For those who don’t knows this is a quick summary so far.
Miss Rose spent most of the first ten months in bed with us, breast feeding through much of the night. We gradually moved her into a cot by our bed but she still spent most of the night in with us. When I stopped breast feeding at ten months we put her on the bottle and in her own room. After a few days of controlled crying she was established and even slept through the night occasionally!
Things have changed… We have reached what I consider to be a compromise that all parties are happy with.
A couple of months ago Miss Rose got poorly and after puking epically in the night she came into bed for a bottle and a cuddle. And that’s kind of how it is now!
She always starts the night in her own room, and is always (almost always) asleep by 7. She is pretty good at self settling and will often wake a couple of times and cry but soon go back to sleep, however at some point she will wake and bangs on her bedroom door. I collect her, she comes in with us and snuggles down for the rest of the night. She sometimes has a bottle, other times she just snuggles and goes back to sleep.
The thing is I know I could cut it off again with a few nights of controlled crying, but it actually don’t want to. I’m glad we did it initially as she associated being in bed with me with breast feeding so had to get fully weaned from the breast, so it was definitely for the best and I don’t regret doing it.
Why do I not mind? Perhaps if co-sleeping is something you’ve always avoided for whatever reason then having a one year old in bed with you is as alien a concept as having a one month old in bed with you. But for me it’s nice. I enjoy our sleepy Baby cuddles. I love having her with me. She sleeps happily, and has a snoozy bottle which relaxes her for later starts to the day. Baring in mind we are still up about 5 just let that sink in… 5 is a lie in…
I can remember climbing into bed with my mum when I was little. If I had a nightmare or got lonely or felt poorly or sad, I’d get out of my bed, sneak in with my mum and cuddle up. She often wouldn’t even realise I was there until she woke in the morning. I found it comforting and reassuring and I remember it fondly. But I grew out of it. It didn’t stop me going to sleep on my own, it didn’t stop me being able to sleep without my mum there, I just grew out of needing to do it.
Fortunately for me, Rose’s daddy is on board. He says he likes her waking him up in the morning with kisses and cuddles, and prefers she and I both be happy and relaxed than tired and cranky. He has always, wisely, ascertained that as the stay at home parent it’s my call. What I say goes I say she’s in the bed with us then she’s in the bed with us.
I think perhaps the reason it works so well for us is that we get the evening to ourselves. She’s asleep by 7 giving he and I the evening to watch a film or play a game or have a chat or… You know… We haven’t lost our “couple” time. Then in the night we are joined for a big family night time snuggle. Plus my husband works away a lot and on those nights it’s almost comforting to have her with me. I’m very used to him not being there, and I don’t find the nights without him hard, but having this soft, warm, snoring little person with me is lovely. On New Year’s Eve, when I felt more lonely than usual without him, I actually stole her from her room and brought her in with me before she’d even woke up.
It isn’t for everyone, and I’m sure many think its a crazy thing to do, but for us it works. She gets her mummy snuggles, I get my alone time with my husband. I don’t worry about the night time anymore either. Nighttime is lovely. It’s all about love and cuddles. I think that makes it right.
You can check out all my contact info an links on 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 www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and 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 www.patreon.com/sirenstories.
Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!