Co-sleeping: *How* do you do it?
We have just returned home early from a fairly disastrous holiday (more on that to follow). One of the main disaster factors was that Busby refused to sleep in her travel cot, and continuously woke up during the night. We foolishly forgot Ewan the Dream Sheep. (Stupid, stupid parents.) And the recommended app was not quite a magical dream sheep… On the last night I decided that co-sleeping was the answer: there are only so many 5am walks around Southwold Common one parent can do with a baby to get her to sleep (Kudos, Nick). I sent Nick to sleep, in what had been Busby’s room, on the bunk-beds (he chose the bottom bunk?!), and Busby and I shared the spacious double bed.
Busby and I had partaken in some co-sleeping in the first few weeks of her being on the planet, as she enjoyed snoozing on me, and I loved having my baby so close… However, she’s now almost five months old, and has been sleeping in her own cot for about a month. Here is how it played out:
21:30 Busby screaming in travel cot again. She falls asleep in Nick’s arms and then wakes up as soon as her head touches the not so soft mattress. There’s got to be another way. Ah-ha! The bed!
22:00 I move Busby into our bedroom and sing to her whilst stroking her tummy.
22:15 Busby asleep.
22:30 Busby is still asleep, but she’s asleep on top of the duvet. Not only is she on top of the duvet, she’s in the middle of the bed. I’m coming to bed… Debating moving her, but decide to slide in next to her instead.
22:45 I’m watching her sleep. I should probably get to sleep. What if I pull the duvet in the middle of the night and she rolls off the bed? Cue images of Busby falling off the bed like a cuddly toy… *shudder* I should probably move her. Yes I’ll move her. How do I move her? The bed is super creaky. No I’ll leave her. No I’ll move her. Leave. Move. I really should move her.
22:53 *Creak, creak* She’s still asleep. Duvet is now clear from underneath her, but what do I do with the duvet now? She’s wearing her sleeping bag so the duvet can’t go anywhere near her, otherwise she’ll overheat.
23:00 I decide to move half the duvet onto the floor and tuck the rest around me. What if I pull the duvet up off the floor in my sleep and throw it over her? I am a duvet hog. No. That won’t happen: I’m her Mother. I wouldn’t do something like that, even in my sleep. But what if I did? Go to sleep, Hannah. Oh no, what if I roll onto her??
00:03 I wake up sweating. She’s still breathing. She doesn’t have a duvet over her. Phew.
01:07 Baby movement. Please don’t wake up. Please don’t wake up. Snuffle. Cry in sleep. Back to sleep.
01:35 I wake up sweating. I’m obviously using all my might in my sleep not to roll over onto her. Still free of duvet.
02:06 Ouch! Baby arm to my face. I wasn’t expecting that!
03:21 I’m sweating again. Yuck. Oh, she looks so beautiful and peaceful. GO BACK TO SLEEP, HANNAH!
03:56 Baby snuffle. Whimper. Back to sleep.
04:13 Baby arm to the face again. Snuffle. Cry in sleep. Snuffle. Oh, the dawn chorus here is beautiful!
05:02 I’m sweating again. Baby movement. A wail. A small tummy rub and a kiss on the cheek and she’s back to sleep. I’m not. I really need to go to the toilet, but fear the creaky bed will wake her up.
05:13 I wonder how many page views I got yesterday? Loading…loading…loading…loading…
05:27 I’m still awake. Maybe I could creep out of bed? Let’s give it a go.
05:32 Back in bed! Success! Now I’m just going to rest my eyes…
06:01 Snuffle. Baby movement. Big Busby smile. Oh good, we’re awake, just as Mummy was going back to sleep.
I take my hat off to all of you ladies and gentlemen who co-sleep every night! I’m sure it gets much easier as you get into the swing of it, but I won’t be trying it again in a hurry. However, I must admit that the sleep deprivation the following day was completely worth it to see her first gummy smile of the morning… even if it was just after 6am!