|It's going to be a looooong day|
We never co-slept when Abbey was a baby; she was in her cot from day one. Some parents hate the thought of their baby being in a room alone, in a big cot, so young - but I loved it. I recognised very early on that I needed my own space, and having that time while Abbey was asleep meant I could be a better parent when she was awake.
Middle of the night feeds (although short-lived - don't hate me), I got up for, preferring to be fully awake and then have good quality sleep when it was over.
So baby co-sleeping wasn't done here.
But somewhere between teething and toddlerhood, that message got lost. She'd wake in the middle of the night and walk to our room, and a very tired Steve would help her climb into our bed. I'm no help - I sleep through her waking. But once she's in our bed, it's a different story.
Neither Steve nor I sleep while she's there. The minute one of us begins to nod off, there comes a kick or a roll over that pushes us to the very edge of the bed. And you're left hanging there, not wanting to push her over and wake her. I lie there hoping that her being so close next to me means Steve will be able to fall asleep, and then spend the next few hours alternately worrying about random things that seem important but that I don't even remember in the morning, and checking the clock to lament how many hours it will be until she'll wake.
It's that limbo state between sleep and awake. Not asleep enough to be rested, but not awake enough to have a logical thought, like: Just get up and put her into her own bed and then we'll all get some sleep.
A couple of months ago, Steve and I realised she ended up in our bed most nights and we were falling into this cycle of tiredness. So we called an end to it, and I asked Steve to wake me when Abbey woke and I'd take her back to bed and stay up to deal with any fuss that incurred. A short-term struggle for the long-term aim of sleep. Glorious sleep.
It was done, and it worked well. But the odd night of lazily and sleepily letting her into our bed throws our lives into chaos.
Steve has to go to work, and it's worrying thinking about him being so tired when he works up ladders, with sharp blades and dangerous materials, and often has to drive a fair distance from home.
And me, well, it's hard to be a good parent when you're exhausted. Any parent will attest to that (and many know sleep deprivation far worse than I've experienced). I spend the day biting my tongue, trying to talk nicely to my well-rested, energetic daughter, angry at myself for not waking and putting her back to bed, irrationally angry at Steve for not waking me to put her back to bed, and feeling sorry for myself that I have a toddler who doesn't nap.
Co-sleeping? Yep, I hate it.
Do you, or did you, co-sleep? Love it or hate it? And does anyone actually manage to get a good night's sleep with a child in their bed?