Tuesday, 25 March 2014

My 'Accidental' Discovery Of Co-Sleeping

The day after he was born, the little lad and I came home from the hospital. I felt a combination of nervousness, relief and excitement. At the hospital, the nurses on the night shift were there to tend to the babies and allow the mothers some well-needed rest (my chosen everything-in-moderation approach to mothering meant I didn't mind the little lad being given a little formula at the start).

The hospital's 4-hour routine meant I was only up once during the first night. The following morning, baby and I got the hang of breastfeeding so from there it was feeding on demand (no more formula, yay!). Like clockwork, I would notice his early signs of hunger at 2 and a half hour intervals. I knew this was where I might find myself becoming increasingly tired as the days went by, and I did, but I was never even close to exhaustion. He was sleeping a lot, in the Moses basket which at nighttime was beside our bed.

One night, after a couple of weeks, I was sat up in bed, baby having his late evening feed. I knew that you could breastfeed lying down and that it was something I wanted to try. With nothing to lose, we gave it a go. He nursed himself to sleep, so with him nestled in the crook of my arm, I closed my eyes. A little while later I was opening my eyes, the first thing in my sights being my baby; safe, secure and close to me. We had both been asleep for a couple of hours. After a few minutes I heard the little lad's grunts of 'I'm stirring now, it's time to feed me'. When he opened his eyes, I was the first thing for him to see, although I felt he knew he was in the safety of my arms when he was stirring.

It felt like the most natural thing in the world, far more reassuring to both of us than a separate sleeping arrangement. Plus it was the best night's sleep I'd had since leaving the hospital and my instinct told me baby was more at ease too. I woke up with a surge of a eureka moment: "This is it! This is what's right for me and my baby!".

Before I gave birth, I was against the idea of a baby in an adult bed, fearing the dangers that are often written about and verbalized. For this reason, I was loath to admit my new-found sleeping habit to others. But I'm lucky enough to have wonderful sisters whom I can confide in, thus I discovered that I'm not the only one who favors what I later learned is referred to as 'co-sleeping'.

Soon I might be hearing the words 'rod for your own back' and I accept that. I accept that others like to give their advice, even when it is not asked for. I accept that everyone believes they know best. I also keep an open mind. 

For now, I choose a wonderful nights sleep for both me and my baby, over hours of pacing and calming him from the side of a cot. The parents who have their babies sleep in a cot will not have the trying 'transition' of removing their child from the adult bed that I am likely to face. But this is the decision I have made and I'm also not one for worrying about what may or may not happen in the future...

... I have made my bed, and WE will lie in it.


  1. Awesome post! I have done the same for all three of mine and they have all grown into healthy, active children! I believe it IS the most natural thing!

    1. Well it suits me too and feels much more natural! X