready, they’re ready. Skylar now asks to go to bed; we kiss her goodnight and leave the room.
Importantly, co-sleeping must work for both you and your partner. You need to be happy with the situation if you decide to co-sleep with your baby/toddler. There is no need for fights and disagreements, or one partner sleeping in another room. You need sleep; baby needs sleep, the whole household needs a good nights sleep to be happy, healthy productive people the next day. Do what works for you, I am sure you have heard that many times, but it is so true.
If you are a restless sleeper or someone that thrashes around in bed, I don’t advise having a small little person sharing the bed with you, it will drive you nuts – unless you have a rather large bed. There are so many amazing products available on the market to assist you, if you choose to co-sleep, from sleeping pods to Moses baskets.
With our second child, we knew that we would co-sleep. We even bought a bigger bed. Our son is out to sleep in his own bed each night and when he wakes he is brought through to our room. By the morning we are clinging to the edge of our bed and the kids have taken over, but honestly, I would not want it any other way.