We didn’t plan to be bed sharers.
I’ll say it now, I don’t actually want to be a bed sharer.
My side hurts from always lying on that one side.
I miss my husband.
But sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.
I, like most people I think in the UK, did not think bedsharing was the way to go when Sidekick was born. We bought a ridiculously expensive co-sleeping cot that has had maybe 10 hours of use.
We were put off by the Health Visitor not to bedshare. We were scared about squishing our little bundle of happiness. We thought bedsharing would result in a baby always sleeping in our bed.
The thing is though, we reached four months and no one was sleeping and something had to give.
She came into the bed, hubby went out (we have a double and Sidekick is a bed hog), and we all began to sleep a bit more.
So we are where we are. We try every night to get Sidekick into her cot which is by my side of the bed. Since we lowered it onto its lowest setting we’ve not been successful. I don’t know if that’s because it’s too far a journey down or whether it’s just separation anxiety. Doesn’t really matter the reason for her not going into it, she’s just not sleeping in it. So unlike other times where I might get an hour or two in bed with hubby, Sidekick is in the big bed all night at the moment.
We are doing this so we all sleep.
I can’t wait for the time when she feels safe and comfortable in her own bed. And that’s the thing. I don’t want Sidekick to fear bedtime, it is obvious at the moment for whatever reason, that she just doesn’t feel safe in her own bed. I keep telling myself that there will come a time when she will.
What really irks me is how people weigh in though and tell us how what we are doing is so wrong.
So here are things you shouldn’t say to a parent who is bedsharing :
- You shouldn’t do that, it’s not safe
Well actually most of the world bedshares, it’s actually only really the UK, America and Australia/NZ that are into the cribs. Cribs are mainly a Victorian invention for the well-to-do families.
- You’re making a rod for your own back
Oh get off your high horse! Am I turning around saying you’ve damaged your baby because you sleep trained, no! Am I saying that by doing CIO or responsive settling all you’ve done is taught your child that you can’t be relied upon, no! Well then don’t come sprouting your opinon to me!
You have no reason why I am bedsharing. Sure some people decide to do it straight away and they feel comfortable. However they could be like me and are doing it because it is the only way to get some sleep and it’s still crappy sleep.
- Well if your sleep is still crappy then it’s not working
It’s crappy sleep for me, not Sidekick. I’m an adult (sucks at times), I don’t need to wake up numerous times to feel reassured that everyone I love and need is still there. Sidekick does.
So at this point in her very young life we are doing everything to reassure her and make her like bedtime.
- What about time with your husband?
You mean nekkie time?? Seriously do you ask other people about that? For a start why do you assume we aren’t having sex, there are other places than the bed! Also none of your business. We may or may not be having sex, we may both be too knackered or we may be going at it like bunnies. Seriously not your business.
- They’re always going to be in your bed.
No they’re not. If we get to a point where we think Sidekick is too old to still be in bed with us then we will tackle it. She will however be at an age where we can talk and explain things to her. At the moment, she can’t talk and a choice of three toys confuses her! Shoving her into her own bed and telling her ‘it’s cool we’ll still be here’ just is too much for her little primal brain.
And that’s the thing, she is still mainly using the primal part of her brain. The bit that is fight or flight, the bit that keeps her alive. She is simply too little for reasoning.
- Well Sleep Training worked for me, my friend, my cousin nine times removed.
Bully for you! For every you it worked for it didn’t work for someone else. Also you made that choice based on your child, you parenting style and your own feelings. For me and Hubby sleep training in any form from the extreme CIO to the so called gentle ‘responsive settling’ (I don’t believe it is gentle as it’s still going against your natural instinct to comfort) is not right for us. We don’t believe they are respectful to Sidekick as a individual and they physically do not feel right for me (seriously the thought of letting her cry for no reason makes me feel sick).
So there you go, my little rant.