The Troubles Of Sleeping
When I took my first born home I was in an almost constant state of panic. One fear I had, in particular, was sleeping while the baby is sleeping. I was too afraid to let her sleep alone and too afraid to co-sleep with her… needless to say, I quickly became zombie mom.
It was a gradual adjustment for us to co-sleep. I tried desperately to get her to sleep in her crib at first but she just wouldn’t sleep and neither could I.
I was constantly jumping awake to make sure she was still here and breathing.
So the first couple weeks I would stay awake as late as I could at night holding her. I would let her sleep but would be just about dying from exhaustion myself.
I’d catch up on sleep during daytime naps while daddy was at work. Having the whole bed to ourselves made it much easier.
Co-Sleeping on the bed
The biggest problem I’ve found with co-sleeping is that baby tends to sink into you when you’re sleeping on the bed and of course… it scared me.
I found this ridiculously uncomfortable (although effective) way to have my arm up above my head, laying on my side facing her. I would wear tight tank tops and while breastfeeding her I would securely tuck it underneath me above my breast. This actually creates a nice secure gap between her face and me while her body was snuggled up next to mine.
Neither of us would move and we both began getting our sleep, although I was still pretty uncomfortable with the situation because of her sinking into me.
Feeding her was now much easier and I could easily tell she was breathing so I could take some naps during the night and a little rest made our situation much less dangerous, but I was still pretty exhausted.
A New Struggle
A couple weeks later, when I finally had a bit of a routine going, my daughter got colic. Once again no more sleep, but at this point, I was just about a pro at restless nights. Haha. (Funny but not funny.)
My boyfriend’s job was our only support of income and he couldn’t also be not getting sleep. So I would stay up all night with her but I made a bed on the floor for us to try to settle down in the morning hours when her colic would ease up. (See 10 Tricks to Ease Babies Colic)
See also: How To Save time By Showering With Baby
During these stages, I only had a nice thick blanket on the floor for us to sleep on, and my side would be killing me by the time we woke up! But it was working so that’s what we did for the next couple weeks in order to regain some sleep.
While we were gaining sleep, my boyfriend was losing sleep having lost his cuddle partner. (He’d kill me if he knew I wrote that.) Missing us he started sleeping on the floor with us. (My heart-throb.)
Once it became more of an every night thing we decided we needed a little more of a permanent solution because our backs/sides were, of course, killing us!
We have one of those foam bed toppers that was on top of our bed, it’s about an inch to an inch and a half thick.
Baby doesn’t sink into me, she can comfortably get milk when she needs it or roll onto her back (now that she’s 7 months her side also). I sleep in the middle not squished by the two and my man and I can cuddle. We have plenty of room now. I don’t have to worry about her falling off the bed or suffocating.
Another note to add: For colder weather keep a long sleeve outfit on your baby, but for any weather, I highly recommend keeping any blankets nice and tightly secured under the bottom of the bed so it cannot go up past just above babies belly button. My daughter would never let me pull the blanket up much higher than this as it is (maybe a natural fear). This will greatly decrease any risk of suffocation.
Also be aware of how you sleep. If you tend to toss and turn in your sleep at night or are a heavy sleeper, co-sleep may not be the best option for you. I am a very light sleeper and I remain very still and sleeping has been very safe, and comfortable for us.
I know sleeping on the floor seems a bit drastic but really it’s kind of fun and there is nothing better than a good night’s rest every night. So for now, I will enjoy the rest and I hope you get to also. Good luck and sweet dreams!