What I found was I didn’t want to miss it by sitting writing about it. In the time it takes me to write a blog post I didn’t want to miss a new facial expression. I didn’t want her to wake up and not see me. I wanted to be the best parent that I feel I could be. As I write this I feel that until this very hour I have done the very best that I can. I feel great. I don’t think listing the ‘right’ way to co-sleep will fit in this post. You can find plenty of VERY good information and personal experience in the blogs at the bottom of this post. I’ve included them as they are inspirational parents and I personally love their approaches.
I never made the decision to co-sleep with Eldest it just happened. We slept on a mattress on the floor, at my parents place. In fact in their spare room which was chock a block with furniture. We didn’t have a choice and I didn’t really see a problem with it at the time. Thinking back she slept better next to me then she did when I finally got a house (and a cot). With Mojo she refused to sleep anywhere but on me. This time I went with it but we were in a bed and I needed to do some research in to it. I needed to know it was okay. My midwife, who caught Mojo was pro home birth, pro breastfeeding (she is a lactation consultant) and very pro co-sleeping. Support on all fronts. So we made it safe. She has slept in my bed on and off since birth. Eldest and Mojo now co-sleep and have done since Mojo was old enough to choose. They like to be together, they are noisy, they sing, they fight, they share secrets and they eventually fall asleep. We got them a lovely, large bunk bed and the top bunk is rarely used. Mr and I are okay with that. They are very, very happy. They have their own rhythm too.
As soon as I was pregnant the things that get me through the 24/7 sickness is planning what to do, how to be and focusing on baby. I did bump aerobics, ball exercises and was so relaxed I tweeted through my labouring only stopped during pushing. I felt different in the pregnancy and have remained a calmer more collected version of myself – it seems to have had an effect on Ivy.
She is a very gentle soul, you can tell. She is always calm and relaxed. She wakes up and smiles. We are completely in rhythm. I wake up in the morning and she is already half way through her first meal of the day. Although we dream feed there is a difference between that and the hungry guzzling routine of the morning. A routine that she has provided and we have all bent to accommodate.
Her last hungry feed of the night is the one that triggers me to sleep too.
Then we move from side to side through the night, barely awake, totally calm and in rhythm.
If I had to describe to you, a person who perhaps doesn’t co-sleep and/or breastfeed what our night are like I would say this.
Each night from 10.30pm to 6.30am we dance. We are totally calm, we have a steady beat in which we dream to and we both wake in the morning refreshed and relaxed. We gently turn from side to side, sometimes we wake up and talk or laugh and others we move just a little further into dream land. We are in sync. What we have is synergy. Together we are more.
Blog posts to read that I feel really capture the spirit and love of co-sleeping: