When I was pregnant with Freya co-sleeping was never an option for us. It was not really something we had discussed and quite rightly with the fear of SIDS we did not want to do it. (Please always check the sleeping guidelines for prevention of SIDS). When Freya was born she cluster fed nonstop for months. I remember feeding her for 9 hours at one stage and I was truly exhausted. I was sat up in the bed almost falling asleep holding her. It really was horrendous and, in my eyes, dangerous!
(Up all night)
I never let myself lie her down and feed her so we could both have a rest, why??? Why would I not do that? Well, I believe it was because co-sleeping was so frowned upon. Just like the ‘horror’ stories you hear about giving birth (because everyone likes a good negative story, right?) there were many stories about putting your baby into bed with you. Only now, three years on having two babies I can tell you. You NEED to do what is best for you. And guess what, everyone is doing that!
When I researched it turns out the UK and Ireland are totally obsessed with our baby’s sleep. We fret when they don’t have naps or sleep through the night. We think we have failed if we take them into bed with us. Well, let me tell you that we have not failed. Let me tell you there is no right or wrong way to do anything when it comes to our children. In other cultures, if you DO NOT sleep with your children it is frowned upon! What do you make of that? It shows you that no matter what you do, there will always be someone with something to say. So, you just do what is right for you and your family.
I did a bit of research on my Instagram page, asking my followers how they felt about co-sleeping. These were the questions I asked and the results:
Are you ‘for’ or ‘against’ co sleeping?
Out of 198 votes. 70% said YES and 30% said NO
Do you co sleep with your children?
Out of 196 votes. 52% said YES and 48% said NO
If Yes, how long do you plan on doing it. (Less than 4 years or More than 4 years)
Out of 195 votes. Less was 85% and More was 15%
If you co sleep, how does your partner feel about it? Are they For or Against it?
Out of 190 votes .60% was FOR and 40% was against.
Based on my results I feel there is not as much negativity towards it anymore. More than half said they did not have a problem with it, however not everyone does it.
My situation now has changed. I spent so much time of my life crying outside doors, sitting on stairs and feeling frustrated that Freya had come in and out of her sleeping routine. For 12 months we had it ‘nailed’. She was napping well and sleeping all night. Any sign of change we were on top of it, We could not and would not let it defeat us. Yes, we could not let our child defeat us. How silly does that sound? Should we not be supporting them, nurturing them and helping them when they have a problem?
Since having a second baby I have realised that we can only do so much. We can only do what is right for us at the time. My 10-month-old has frequent night awakenings and in order for all of us to sleep well she comes into the bed with me in the middle of the night.
I have a way of sleeping with her. I turn on my side, lift my arm up, snuggle her into my ‘nook’ and wrap my arm down by her back. This is not a way I have been told by any professional, it’s my own way and it works for us. She is safe and I can feel her beside me. I have still reverted to how we ‘should’ be doing it, saying things to Brad like ‘I am just going to spend 4 nights in and out of their room with no sleep and hope she stays in there’. Why would I do that to myself (again, already tried it once – didn’t work!)
When I have the energy and time to do that I will, but for now I am taking the pressure off, I am going to relax about the situation and just go with it. I think the partners get the brunt of it as half of them get kicked out of the bed, so please let your partner know that they are not alone there! Also, that it is not forever.
I hope I have made you feel more at ease about any situation you are in. If you babies are sleeping well in their rooms that’s great, if you are co sleeping that is also great! We are all doing our best.
(Again, please remember you must be informed when it comes to co sleeping, I am not a professional , this is just my experience)
Thanks for reading x