Skip to main content

10 Things Tuesday: 10 Things Co-sleeping Means To Me...


Disclaimer: In an ideal world I wouldn't need to write a disclaimer, but for the sake of no-one feeling judged, I just want to say the following list of points reflects my personal experiences with co-sleeping and is not representative of the experiences of anyone else, including other co-sleepers.


  • When I had a baby who didn't sleep more than 40 minutes at a time, day or night, and averaged about 6 hours in every 24 for the first almost three years of his life. Co-sleeping meant not physically having to get out of bed to resettle him. It didn't make him sleep better, but it meant conserving my own energy so I was better able to cope with the sleep deprivation (excluding those six months where I got both of us up in the middle of the night so the GOM could get sleep for work - that was sheer hell and landed me in hospital, but that was not co-SLEEPing).
  • With my two children who slept more soundly - but still woke as babies are wont do to - it meant, and still means, knowing my babies are alright overnight. I can hear them breathe. I can feel their temperature as soon as it changes. I'm there the moment they vomit (okay, not exactly a bonus, but reassuring, nonetheless).
  • It means reconnecting after a harrowing day of mother-child disconnect and disagreements. Nothing reignites maternal love for me like seeing the innocence in my child's sleeping face, or having him entwine his little arms around my neck or arm, half asleep and warm and squishy.
  • It means hot little feet in the small of back on cold winter nights.
  • It means always knowing where his favourite toys are - ever laid on a lego TARDIS? I have...
  • It means giggles in the middle of the night when something amuses him in the dreamworld.
  • It means waking up to smiles every single morning without fail.
  • It means never having my children associate their bed with anything other than a safe and comforting place to sleep.
  • It means occasionally waking with a foot or bum in your face and not being completely horrified.
  • The most important thing it has meant to me was personal growth. I have never been a cuddly sort of person. I find close personal contact difficult. I was aware of co-sleeping when my eldest was a baby, but I couldn't come at the idea of having to sleep so closely to someone else. I didn't even cuddle the GOM in bed because it felt like I couldn't breathe. When my eldest was about 10 months old and teething, I tried to bring him into our bed, but he was not at all used to the idea and would lay there wide awake until I asked if he wanted to go back to his bed. He'd nod and I'd take him back to his bed and he'd crash out immediately. When my second was born I decided to co-sleep from the start, but I always kept a space between us, pulling him closer to feed him, then shunting him to the middle of our enormous 2m wide bed. When he was older, he wasn't particularly cuddly and would lie starfish style in the middle of the bed. With our third, I started out the same, with distance between us, but when he was older, he would cuddle up to me or the GOM, mostly the GOM. I slowly learned to be comfortable with closer contact. Then Ari came along. Finally, seven years into co-sleeping I started to feel comfortable with close contact, and more and more slept with him in my arms. Now,  after 10 years of co-sleeping, I don't stiffen up or feel suffocated if a child wants to cuddle with me in bed, but not only has it changed my interactions with my children overnight, it has also made me more affectionate throughout the day.
Co-sleeping has softened me and taught me to be physically affectionate and open with my family. I'm still not 'a hugger' in my wider circle of friends and acquaintances - I doubt I ever will be - but with my children and with the GOM, I am definitely much more relaxed and affectionate. I will be forever grateful to co-sleeping for that.

Comments

Rhianna said…
What a lovely list. I am a huge co sleeping fan. I would quite happily trade in all our beds for one mattress the covered the entire floor to ensure there was room for all of us.
coloursofsunset said…
I loved co sleeping with N. Our bed's not really big enough for it anymore. None of us get a good nights sleep when all 3 of us are in there, so we now make an effort to take him back to his bed when he comes in in the middle of the night. Which makes me sad, but the bags under my eyes and the waking up and NOT having a kink in my neck/back thank me for it.
I am a huge fan of co sleeping too. I never would have gotten as much sleep as I did with infant twins if I hadn't co slept. They still come into our bed some nights or early morning and I love snuggling up to them most of the time.
I know it won't last forever so I don't mind them waking me.
Sif said…
Rhianna, I know quite a few people who have done just that!

COS, Around the time we first started co-sleeping, we had a futon custom made; 2 metres x 2 metres. We used that for a number of years and had plenty of space for three of us. Now we have a King bed and I have to admit I'm already planning on downsizing when Ari moves out because it's going to feel too big and empty!

Trish, I think I write this list because deep down I know our co-sleeping days are numbered and to my own surprise, I'm really going to miss them. Our older boys never come into bed for snuggles. It's as if once they decide to move into their own bed it's because they've had their fill of bed snuggles with us *sob* - lol, i'm so pathetic! Ha ha!
Sarah Mac said…
I've passed the Versatile blogger award on to you :) See my post for details.
pam said…
I have slept with all 3 of my children but the youngest is now 11 and was still in my bed till lst week as no encouragement would move her out. Finally, last week I said "Mummy can't work as much as we need cos she's so tired all the time" and got the reply "Well, if it's about money, you should've said" and she's been in her own bed ever since!
PS. Sara Mac sent me , great post
Sif said…
Sarah Mac - thanks for the recommendation! I've already received it a number of times now (too bad it doesn't come with a button you can put up so people know).

Pam, thanks for stopping by. What a classic story! Such a level headed girl you have there, LOL. We set up a bed for Ari a couple of months back and just as soon as it get a bit warmer we'll start the process of settling him in our bed and transferring him to his own once he's asleep. Then when he wakes he's welcome back into our bed. Our first co-sleeper demanded his own bed at 2 3/4 after co-sleeping with his older brother on a trip away. Our second needed a little encouragement about six months after Ari was born (four in the bed was the tipping point for us)... Hopefully Ari will be receptive of our gentle attempts to transfer him, LOL. I've known a few other children who co-slept until around 10 or 11, so I think it's not uncommon. I'm kind of hoping Ari doesn't do that though.
I am here..cannot believe I missed this blog and Tuesdays...so I have added my link 10 Things About being a grandmother.
Love this post of yours too. Now adding you to my reader. Cheers Denyse X

Popular posts from this blog

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...


At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Alone... And Stuff...

Do you ever just need to be alone?



As the boys are growing up, we have more times when the house is quiet. The youngest will be asleep. One will be reading, one will be playing on his computer with headphones on, one will be painting and there is stillness.

Sometimes, even that is not enough.

Sometimes I crave being alone, with no possibility of someone suddenly realising they have to tell me something important or ask me a question or even just crash about in the kitchen.

Sometimes I crave S P A C E, lots and lots of space, being able to walk from room to room without encountering another soul.

This is how I felt when I woke up this morning, so instead of getting ready for work, I decided to stay home. Get up, but not go anywhere, no hear the sound of my own voice, or anyone else's.

I think this might just be part of getting older. After a lifetime of chasing after other people and trying not to be alone, my mind and body is full of thoughts, experiences, feelings, and busy-ness …