Friday, 25 August 2017

CO-SLEEPING WITH A TODDLER


Some of you may know that I currently share a bed with my 20 month old daughter overnight, and have done since she was around 9 months old. Our journey to full time co-sleeping probably wasn't how you'd expect it to be. Freya actually slept in her own moses basket or cot from the day she was born and only occasionally came in to our bed if she woke up and wouldn't settle, but when she developed a chest infection at 9 months old, one night of co-sleeping turned into two nights which then turned into a whole year of bed sharing. When I was pregnant I never planned to co-sleep at all, let alone co-sleep with a toddler of almost two but it's lovely: It really is an amazing experience - to know you have the ability to provide every single ounce of comfort that your baby needs is a such a wonderful feeling.  To know your baby feels both the most calm and the most confident they physically can when they're laying next to you can so easily fill your heart in ways that I never even knew were possible.

Putting the lovey dovey parents' feelings to one side, there are actually many benefits to co-sleeping with your children beyond infancy. This article from Natural Parents Network highlights some of the more common benefits. My favourite being that everyone sleeps better. We used to have awful nights when Freya would sleep on her own. We'd be up two, three, four times a night, sometimes for hours at a time, with an inconsolable baby who just wanted to be with her parents. Lewis would end up downstairs on the sofa at 2AM while I waited for Freya to calm down and eventually fall asleep with her in my bed once the birds had started to sing. But now? Freya goes to bed at 7PM, I join her at 10.30PM and I don't see her again until she wakes me up somewhere between 6-7AM the next morning. And those 8 hours of sleep are a luxury I'm not quite ready to risk losing yet! 

It has been hard though, don't get me wrong. There's been numerous occasions I've cried over not wanting to share a bed with her anymore. I've cried over wanting to share a bed with my fiancĂ© like a normal couple, rather than kissing him goodnight outside the spare bedroom before he goes to sleep on his own all night. But every time that's happened, I am reminded by my sweet baby girl that this won't last forever. She won't be seven years old and still clambering into my bed every night. Or maybe she will, and maybe she will still need the comfort only I can provide for her for years and years to come. But I hope not. I'm hoping I will have given Freya enough confidence so that, when the time does come for us to transition her into her own room and bed, she's happy to do so with the knowledge that mummy is right on the other side of the wall, waiting for her if she needs me. That's the dream. 

But for now, we are happily co-sleeping with a toddler and will continue doing so until the time is right for us. Do you co-sleep with your baby or toddler? Or are you experiences totally different to mine? I'd love to know! 

Thanks for reading,



Grace x