My Names Nichole and I’m a bedsharer… and not with my husband (currently). I have lost my blogging mojo as of late, and while drafted many, finished none. But in recent weeks, had three different friends give me sheepish comments, cautiously admitting they have their babies in their beds too. Comments made with trepidation and embarrassment, that they are the only ones in the world who are having to sleep in this arrangement, to actually get some sleep. Well let’s set the record straight. You are not alone, I am right there with you!
The concept is pretty new to us. #SHJM was in a cot in his own bedroom at six weeks when he outgrew his moses basket, (cue lots of parenting guilt from #MJM and I about this), I was exhausted, I was in and out of his room constantly for most of his first year of life, then I stopped breastfeeding and #MJM tagged in. Obviously, we believed we had the only child in the world that didn’t sleep, the only child in the world that was still waking at night.
April 2017 came and we welcomed #ARWM to the world. He very quickly made his position apparent. After 9 months of sleeping cuddled up inside my stomach, he was going nowhere fast. To this day, he is most happy and content touching me, being held by me, next to me and at night, cuddled up with me. Whereas his brother always slept starfish, spread out and never would have fallen asleep in our arms, #ARWM genuinely believes he is ‘big spoon’. I like all mums, invested in gadgets, sleepyheads, comfort objects that looked like bunnies, to try and make him feel happier and secure. Then I realised mother nature had provided all those things, for free, in one item, me. I had no intention of parenting any differently at night than in the day. I would cuddle him unconditionally, make him feel secure unconditionally and support him unconditionally for the rest of his life. And at this time, he doesn’t need me cheering him on at the side of the rugby pitch. He simply needs me close. He won’t want to be with me forever and ‘this too shall pass’. So for now, I mostly try to embrace it.
#MJM and I always try to start the nights in the correct beds, we go through phases where this is more successful than others. Other times the boys just need us and so we respond to that need. On the days where #ARWM is having a few nights of a bad run, #MJM sleeps in the spare room to get a good night sleep, then tags in for me to lie in for a couple hours in the morning.
All kids wake up in the night, for cuddles, for teething, because they are scared, lonely, thirsty, unwell…there is always something. Maybe its hourly, maybe its once a week. But it happens. Maybe the baby sleeps great at 6 weeks old, and then at 6 months everything changes. Maybe you have a rough 2 and a half years (as we did with #SHJM) but then the next child is consistent 7pm-7am champion…I’m hoping I get one of these next.
In the dark of night everything feels worse, the minutes truly feel like hours, but I can guarantee somewhere there is at least one, probably many, people going through the exact same thing. Normally me! Do whatever is best for you and your family. Do whatever works for as long as it works, if it doesn’t work anymore change it. Do whatever gives everyone more sleep.
It will not be forever and you are not alone!
Mummy Milne xx