Monday, April 11, 2011

There Were Three in the Bed...

I know that you - like me - adore your children.

To bits.

But how do you feel about...

... sleeping with them?

This is a real can of worms I'm about to open. I can tell.


I like sleeping with my children in principle. But in practice? Not so much.

From the outset, I am not one of those mothers who co-sleeps with their baby. I get the philosophy behind it and all that, but I find it hard enough to sleep in the same room as a newborn, let alone in the same bed as one.

The few times I have brought my newborn into bed with me (normally after the third night feed when eyeballs are two metres below my eyes) I have not slept due to paranoia about smothering them. If I do manage to fall asleep, I am jolted awake by my husband shrieking with paranoia; he's just had a nightmare we smothered them. Or I awaken (not even having realised I've been asleep) madly flapping about me and freaking out -!! My husband - woken by my screeching reminds me that baby is sleeping peacefully in his bassinet beside the bed. This has happened more times than I care to remember!

Nope, not a fan of sleeping with newborns.

Then your newborn baby becomes a not-so-newborn baby.

They're sleeping in their own room now. And doing great... most of the time. Except when they're growing a tooth. Or have an earache. Or havn't done a poo for four days.

And then?

You've tried patting. And cuddles. And rocking. And a breastfeed. Another breastfeed. Pacing up the hallway. Baby has gone from moaning to a full on all out screaming attack. You are at a complete loss.

And so you find yourself carrying baby back to bed with you.

In theory, both baby and you would snuggle up together and fall blissfully asleep til morning. And sometimes it works that way.

But in my experience, it doesn't often happen that way. I only bring dear Elliott into bed with me in dire circumstances. One such occasion was a few nights ago; the inspiration behind this post. He had been inconsolable. Two awful hours of battling with him to go to sleep to no avail and I found myself tucking him in next to me, praying he'd snuggle up and go to sleep.

Yeah right.

Babies, for the small creatures that they are remarkably consume a lot of bed space. They have moving limbs that can thwack you in the face (Fern once nose-butted me with such force it made me cry!). They tend to think it is a bit of a game to be in bed with mum and dad and it is not unlike my previously screaming baby to now be climbing up over my sleep deprived body squawking in delight. Lie down? I don't think so. Why would they when they can sit up; roll over; climb the bedhead; thump their legs; crawl over their parents........

At 2am, when your own child is the only reason you are being deprived of sleep, it can be tough to remain calm. It takes a lot for me to get angry at my kids, but I'll be honest and say my husband and I are less than gracious to one another at that hour.

After about an hour of battling in my own bed with Elliott, I eventually carried him back to his own bed where he promptly fell asleep til morning.

It's often been the same with Fern. She likes being in bed with us, but she has no intention of sleeping while she's there. When - in desperation (ours) - she's come into our bed, its normally only for an hour or so before we carry her back to her own bed and she happily goes off to sleep.

I dunno.

Do you sleep with your kids? Do your kids like the idea of being in your bed more than actually partaking in any sleeping with you? What say you on this topic?

ps. Just because I don't like the kids in my bed doesn't mean I don't on the odd occassion climb into theirs! Here's a little look at a bit of fun we had last weekend; little Elliott had a smile 4 metres wide at his sister and dad being in the cot with him.... but when I climbed in he only had eyes for Fern. He adores his sister, he does. x


  1. I am very similar - I can't sleep when I have my baby in the bed because I am frightened of squashing her - especially when I am sleep deprived and thats normally the case if I resort to putting her in my bed. I have had dreams about her going missing when she was never in the bed with us. If we all fall asleep again she uses hubby as pillow and me as a foot rest or vice versa. Its one of those hard decisions/ choices as a parent. I would say I am a "not cosleeper" parent but when my options are limited, I am exhausted and frustrated I can give in - sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't and I end up putting her back into her bed anyway.

  2. I've always fed Alex in bed both morning and night since he was born so in the early days he'd often fall asleep there and it was fine... Haydn got paranoid sometimes about squishing him but I kind of knew I wouldn't.

    More recently, and since he's in his own room we only bring him into our bed if he's sick and really needs some comfort. And he always manages to finally fall asleep diagonally on the bed so his dad and I are in the far corners teetering on the edges trying not to fall off.

  3. Sounds similiar to us - have never been one to have Grace in our bed and the first time she was teething bad and nothing worked, I reluctantly brought her back to bed with me to try and settle her before popping her back in her cot. Since then though, being in our bed has rarely helped calm her when she's sick - she think mummy and daddy's bed is 'playtime'. A few weeks ago when she was unwell, I tried lying in our spare bed with her but she eventually pointed to her cot in her room and said 'Gracie sleep there' and so I ended up falling asleep on the floor in her room trying to settle her down :)

  4. hi Nicole,
    Just thought that i'd drop you a line and say I love your new design for your blog. It looks fresh and amazing!!! Love to read it!!!
    Love Emma

  5. Hey i'm back and catching up!
    I love a 'bit' of sleeping with my daughter who's 4...but not my son who's 2. He rarely goes back to sleep = no sleep for us.
    Kit is like a stealth spy. She creeps in, in the night/5/6am crawls into the middle of the not disturbing us and the next we know she is in our bed is when we wake in the morning! That is snuggles and morning bliss. He is another matter entirely. Generally we are very lucky. They sleep in the same room which is lovely and they both go to bed really well. At the moment Sebsy is still in a cot so if he wakes in the night crying, we check him and if he's ok, we leave him there.
    BUT babies are different, they do stuff to your brain and make you do silly things and create crazy routines for yourself by sucking you of life and your sanity of sleeping. Let's see what happens when no.3 turns up!

    As a general comment i'd say that kids in your bed whatever age is only a problem if it's a problem for you.

    P.S. Love the new look! xx


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