Before I start, let me tell you, the sleeping part in co-sleeping is hypothetical for Mommies. (You don’t get any sleep in the first few months of motherhood at all. Ask any Mom out there.) You just lie beside your baby, trying to make him sleep or worry about not waking him up.
In India, almost all moms co-sleep with their babies. It is an ingrained part of our culture, at least until the child is 5-6 years old. While sleeping with your baby has its beautiful moments of cuddling and snuggling. It also has its own struggles and hardships.
So, let’s see what those are and how to survive them:
Fear of hurting your baby in Sleep
The first few days when you sleep with your baby can be exceptionally hard. You are not used to sleeping with such a delicate and tiny human.
I was also terrified of hurting my newborn baby in sleep initially. What if I put roll over and crush him? Yes, I know mothers have terrible imagination. But in a few days, you get used to it. Also, maternal instincts take over, and you are even aware of your baby in sleep.
How to Survive:
- Make your baby’s bedding a little higher, so you are not sleeping at the same level.
- You can put a small pillow between you so your tossing and turning don’t cause any harm.
As you get used to sleeping beside your baby, you start to realize how damn HARD it is to actually get any sleep.
Here are some struggles of sleeping with your baby that you never imagined you will face, until you actually do;
You can’t turn the other side
Babies can be weird that way, literally. They could sleep through an apocalypse, but the moment their Mommy moves, they know it!
No sneezing or coughing
Let me tell you one incident I had (it’s one of many by the way), I had finally put my baby to bed after an hour of trying, and lay down beside him. All was going well, then suddenly I had a sensation of sneezing, and I definitely didn’t want to wake my baby with the noise of my sneezing.
So, I tried to hold it in. But after a few minutes, I couldn’t do it any longer and ran to another room to sneeze. Yep, that’s motherhood to you, you prefer to choke on cough or sneeze then letting your baby wake up.
Leaving the bed is forbidden to you Mommy
If you can’t cough or sneeze, what makes you think you can get up from the bed? Babies have a transmitter in their heads when it comes to their mothers. They would know you are not there, no matter how deeply asleep they were.
Needless to say, in the incident I mentioned above, where I ran to another room to sneeze. My little one still woke up knowing within seconds mommy was there and started crying. All of this drama for nothing!
Worrying about your baby throwing the blanket off
It is one worry I think I am never going to be free of. Babies keep throwing off the blankets, and you keep putting it on them. It’s a never-ending loop that robs you of your sleep.
Getting kicked in the Face
What, you thought babies stop kicking once they are born? Nope, they were just practicing in the womb. So they can kick you on the face in the middle of the night when you are finally asleep. Get ready to get kicked a lot, Mommy!
Ever heard of caught between rock and a hard place? You get to find out yourself
Imagine you are sleeping with your baby snuggled up to you, it’s such a sweet moment right? No, it’s NOT when you are sleeping at the edge of the bed, and moving your baby will wake him up and if you move an inch to the other side, you will fall off the bed. So you are caught between a rock and hard place 😛
Do you see I didn’t mention the tips to survive other than that first point? Because there isn’t much you can do to avoid all these struggles, and it also depends on many factors, like, does your baby sleep in a cradle placed beside you, or how deep a sleeper her or she is, or how often your baby feeds in the night, etc.
Still, here are some tips that could help you make it all a little easier to survive (You are still not getting much Sleep Mommy, don’t forget that ;))
- If you have to leave the bed after putting your baby to sleep, put a blanket or pillow or any cloth you have worn, that has your scent on it. Babies recognize your scent, so it gives him a sense of you being closer. It might not work all the time, but it does help sometimes. I have done it on many occasions.
- Make your baby sleep in his father’s arms or near him regularly, so that he could get used to sleeping with his Daddy too, and let you have some freedom.
- Dress your baby in comfortable and fresh clothes every night before putting him to bed, making sure they keep the baby warm but not too warm. So whether they throw the blanket off or not, it doesn’t affect their sleep as well as health.
That’s it for now from my side, do share your co-sleeping stories or any questions you have in the comments section.
Happy Co-sleeping Mommies!
Note: This post is written as part of the #BlogChatterA2Z Challenge for the letter C.