Thoughts of an Unintended Co-Sleeper

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

The words “We will never co-sleep” came out of my mouth many times during my pregnancy. It’s dangerous! It’s unnecessary! It breeds clingyness from both parent and child! It inhibits a normal relationship between husband and wife!

We co-sleep.

It started when Miss Rose was just a few days old. She was a firm believer that night time was for eating. Then pooping. Then eating. Then eating some more. Then eating again. Then eating even more. Then pooping. I was sitting back up to feed her just moments after placing her in her crib, and even though my dear husband was happy to do the night time nappies he never mustered up the power to lactate (I begged!). I found that despite the stern lectures from the midwives I was falling asleep with my precious baby on the boob, and then waking up in a panic with her having rolled down the bed and my cold, wet boob hanging out.

One night I lay down with her in the bed, latched her on then rested my head on the pillow and nodded off with my arm around her. I woke up with her sleeping (SLEEPING!) next to me. Minutes later she woke up and I latched her to the other nipple, and again the same happened. I got sleep! Actual sleep! Not a lot, and not deep, but it was sleep. I was a convert.

It’s dangerous? Yes, I know it is a risk, and I’m not proud for taking it, but for us it’s worth it. She doesn’t sleep under a duvet; we share a blanket, her crib is against the edge of the bed to provide a buffer so she can’t roll out, and she’s not on any pillows. I don’t sleep deeply when she’s next to me so I feel any movements and hear any sounds. Plus, when she’s in her crib I am constantly checking to see if she’s breathing, when she’s next to me I can feel her at all times. Were she to stop breathing I would know instantly.

It’s unnecessary? Yes it is. If I were a better mother I would manage I’m sure. But I’m not and this is how I cope with the lack of sleep. It is not necessary for me to get enough sleep to not feel dizzy, it is not necessary for me to get up in the morning and shower rather than crawl onto the sofa and try not to pass out, and it is not necessary for me to not dread bed time with a sense of horror. But it makes my life better, and in turn makes her life better. Not everything has to be necessary to work.

It breeds clingyness from both parent and child? To be honest we’re only at two months so I haven’t addressed this problem yet. I do know that she’s getting better at sleeping in the night, going for a few hours at a time without feeding, and I make sure to put her down in her basket or on a blanket during the day so she doesn’t expect to be held and cuddled at all times. We plan to start moving her to her cot gradually in the next few weeks… I don’t know how it will work out but I suspect I will find it harder than she will! I love having her little soft, warm baby body cuddled up against mine.

It inhibits a normal relationship between husband and wife? If that man thinks he’s getting THAT anywhere near THERE for a bit he is very much mistaken. Baby in the bed or not.

My advice would be don’t rule anything out. Co-sleeping is not for everyone and should definitely be entered into with caution, but if you decide it’s for you then don’t feel ashamed. Make sure you’re safe, make sure you’re sensible, and make sure your partner is on board, and you might find it makes your parenting life so much easier.

You can check out all my contact info an links on http://www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also http://www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and The Boy (Jonathan McKinney) and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to http://www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

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One response to “Thoughts of an Unintended Co-Sleeper

  1. Hello you have a nice website over here! Thanks for posting this interesting stuff for us! If you keep up the great work I’ll visit your website again. Thanks!

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