Co-sleeping

*Please don't judge me for co-sleeping, It has took me a lot to post this, and I know not everyone has the same thoughts and opinions as me.*
This is a picture better half took without my knowledge when i was asleep he thought it was "cute". I disagree

After my not so perfect and very traumatic labour, I was transferred to the maternity ward, because I was unable to move, or do anything for my baby I was constantly calling for help when little lady needed something. It was one of the worst times in my life, I was literally unable to do anything for her, and I hated every moment of it. I remember the nurse coming in during the night, because Emily was crying for a feed and I wasn't able to reach and get her without pulling all my stitches or pulling out my drip. She picked Emily up, handed her to me and walked away. I called her back asking for further help because at this stage I was so dizzy I could barely see straight and I didn't feel safe. She turned and said to me 'You should get used to have baby in your bed, as soon as you go home she will want to be in bed with you'. Yeah right I thought to myself, I'm never going to co-sleep. We will not be those parents.

Now if you fast forward a couple of months down the line, Emily is in our bedWhen we came home from the hospital, we were a bit all over the place. We moved from place to place because we didn't have anywhere permanent to live and I feel like it really effected Emily. Whenever we moved to a new place she became really unsettle, woke up during the night for more feeds, she became clingy, and was very tearful. From the beginning she was always in her moses basket, for the first couple of nights she was a really good sleeper, then we moved to another place, we had one night of hell and two blissful peaceful ones, then one from hell again (because we moved AGAIN) and so on. As time went on Emily began to get more fussy. She started to become more awake and alert, and settling her became impossible. She would kick off her covers, if we swaddled her she would cry, and wriggle until she was free. The moses basket became a thing too, she would fall asleep in my arms, and as soon as I set her down, she would wake up and we would have to start over again. 

Once Sam had returned to work after his 2 weeks leave, I just couldn't leave her crying while I tried to persist with putting her in her moses basket. It wasn't fair on him, he was being kept awake night after night. Also because we didn't have our own place to stay, I couldn't just take her out of the room and head into another. I would keep the other people in the house awake, and I was a guest. I felt so guilty. After trying for about a two hours with no breakthrough, I was so tired. I laid down, put her next to me in our bed, and I watched as she calmed herself down, and fell asleep. No fuss at all, she obviously felt completely secure and safe laying in our bed. Now I have to admit, the thought of her being in our bed while we slept completely terrified me. However I positioned myself in a way that if I did roll over I wouldn't squish her. As soon as she started to cry, or winge I woke. It was apparent just how lightly I was sleeping, and I didn't move either. I woke up in the exact same place I fell asleep in. She woke up for a feed, then once she was done, she snuggled back next to me, and like magic she fell back to sleep again with no fuss. It felt so natural to have her right there next to me, and as terrifying as i found it at the beginning, it felt so natural. Emily was sleeping better, Sam was getting more sleep, and I felt happier that her moods were improving.

A lot of people are against co-sleeping. I was one of these people, but when you are tired, and at your wits end, you go with your instinct. My instincts were telling me it was completely normal to have her there with me. There are people in other countries who don't have the luxuries we have, where do you think they put there babies? Just because it isn't the done thing in our society, doesn't mean that it is the only way. Of course there are risks to having your baby in bed with you, Especially if you are excessively tired, a smoker, on medication, a drinker or obese. The risks can be reduced with simple and sensible precautions. They now do a side cot. It attaches to your bed, and prevents you rolling over onto your baby. I never invested in one of these, because I didn't actually know they existed, then when I did look into it they were quite expensive, and because we were moving around a lot I didn't really have the space. However if we decide to have another baby we will definitely be purchasing the SnuzPod rather than a moses basket. It would be the ideal solution, it means that baby would be right next to me. 

Emily has started to go back into her cot herself now, she's is 4 1/2 months old. Her cot is pretty close to our bed, and she can see me from her cot. On the odd occasion she does resist, and I think this is because she got used to sleeping with me. If I try putting her down in her cot while she is awake, she will cry, fussy and wiggle around. I do feel guilty on the rare nights, when I'm just so tired I give in and let her in our bed. I'm not so much worried for her safety as I was at the beginning because I know that I am not going to roll onto her. I know she is there subconsciously. I also feel guilty when I admit that I let her come into our bed, It's frowned upon by health visitors, who make me feel like it is the wrong choice. I don't think that having her in our bed is going to make her a more clingy child, or have a negative impact on her.

I know that eventually she will have to sleep in her own bedroom sooner or later. However I don't think pressuring Emily into her own cot, and ignoring her needs just because some people think that our baby shouldn't be in our bed, is right. If she needs me, then I will always be there for her. As she grows, and becomes more independent, She will realise that she doesn't always need me. I know she will learn that she can be safe and secure without me. I'm not saying I think everyone should co-sleep. I know there are some babies out there who are good sleepers. I know some people are against co-sleeping, but I have realised that there is some people like us, who do co-sleep and I don't think it is right that people are made to feel like bad parents for co-sleeping. I will always do what I feel is right for Emily, and us as a family. If that means going against the norm, or the health visitors advise. I will do that. After all is said and done, Emily is my child, and I know what is best for her. It has took me a very long time to say that, and to listen to my instinct over what i'm told is the right way. I will never regret the nights where I had snuggles with my gorgeous little lady. I think it has made us closer, and made our bond stronger. 

What are your opinions on co-sleeping? Do you think you should follow professionals advice, or stick to mothers instincts?

6 comments

  1. I'm defiantly behind with mothers instinct, i think i slept twice with mine due to sheer tiredness.. mine have always seemed happy with cribs and cots, I'm a lucky one lol xx

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  2. Great post! I co sleep sometimes. Its perfectly normal for me. There's nothing better than falling asleep together. Don't feel like your any less of a mum because of it. People shouldn't judge your for it x

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  3. My kids are 2 and 5 and are in our king size bed most nights! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

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  4. We co-slept with our middlest (eldest liked his cot!) and are doing it again most nights with new baby (he is 8 weeks). We do put him in his moses when he lets us, but if he kicks up a fuss I have no problem letting him in with me - it means we all get some sleep! As long as you do it safely, it's the best thing in the world #briliantblogposts

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  5. You have to go with your instinct. I always thought I'd never co-sleep but in those first few months it was the only way we got any sleep! After a while Jasmine began to settle in her cot and slept though and has been a fab sleeper ever since. Just do what's right for you and your baby. :)

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

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  6. Our daughter is 22months and ends up in with us at some point every night - usually on the 3rd trip to settle her in her own room. I've beat myself up about it, and argued with my husband (he likes her being snuggled in with us) but I have to admit it is nice having cuddles and means we all get some sleep.

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