Moving On From Co-Sleeping… Ish…

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.

After the first few days of Miss Rose’s life we decided the only way to cope was co-sleeping. She was breast feeding every half hour ALL NIGHT and I was starting to lose the will to live. As soon as we brought her into bed with us, against the advice of all the professionals I admit, life got better. Some days I was still so tired I didn’t know what my fingers were, but at the same time I wasn’t dreading the night and I wasn’t resenting my beautiful baby. I will never regret that decision.

However, at three months old she has now become big and wriggly and is taking up a heck of a lot of space. Her feeding has spaced out (occasionally to five hours at a time… usually to about two…) and we can put her down to bed on her own around 7 and she will go to sleep happily on her own. Wisely my dear husband has left all such decisions up to me, and would never criticise how I choose to parent her (not because he always agrees with me, because he’s scared of getting his face ripped off) but I know he too is looking forward to getting a bit of bed space back.

So… how to thrust such a change on a small baby that loves sleeping in bed with her mum and is very fond of nuzzling into my boobs, occasionally performing a half asleep motorboating.

We’ve brought her cot into our bedroom and put it against the side of our bed with the side off so it is mattress to mattress. We still put her down at the same time on her own and then in the night when she needs feeding I’m still close by but she has her own space, and most importantly we have our own space. The plan is to gradually get her more and more used to being on her own, until we can gradually start putting the side on, raising the side up, then moving the cot away from the side of the bed, and then eventually moving it into a different room. For both her and I we don’t want to rush this process. It isn’t fair and it will just lead to stress and upset on both our parts.

Last night was night three.

Night one – HELL. Honestly it was awful. She went down completely fine as normal, we kept her blanket on her and me all day so it smelled familiar and was nice and warm, and put her down at 7 and she slept perfectly well until I went to bed at 9. Then she worked out she was not in the same bed as me; literally inches away from me, I can touch her without straightening my arm, but she wasn’t nuzzling into me and she was ANGRY. Furious. I let her grumble and grizzle without picking her up, but I don’t let her cry. She grumbled and grizzled almost constantly, so whilst I was staying down resting, I wasn’t sleeping. She cried every hour or so. Her father slept through most of this the sod, but neither Miss Rose nor I got much sleep at all that night and spent the whole next day grumpy and sleepy and irritable. Bad day to have lunch with the inlaws, but that’s another story…

Night two – huge improvement. Massive. She went down as normal again, woke up for a feed at 930 when I went to bed, then grizzled for a couple of minutes or so after each feed before going back to sleep. Brilliant! Still feeding every couple of hours but a total improvement and I was feeling confident.

Night three – Urgh. I have no other word to describe it. We eventually got up at 530 because she was firmly determined to stay awake as much as possible. She did sleep last night, and I sort of did, but not a lot. She was grumpy and complaining. Grizzling a lot again. I poked her dad in the back at around 3 to do a nappy for me which he did, but then at 530 she did another nappy and then whilst I was changing her squirted a nice stream of poo straight across the changing mat and onto the carpet. I cleaned it up (I hope… I was very sleepy and it was dark…) and then given how awake she was we came downstairs to start the day.

So… how will tonight go? I hope an improvement. I’m determined to keep on it, it will only confuse her if occasionally I give in and bring her back into bed. We’re on a path and we have to stick to it now, and I want to. Much as I miss her, which I do a lot, I want us both to get used to sleeping without one another. I will update on how it goes for anyone else wanting to take the next step.

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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