Hello, my name is Kelly and I co-sleep
If you have been following my blog for a few months you will know that I suffered from post-natal depression. Part of this post-natal depression meant that I wouldn’t leave Nancy in a room alone - ever! I didn’t need a baby monitor because I was always right next to her. I felt like I was a bad Mum if I left her to even go to the toilet. Sounds really silly doesn’t it, but it was honestly how I felt. I think this feeling was further exacerbated by the fact that Nancy suffered from really bad reflux until the age of two. I was so worried she would choke that I would never leave her alone. Honestly, if you have had a newborn suffer with reflux you will understand how horrible it is to see them be sick. Her reflux made her so uncomfortable that it also meant she didn’t sleep and she woke up for milk an awful lot because obviously she was hungry. It was hard going. So naturally to make life easier I brought Nancy into my bed. She would sleep, I would sleep and I could quickly prop her up if she was sick. It made me feel at ease. I probably woke up every hour to check she was breathing but it was so easy to drift back off because I was still in bed.
But now three and a bit years down the line I still crawl into her bed every night. Why? Partly habit, partly because I love to cwtch (welsh for cuddle) her, partly because she still wakes up once a night if I’m not there, partly because I feel guilty for working all day and partly because we both sleep sideways so it’s so comfortable. I really think it helped us bond as well. I stopped breastfeeding early on as my eczema was extremely bad and I needed to take special tablets to help ease my pain so it made me feel close to her. It also really helped my mental state - in my darkest moment when I was worried she would be kidnapped in the night I knew it wouldn’t happen because she was there, I would know if she even turned her head in her sleep. I know this may sound a bit dramatic but these were the type of thoughts going through my mind so anything that helped me through was only a positive.
Up until Nancy was two we slept in a double bed and my husband slept on the sofa bed, this gave us more room. I was always conscious about safety so I always put my hair in a bun and made sure I slept with my head below her body, with my arm kind of up where she would lay. So I did my best to make sure she was safe.
We moved into her bed when she was two and by that point she was almost half the size of me, and now she spoons me. I really love it now because sometimes in the morning I wake up to her stroking my face or giving me a cwtch. She even tucks me under the blanket to make sure I am warm. Seriously, she is that cute! My husband did say to me surely you will have to stop sleeping in her bed soon? My reply was ‘no I think I have got until she is 7.’
I fully understand some mums like to put their children in their own rooms from 6 months onwards and if that works for you then keep doing that. I also know that you are advised not to co sleep and honestly if you are a heavy sleeper, you have drunk alcohol or you smoke then I agree co sleeping should be avoided. I would never advocate co sleeping as something you should do. I think it is always best to follow the advice given by your midwife and health visitor. The purpose of me writing this is to speak about my experience so that if you are a first time Mum going through a similar experience of being sleep deprived, away from home, struggling with this whole new experience that it is ok if you bring the baby into your bed after being up every hour on the hour, if that suits your lifestyle. It didn’t do Nancy any harm, I don’t think. She is happy, confident and healthy. She has attended nursery from aged 1, we can leave her overnight without me and she is fine, I can go to the gym or out with my friends and she goes to sleep no problem. But, she knows I always come back and often she wakes up to find me there.
If you have any questions or if you just want to chat about your own experiences please, please just contact me using the comment box if send me a dm on instagram :) xoxo