I’ve talked at great length about my bedtime woes – here, here & here to name but a few… and in my brighter moments I accept that babies just don’t sleep and I’ll one day pine to be needed the way I am now. But in the depths of sleep deprivation, after a few too many consecutive near-sleepless nights, I’m at my wits end. It was in one of these moments that I delved into the world of co-sleeping and I’m here to tell you the results.
We’ve never had too much of a problem getting Henry into bed, it’s keeping him in there that induces my eyebags and keeps Touche Eclat in business. We have a bedtime routine, the standard story – bath – feed combo which I think helped to teach Henry the difference between day and night. He’s also fairly easy to settle back to sleep during the night most of the time. The problem is the frequency of his wakings. He generally makes it ’til about 1am without much fuss, but can then be up every hour. Which means I get very little sleep from then on and I’m almost certain he’s looking for comfort.
So last week Henry relegated his Daddy to the spare bed and we gave the whole co-sleeping thing a go. I placed a row of pillows at the edge of the bed and rolled myself up in the quilt to give him as much space as possible while he slept in his Grobag as normal – I also consulted the Lullaby Trust for safe co-sleeping. I wasn’t confident that I’d get that much sleep myself but concluded that not actually having to get out of bed would be preferrable to stumbling across the landing 17 times. I found I slept very lightly, and I don’t think I missed a stir, but it was 3am before he woke up and a quick pat on the back was all he needed and he was back to sleep until 7.30. Yep…7.30am. SEVEN THIRTY ANTE MERIDIEM. That’s like midday in parent terms. We all started the day with a family breakfast and much more organisation than we’re generally accustomed to.
That night we did the same again from when he woke up the first time – that night at 11pm and he slept until 6am. I also slept better, still lightly but much better than normal and I felt pretty sprightly the following day.
Since then, we’ve had a couple of nights where he’s slept in the cot ok – only waking up once. We’ve also had a couple of nights where he’s slept with me from his first wake at around 1am and then he’s slept right through until a reasonable hour of the morning – ie. after 6am. People keep telling me that it’s not a great habit to get into, and they could be right. I like sharing the bed with my husband. But I also like not having to get out of bed and knowing that Henry is content and comfortable. It’s lovely to see him wake up and to feel and hear his little baby breath while he sleeps.
While it may not be a great habit, for now if he needs comfort I’m happy to oblige, I think we’re all better off having slept better and I’m thankful to have found a way to make that happen. In fact, if I could go back in time I think it’s something I would’ve explored earlier for a number of reasons and something I would definitely consider with a second baby.
What are your views on co-sleeping?
This post is in collaboration with Blinds-Hut. You can check out other sleeping experiments here.