Cosleeping Practicalities

Co Co Co Cooooosleeping (To the tune of Sh Sh Sh Shoooooe people. Literally though, how amazing was that programme?) (ARRGH IT’S ON YOUTUBE! BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!)

I have posted recently about our experience of cosleeping; some of the pros and cons , wondering about the fear that drives some people away from it. Whenever we mention cosleeping we are often met with a barrage of questions about the practicalities around it. So I wanted to cover some of those a bit.

Where?
We have a maHUsive bed, like a triple x, super who-ate-all-the pies-king, which we rescued one time. It has saved the night. We can all fit in there with loads of space. However the three of us inevitably end up all squished up at one end. Ramona and I just like snuggling up with Tim. Tim isn’t such a fan.

Ramona tends to sleep in the middle apart from when she nurses all night and then I need to switcheroo. So she is closer to the edge, but she’s only ever fallen out a few times. (Haha, kidding.) (Kind of.)

Naps
Until Ramona was about 9 months old she used to take all her sleep on me, either in a sling or snuggled up in bed. This meant that I spent a lot of time in bed. (Incidentally it is why I restarted my blog as I wanted to contribute online rather than just speculate – and I was doing a lot of horizontal speculating.) It was totes delicious, napping with her, going to bed at 8pm.  At 9 months though we got an amazing baby monitor and now I let her sleep in the bed by herself (after nursing to sleep)  and just dash in if she wakes up.

I had read somewhere during pregnancy that the first year of a baby’s life should be seen as “out of the womb gestation” -  it really resonated with me. In hindsight it is very much a long the lines of the lovely Continuum Parenting concept. Also,  I want her to have completely positive sleep associations and hope that having someone close by during sleep can nurture this security.

Nappy Free
At the moment we put a washable nappy on Ramona at night time. She is dry all night (since she was about 6 months old – I don’t know if this is that common or just for nappyfree babes?) but every so often will do an early morning wee, say at 6am, and even though I can sense her needing to go (squirming etc)  I don’t want to potty her then as she’ll be up for the day.  She is getting less happy with the night time nappy though – she pulled it completely off tonight- so I have ordered a washable bed pad so that we can give the night time nappy the heave ho and  if that cheeky wee comes in the morning it is no biggy.

Business Socks
You just have to be creative with rooms, furniture etc.

(Sorry, I know that isn’t a very exhaustive answer but my granddad does know how to use Tinternet and I can not guarantee that he doesn’t read this.)

Bedding
We don’t have anything extra for Ramona she has always just slept on our mattress with our duvet on top, although when she was a tiny pip squeak she slept either prone or in the crook of my arm. She doesn’t sleep on a pillow as she nurses all night (did I mention that?)  so just faces my weary but succulent mammary glands.

Nursing
I wear a scoop neck tee shirt with one of Tim’s tee shirts over the top. Tim’s tee is usually bunched up but my own tee stops my torso getting chills. I wear a scoop neck so Ramona has easy access but one of Tim’s tees from that day with the idea that she can’t smell my milk so easily and be less nursey. It doesn’t really work but I guess I am superstitious about it now. (Do you get a bit like that?)

Cosleeping does encourage more nursing I think, which on one hand is good – with me being at work half the week her nursing at night keeps my supply up and means she is getting everything she needs for this growth spurt. (That is what I am telling myself the 6-10 night suckles are.) But on the other hand is bloody knackering isn’t it! I can handle anything between 1-5 without really noticing. But more than that and I get a little cranky. *climbs the walls*

Time for my Parenting Moto of the Year (sung Harry Hills styles) :

This Too Shall Pass!

Waking each other up
This does happen. Overall it has been found that cosleeping mothers get more sleep – primarily because we don’t have to get out of bed – but three in a bed isn’t the deepest sleep to be had. If one of us has a rough night than we all seem to. Sometimes it seems Ramona wakes at the slightest peep (me turning a page of my book – headlamp on!) or sleeps through the biggest ruckus – lights blazing, full on conversation between Tim and I.

We don’t fall into bed and stay fast asleep for ten hours like we used to. But, do you know what? It just isn’t a big deal. Letting go of my sleep obsession and embracing night time parenting helps me just feel totally at peace with this whole situation. (Just wish my nipples would agree, eek.)

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14 Responses to Cosleeping Practicalities

  1. Valerie says:

    We are pretty similar. Oscar had a co-sleeper cradle then cot when he was tiny, now we have a super-king size bed. I was the ONLY person I knew who co-slept (and I did worry to begin with, and I did hide it from the Health Visitor). I got the vague sense of disapproval from the other Mum’s I knew and it made me awkward to talk about it. Then when the babies (it was mostly my ante-natal group mums) were older I found one Mum was lying on the floor for nearly 2 hours every night to get her child to sleep, another Mum was letting her child scream himself to sleep (while Facebooking about it, as in ‘will he ever shut up?’) and another friend had to sit on a beanbag with the end of her pigtail through the cot bars, for her daughter to hold on to for up to an hour before she dropped off. And I though, FECK no. I would rather pop into bed with my knitting/book/laptop and let Oscar fall asleep beside me. Once he was asleep we watched TV, or my husband played PS3 while I read etc. We never woke him, and that includes during ‘couple time’ (hope your Grandad is ok with that lol).
    V
    xxx

  2. Jennifer says:

    I’ve been enjoying your co-sleeping posts! We only co-slept for a little while when my babies were tiny and would only sleep after a breastfeed. I loved watching them fall asleep and snuggle up to me. Unfortunately I never slept very well once they were asleep, and I do get more sleep now that they are in their own beds. It’s a wonderful experience, so thank you for your informative posts.

  3. Laura says:

    Our motto? “There are no 50 year olds nursing all. night. long.” As in, “This too shall pass!” :)

  4. The Kiwi Nomad says:

    We have more of less co-slept since Rhiannon was tiny, she had a moses basket right beside the bed but wouldn’t really sleep in it and always wanted to be in beside me…I just made sure there was a pillow between her and the moses basket so she couldn’t fall out. Now she’s 19 months she goes to sleep on me or her dad in the evening, goes into her cot for a few hours and comes in with us when she wakes, usually around 2-3 am. It never felt natural to me to leave a baby isolated in another room and many cultures co-sleep quite happily, it just seems to have a stigma attached to it in the West for some reason. I love it!

    • lulastic says:

      Hi! :) thanks for popping by.
      Yeah, I love it too, even more as she grows older. I love snuggling in with her when I first get into bed, making up for any missed cuddles on the days I am at work.
      We all get quite a reasonable amount of sleep and I am quite happy with it!
      x

  5. I found your blog by searching for tips on how to breastfeed in a sling, but now I’m hooked and making my way through your posts. Fair to say I love your blog :)
    We have a 4 year old son and I’m currently 3 months pregnant, so we’re preparing to do all the newborn stages again. It’s exciting, but I do feel like I want to do things slightly different when the little one arrives. So thank you for posting about your co-sleeping experiences. The line ‘letting go of sleep obsession and embracing night time parenting’ struck a deep chord with me. I know it’s personal choice and we don’t know what lies ahead, but I do feel encouraged to follow my instincts to have our kids close at night time without the guilt for not having them in a different room. So thank you again :)

  6. Janys says:

    Sorry if I have only just discovered your blog and feel the need to add my bit – but we had our littl’un sleep in with us for years (and I won’t say how many) and there are most definitely the pros and cons you highlight. We began mainly because my daughter was born prematurely and for a long time suffered with night time apnea and the only way I could be certain of hearing whether her breathing stopped was by having her right next to me. A frightenening time during which I developed an incredibly acute sense of hearing for her every little murmur. Basically for me there was several years of BAD sleep. Luckily hubby totally understood and suffered in silence. In hindsight, I think I should have listened to at least part of the advice of the old school and been a bit more balanced in my choices. But knowing that our daughter was definitely going to be our only child (I had her at 40) I just felt an instinctive need to live every possible moment with her and love her to bits …

  7. Pingback: Co-sleeping Converts #3: Sleep-crawling and Other Challenges | sacraparental

  8. Mary Firth says:

    Hiya! that’s such a useful post – when we had El she was a nightmare to lower into the moses basket still sleeping, but when we decided to co-sleep i wanted to find out how to do it safely and could find NOTHING online other than warnings on how dangerous it is etc. Currently waiting for no. 2 to make an appearance so it’d be useful to get some opinions/tips from people co-sleeping with and breastfeeding two children…

  9. Pingback: Co-sleeping Converts #3: Sleep-crawling and Other Challenges | Sacraparental

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