Friday, 15 September 2017

OUR ACCIDENTAL CO-SLEEPING JOURNEY.


Over the course of the past almost 16 months we have encountered a lot of problems when it comes to my daughters sleeping habits. She was an amazing sleeper, then a leap appeared. Then it got worse, then she was amazing again, then came when she started slipping into our bed. And that's when it started, and now we're stuck with co-sleeping whether we want to or not. I was so adamant about not co-sleeping because I heard so many crazy things and not so crazy stories about everything going wrong and I was frightened at night. So here is our journey so far. 

When Imogen was born she was a perfect sleeper. Even the first night in hospital she only awoke maybe twice even during all the screaming on our ward and slept beautifully. When we took her home, she slept in a moses basket on R's side of the bed. It was the safest spot in the room. I can't tell you the amount of times I awoke in the middle of the night almost screaming from fear of falling asleep with her in my arms. There are so many stories about terrible things happening with babies and their parents who are exhausted. It's not so easy and you've never felt exhaustion until you're up every two hours in the night, for an hour. Imogen had terrible wind and by the time I managed to wind her, we were nearly up again. It went from perfect to me leaving the house without underwear. That's exhaustion. 

I'd freak out about her being in our bed even though I took her downstairs on purpose every single time she awoke just in case I fell asleep. I wouldn't even sleep at times because I was so scared that she wasn't breathing, or that she was awake and hungry. There was a time that pains me every time to think about it. I was beyond exhausted when my partner worked nights at his old job. It would mean that he wouldn't be home for 4 nights and days awake. I fell asleep in my bed and Imogen was screaming in her moses basket because she was hungry and I couldn't wake up. My mother took her and fed her and looked after her while I slept. It wasn't like I had anyone to ring up and say hey, I'm struggling. I can't sleep. I need sleep I'm exhausted beyond my means. I just passed out. I feel shame to this day knowing that my daughter needed me and I couldn't help her. It's nothing major but I'll never forget it. I still feel guilty.  

She transitioned into her cot at two months old and she slept perfectly again. She was still in our bedroom because of her young age we didn't want her to be alone. We we're all going to bed at 9pm and waking up at 4am for a feed and then back to bed until 8/9am for a feed again. It was perfect. I felt myself again. I would watch Netflix and have her playing with her sensory toys and get ready and take us both out for the day even if it was a walk around the village. I thought I had it cracked. 

It got worse again. We've had ups and downs ever since. We've had a few times where she sleeps through, and some where she crawls into our bed no matter how many times I try to put her into her cot when she's more settled. She's very clingy and it got really tough. She's over a year old now and she sleeps in between me and my partner and kicks us in the head all night when she's really unsettled. We transitioned her into her own room when she was around 8 months old and it didn't make a difference to her sleeping pattern. She normally settles around 9-10pm at night and wakes around 1am for her first cuddle with mum. I outright REFUSE to let her cry it out. I'm not that parent. I believe that it breaks a childs trust and I cannot bear the thought of my child thinking that I'm not there when she's upset. I know a lot of people believe in the 'self soothe' method but it's not for us. It will never be and now you've read our journey so far, I can bet that you're thinking maybe she should just give it a shot it worked for us! Honestly, I've thought about it. When things have gotten too much I really did think "one more time she wakes up then I'm leaving her to it" but I don't have the heart. She's my baby and always will be. So for now, she sometimes shares our bed, and sometimes sleeps in her cot. It works somewhat for us as frustrating as it is. 

Do you co-sleep? Was you scared of having to co-sleep or was it by choice? Let me know! 

Until next time. 



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