Sleep

When we got home from hospital, the first few nights were amazing. I had expected to hardly sleep, constantly being woken by him wanting a feed, but infact the first couple of nights he only woke a handful of times and slept soundly in his crib.

The next couple of nights couldn’t have been more different, with him waking every hour or so for a feed, but the midwife reassured me that this would just be a growth spurt, a couple of nights of solid feeding and then it would go back down to more manageable levels.

We never returned to the low levels of feeding that we had experienced on the first couple of nights, I assume he was as tired from the birth as I was and was just sleeping it off, but it was possible to function on the amount of sleep I was getting. 

Then about a week or so ago I had the night from hell, he cried the whole time. He fed and fell asleep in my arms, but as soon as I put him down in his crib he cried so I fed him again assuming he hadn’t had enough and then he overindulged and threw up. He went all night not settling and crying constantly, and by the morning I was a total wreck.

I assumed it was a one off and was hopeful that the next night would be better. It wasn’t. After one of the feeds though, I accidently fell asleep with him on my chest and we both slept for four hours without stirring. This kept happening over the next few nights and I felt endless guilt that I was risking him like this. I hadn’t looked into cosleeping, I just knew it wasn’t recommended and I was terrified of rolling on him or smothering him, but with him not settling easily in his crib and me being exhausted I could see me keeping falling asleep with him. 

The next night it got to 4am and he still hadn’t settled in his crib. I was trying really hard to keep him in there, replacing his dummy every time he spat it out and screamed and shushing him, but by 4am I was shattered and he was showing no signs of relenting so I took him into bed with me, snuggled him down on my chest and the next thing I knew it was 7am.

I knew that this couldn’t continue, he either had to stay in his crib or I had to find a way to cosleep more safely. I decided to look into how to make cosleeping safer incase the need arose again, not out of choice, out of necessity, for my sanity. I think that if there were two of us to take it in turns to settle him this wouldn’t be so important, but as it is I need to be awake the next day to look after him, and therefore cannot be awake the whole night before trying to settle him!

I found a list of things to do to make cosleeping safer and most of them were fine, I was already doing them – no smoking, drinking or drugs, sleep between baby and partner – well I am on my own so no issue there, tie your hair back, fine, no duvets – this is where I had to change what I was doing. There had been one occasion where I had woken up to find him curled up on my stomach, under the duvet, when he had fallen asleep on my chest above it. He’s a proper little wriggler, so before I let him sleep with me again this had to change. (The site suggested wearing a onesie to keep warm and putting baby in a sleeping bag)

I fully intend on keeping him in his crib if at all possible, starting every night putting him in it and trying everything to keep him there, but I will not drive myself crazy if he just won’t settle, I know I have another option.

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  1. My little one, Isla, was the same way at first! I gave up on many a night and had her sleep in my lap on the Boppy pillow. That is where she slept the soundest!

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