Have you ever wondered where the saying “slept like a baby” comes from? I have wondered it often as I walked the passage trying to get my babies to sleep! None of my four children were great sleepers but we managed to avoid co-sleeping with all of them except the last one. Emma is now 4 and has broken the mould for just about everything, including our no co-sleeping rule.
I am not anti-co-sleeping, it has just been something we decided we would not do and it worked out fine until it didn’t. Both my daughters were terrible sleepers and when I say terrible I mean terrible. My oldest slept through when she was five years old. After 2 weeks of exhausting sleep training as a baby Emma eventually only woke up 3 times a night. She is now 4 and still does not sleep through, even with co-sleeping.
My question is, to those of you who do co-sleep successfully HOW DO YOU DO IT?
Seriously how do you manage to sleep with an octopus toddler in your bed? We have been doing it for a year and I am constantly sore from hanging on to the edge, having a foot in my back or a hand in my face.
Emma will come through to our room any time during the night depending on pretty much anything. She doesn’t just crawl into bed with us, she lets us know that we now need to rearrange our pillows, blankets and bodies to accommodate her. Some nights, we hit the jackpot and she insists on lying in the middle with her own blanket. So, either David or I have no blanket, or we must get a second blanket because all hell will (and does) break loose if we dare put our duvet on her!
She then makes sure that she gets as comfortable as she can be leaving my husband and I scrunched up in whatever space she allows us. We try move her once she is asleep, but I don’t think she is ever asleep because before we can move into the space we have moved her out of, she is back there.
Because I am all about learning and growing as a parent, I have learnt a few things about co-sleeping that may help you in your decision to do this or not.
Lesson 1: Don’t do it.
Lesson 2: If you are like us and have no choice in the matter because your child also completely rules the roost, buy a bigger bed.
Lesson 3: Remind yourself as you lie there, holding onto your bedside table so you don’t fall off that this will not last forever. It may feel like it will, but it won’t. (My 14 and 16-year-old do stay in their own beds)
Lesson 4: Research says kids who co-sleep goes on to become world leaders. Ok not really but I am sure there is some research that says your child will go on to be well adjusted or something.
Lesson 5: Do not attempt co-sleeping and potty training at the same time. Just trust me on this.
I may sound a little negative, I am not really, I am just exhausted from not having got a full night’s sleep in nearly 16 years. Fortunately parenting 4 kids means I know things never stay the same and at some point, either Emma will move back to her own bed or we will just move her bed into our room.
People also say I will miss her when she does leave, but I am not sure about that? I mean the idea of having my own bed to myself sounds appealing right now.
If you co-sleep, please tell me how you do it? Maybe I am doing it wrong?