To those of you who have co-slept, I applaud you! Not because you’re staying close to your baby and tuning in to their needs (which that does deserve applause, but it’s not where I’m going today), but because you’ve survived. You’ve survived the nightly beatings from your sleeping bundle of joy. Except, they’re not a sleeping bundle of joy, but a space stealing, sweat inducing, duvet hogging gymnast. I know because I have co-slept with both my daughters. My eldest was a co-sleeper on a part time basis for her first 12 months, but my youngest co-slept for two years. I loved them being close to me and being able to hear their cute little baby snores (yes, snoring is cute when it’s coming from a baby) and enjoying some cuddles, but at the same time, when I’ve had a day of running around with babies/toddlers hanging off my leg, I feel completely touched out and long for my own space. Space to starfish in bed, to read my book with decent lighting, and to be able to cough, roll over or actually get underneath my own duvet.
The heat these little tiny beings can give off is just ridiculous. Aoife is a very fidgety sleeper, I don’t know if that’s what adds to the heat she generates, but seen as I am always too hot, her cuddling up can make me feel like I’m on fire. Trying to encourage her to roll back in to her own space is another story. The gentle technique of trying to move her and her pillow at the same time, to avoid waking her (trust me, once she’s up, that’s it, she up and there is no getting her back asleep unless it’s on her terms) always, and I literally mean always, seems to signal something that makes me need to cough, or sneeze, or makes a car alarm start in the street, or a couple of noisy cats to screech in unison. It’s like the universe knows I’m trying to be quiet and thinks it’ll screw me over a little. Every morning, after sleeping with my beautiful Aoife, I wake up feeling like I’ve had a full body workout. If it had benefitted me like an hour in the gym does, I might feel a little better, but with a sore back from clinging on to the slither of bed my two year old has left me and a dead arm where I’ve had it up and above her head to sleep safely (yes, shock horror there is such a thing as co-sleeping safely. The lullaby trust or unief will help you with how to go about it), I’m a little more “mombie” (zombie mum) than the Mary Poppins style mother I would have hoped. At least until I am three cups of tea down anyway!
So this idea of the perfect nights sleep while cuddled up to your baby that I’ve seen pictured and read about, actually turns out to be pretty chaotic and much too hot. However, as I mentioned earlier, the cuddles, the fact that my sleeping gymnast sleeps all night as she feels secure and safe with me near, and the beautiful little dopey morning face that wakes me up every day with a “morning momma” makes it totally and utterly worth every single minute. Plus, it’s much nicer to deal with any wake ups in the warmth and comfort of my own bed, rather than having to sprint in to another room in the dark in the middle of the night.
And here she is, my little co-sleeper. Now can you see why I can’t bare to part with her?
Mummy Monday link up.