I Said I Wouldn't But I Did.

Friday, 2 February 2018

You know what? It's super easy to give parenting advice when you're not a parent. We've all done it. Walked around the supermarket and thought to ourselves, oh we'd never give our kids chocolate just to make them be quiet. Listening to Mum's complain about their babies not sleeping and thinking, my baby will be sleeping in their own cot, all by themselves. Formula fed? Oh no way, I'll be breastfeeding my child thank you very much. 

Well, just you wait. Wait until it's 3am, your baby has been awake since 11pm and refuses to go down. Wait until you've been trying to feed your baby but your nipples are cracked and bleeding. Wait until you're crying in the shower because you don't feel like you can do this whole parenting thing anymore. Wait until you just manage to get to sleep and then are woken up by a screaming baby.

Co-sleeping, for me, was one of those things that I kinda judged other parents on. I always thought that, when it comes down to it, it's just about making the effort. Being patient. Taking time to get them used to the bassinet/cot no matter what it takes. Even if you're up for hours, surely it's not that hard right? And why would you want your baby sleeping in your bed with you? How can you have a bit of sexy time with a little baby taking up half of your bed? Don't you want to have your own space? Independence should be the main goal! 

Ha! Well aren't I the fool. Firstly, because when you've just managed to settle a crying baby and crawl into bed, the last thing you want to do is be intimate with your partner. If you get your baby to finally sleep, you make the most of every second that you can get to grab some zzz's yourself. Secondly, when I decided that co-sleeping wasn't something I wanted to do, I didn't have a baby who didn't want to sleep by themselves. That hadn't had their immunisations that day. That hadn't refused to sleep anywhere but on me all day because they wanted cuddles. That decided at 11pm to have a bit of a cluster feed that would finish at 2am. 

I was so bloody tired. And you know what? I just didn't have it in me to try and get him into the bassinet. I fell asleep while I was feeding him lying down, and woke up to his poor little face smashed into my boob. He had managed to clear his face so all was good, but I felt awful. Awful that I was so tired and had put my baby at risk. So I made a safe little nook in the middle of our bed. Made sure that he wouldn't be covered by any blankets and tucked him in so he was nice and cosy. And we slept. In fact, he slept for five hours which was his longest stint yet. 

I have to admit it wasn't my best sleep. I did wake up a couple of times to check he was okay. And in the back of my mind I was thinking that this probably wasn't a good idea and that I was making a bad decision. Because of that, I don't think this is going to become a regular thing. He does actually sleep in his bassinet and we really do appreciate the independence. But as a one-off, I think it's going to be an option for us. In this situation, it was actually the safest option for all of us. Both Rob and I were at risk of falling asleep while holding him, so it really was much safer for him to be tucked in nicely. 

It's really easy to assume things before you're in the situation yourself and it's a lesson that I've been learning all the way through. And also, a lesson in kindness. Parents are going to make decisions that you find questionable, but it's their baby. Their lives. We're all going to approach parenthood in different ways and the most important thing is to really just go with what's for you. At the end of the day, safety and happiness is key so if that means that we have a little sleepover every now and then for our sanity (and our sleep), then so be it. 

No comments

Post a comment

HANGING WITH THE KEYS © — Theme by Blogs & Lattes