From Co-Sleeping to Cot
And why I wish it lasted forever..
When I was pregnant and mentioned the words co-sleeping I would usually get a judgemental face or reaction back at me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and it really isn’t for everyone. However for me it was right.
Co-Sleeping, AKA Bed-sharing, Family bed and Sleep Sharing.
From her first night in this world Ottilie didn’t want to sleep anywhere else than on me. I found my first night in hospital so hard as she was crying for me and I wasn’t allowed to co-sleep with her. This added to the already stressful emergency C section and the standard new mum blues wasn’t how I had planned my first night with my new baby girl.
Once we were home we quickly fell into our co-sleeping ways.
We used a Co-sleeper on and off (Baby Bay) for the first 4 months. I say on and off as Ottilie would sometimes love to sleep in it and sometimes hate to. On the nights we didn’t use it I would store our necessities in it. This was a very useful use for it as I couldn’t move much. This was due to the C section scar. Having the extra room of the baby bay meant I could just roll over and grab what we needed. Often this would be nappies, wipes and heaps of muslins!
Ottilie and I had the most bonding during our co sleeping nights (and days) and I can honestly say nothing made me happier or more comfortable as a mum than hearing our breathing in sync.
Ottilie outgrew the baby bay at around 5 Months but I wasn’t quite ready to put her in her own cot. Instead I persevered with the co-sleeping and although sometimes a tight squeeze with me half hanging off the bed, It still worked perfectly for us.
Co-sleeping to cot
A lot of the criticism I had in the early days for choosing to co-sleep was that I would create a monster that will want to sleep with me for the rest of their lives. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.
I would have continued to co-sleep forever but Ottilie decided enough was enough. At around 6 months Ottilie started to show serious interest in her nursery, which up until this point hadn’t been used. I decided to do a couple of test run daytime sleeps in her own cot. There was definitely a part of me which hoped she would hate it. In classic Ottilie style she settled with ease into her new found independence and has slept there ever since.
I can honestly say It took me 10 times longer to adjust than it did for her!
Ottilie has always been fiercely independent and reminds me a lot of a cat. Only coming for cuddles and affection when she want it. Ottilie’s love and cuddles are all on her terms and very occasionally given out.
I am a strong believer in this being part of the co-sleeping. The few months she had of it has given her inner confidence and security.
We still treasure the few mornings and nights she comes in our bed for a sleep. I miss that closeness and first smiles and milky breath when she wakes up. For us co-sleeping enabled our bond to grow and give us a calmness at the end of an often hectic day.
5 Tips to CO- Sleep Safely
If you co-sleep with your baby, here is some guidance about doing so safely –
- Make sure your baby can’t fall out of the bed.
- Keep your baby warm but not hot – use blankets rather than a duvet
- Ensure bedding does not cover your baby’s face or head.
- Don’t Co-sleep if you or your partner have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Make sure your baby can’t become trapped between the mattress and the wall