Co-sleeping with a Newborn.

Thursday, 2 March 2017
As a first time mum, baby guidelines and advice are something you rely on heavily. With so much to learn, you feel like you can do some kind of preparation by learning the 'basics' of having a baby. For me, the basics were that a baby should always sleep in his own cot, should always sleep on his back and shouldn't be near any loose covers or blankets that could cover him. I almost felt like I was preparing for an exam when I was pregnant, so you can imagine my devastation when the baby arrived and the questions were totally not what I'd  studied for. It turned out my baby wouldn't sleep on his back at all. He'd fall asleep easily on my chest but the second he was put on his back, he'd be wide awake and screaming. We tried every 'trick' in the book but absolutely nothing worked.

After three weeks of sleepless nights, I was having a total meltdown at the thought of another night of repeating the same failing process and gave in, letting him sleep on my chest while I sat up in bed. I propped myself up with pillows behind and on either side so that I couldn't move, pulled the duvet back and placed a light blanket over him. I was doing something I said I'd never do and I knew that, but I felt like I had no choice. It was complete desperation. That night Oliver slept for 5 hours straight for the first time and I woke up feeling much better for the sleep, but racked with guilt that I'd risked sleeping that way. 

Over the next few weeks, we continued to try to put Oliver down on his back every night but would inevitably end up co-sleeping half way through the night when we got too tired. It would have taken some unimaginable will power to stay up all night, knowing you could get a few hours rest if you let him sleep how he wanted to sleep. I also worried that Oliver would suffer from not getting to sleep and even felt guilty about depriving him of it, just because I wouldn't allow him to sleep how he wanted to. 

Maisy Meow Co Sleeping With Baby and Why


When people asked 'how's he sleeping?' (which is the standard first question when people see a baby), I'd feel so embarrassed telling them he slept on my chest. I felt like they'd judge me and think I was a silly irresponsible mother who didn't care about the safety of her child. I did, but I had exhausted the process of trying to get him to sleep on his back. It was against all the safe-sleeping guidelines and I knew that, but I felt I had no choice.  We also discovered that he was happy tummy-sleeping, but after doing some research and reading this article, we decided against that too.

We continued to co-sleep until Oliver was 8 weeks old at which point, something just clicked and he let us put him down (see this post about that). Having my own space in bed again, and being able to let myself go into a deep sleep was the best feeling and I was so proud of Oliver for going it alone. I have to say though, I did miss having those sleepy baby cuddles every night!

So what do I think about co-sleeping now? I agree that the safest way to have your baby sleep is on it's own, on it's back and without any covers or blankets near them. There's years and years of research to back it up and you only have to read that article above to realise how much of an impact it can have. I also understand, though, that while everyone should aim to follow the guidelines, its not always possible and, to an extent, you need to just do what works for you and your baby in the safest way possible. 


What's your thoughts on co-sleeping?


17 comments on "Co-sleeping with a Newborn. "
  1. Thank you for sharing your experience, I'm currently pregnant with my first baby and I've pretty much bought everything under the sun for sleep but definitely worried about having a fussy back sleeper I'm glad to hear it gets easier as time goes by should co sleeping be the route we have to take too.

    Hannah | Granite City Girl X

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    1. Congrats! :) It's so difficult because you buy so much stuff and have no idea what your baby is going to like! It really does get so much easier, even week by week! By 4 months you'll look back and realise how much easier things have gotten already xx

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  2. Great post, and great website. Thanks for the information!
    read more

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  3. Reading this post was like reading my past 14 months ago when my little boy was born. We went through much the same thing and I really struggled that I felt I was going 'against the rules' but sleep deprivation won out and we just did what we had to in the safest way possible. #9 FB blogger clubuk

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    1. Yeah totally - there's only so many nights you can go without any sleep before it really starts impacting your health and that's no good for you or your baby either xx

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  4. We've co-slept with Erin because she wouldn't be put down either! You need to do what's best don't you

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    1. Definitely - sleep makes everyone that little bit happier! :) x

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  5. I think co sleeping is good. We co slept with our twins at various stages.

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    1. Thanks! Yeah I agree it definitely helps with bonding I think and I can't deny it's the sweetest thing having them sleep next to you :) x

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  6. The whole co-sleeping debate is interesting, I live in France at the moment and co-sleeping isn't advocated here at all. Very different child rearing culture here.

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    1. Officially we are the same with co-sleeping (with advice given by doctors etc not to do it) but some chose to, and some do it unintentionally like myself! :) x

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  7. I think it is all down to the child, some will prefer the comfort and warmth from a parent, whilst others will sleep in a crib

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    1. Definitely - every baby is different, that's why rules can be hard to follow when they're so black and white xx

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  8. Babies have not read the guidelines. They set their own rules and they train us eventually! I am a fan of giving a baby what they need at the time and things will fall into place eventually. That seems to be exactly what happened for you.

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    1. Yep, totally agree - baby is boss! :) X

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  9. Thanks for sharing your opinion, you are very brave being so honest about your experience! I agree there are so many rules for getting baby in a routine and in reality it is a compromise between you and baby! I wanted to co-sleep as there are so many fantastic benefits but as you were I was concerned re - safety, we went for a compromise and found a fantastic crib called a Snuzpod, it has all the benefits of co-sleeping but put in place all the measure to ensure baby is safe, I really recommend!! http://www.cuckooland.com/dnc/cuckooland/category/3432/moses-baskets-cribs

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