Currently we are co-sleeping with livvy, much to annoyance of our backs, our alone time and lack of space in the bed. We have never co-slept before and didn’t really plan to this time, its just sort of happened.
With Brogan and Wil, even though we were younger and more inexperienced at this parenting malarky we had very clear bedtime routines and they slept really well from a young age and never really came into our bed unless they were poorly. When we had Madison I remember we were slightly more relaxed, but this was due to the fact that we did not want her to disturb the older two as they were now at school. So if she stirred in the night, we often just bought her in with us to settle her and then would just fall asleep. This didn’t happen all the time but more frequently than ever before. She did however, have a bedtime routine and we could get her into her own bed initially. As she is getting older, she is finding bedtime more challenging as she wants to be allowed to stay up as late as her teenage siblings, much to their annoyance. Especially when they remember what time they used to go to bed at the same age Madison is now. We are slightly relaxed at weekends and on school holidays, but during term time, she does have her own bedtime.
Olivia, however has broken every rule, pattern, thoughts we had about a settled and routined bedtime. She normally falls asleep (depending if she has napped in the day) between 9.30-10 with either myself or Stu and then stays in our bed all night, sometimes stirring, always bloody fidgeting and wakes between 7.30-8.30. We used to get her to sleep and then put her in her cot and just bring her in when she stirred but this soon stopped. When I look at why and how this has happened there a few reasons. Firstly, I think due to the fact that she breastfed for so long (2 years my longest ever), it was just easier to have her next to me in bed, where she could comfort herself and settle quickly. Secondly and probably the most significant is tiredness, i’m just too bloody tired, to be getting up and down and trying to get her to stay asleep. Also i think my mental health comes massively into this area, when my depression and anxiety are playing me up, my sleep is often very disturbed with lack of sleep, or when I am asleep the most bizarre and crazy disturbing dreams, so getting some solid sleep is quite difficult. Thirdly, and this is probably why Stuart hasn’t complained too much is because she is our last baby and we want to saviour every moment with her. She is bloody cute 😉
As a midwife and a mother I obviously know the guidance in co-sleeping and the dangers that it can entail, but as long as you practice it safely then i believe it is of no harm. Information can be found on the internet if you are not sure on the recommendations. As with anything and what I often say to women I see postnatally is, its your life and your child and you have to do what is right for you, and at this moment in time, getting any sleep I can is of GREAT importance, so we shall co-sleep until we have the energy and time to set a bedtime routine. If however, you have any useful tips, please let me know. Liv has never settled herself to sleep at night!!