Three years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt of bedsharing with my baby and here I am, believing in my own mothering instincts and getting so much more sleep as a result of it. To date I have had few days when I feel like a real zombie mum. But I fear teething might sort that out for me.
This time around with baby Boyo there is more research to support my bedsharing choice, I trust my instincts better and I’ve had some decent health visitor support.
How does bedsharing with a baby work?
We only bedshare part of the night, unless baby Boyo is under the weather and not tolerating an arms reach distance from me. Last night was one of those nights, with a raging cold he just wanted me close. And as it happened Babe (the three year old), did too. So I was sandwiched between them and slept remarkably well.
Our bedsharing looks like this – I nurse with baby Boyo lying down next to me, lying on his back turning his head to the right. I then lie and sleep on my left side with his head below my left arm, which is either tucked under the pillow or bent up to rest my head on. When he is not in my bed he is still right next to me in his Cosleeping crib.
When we bedshare I don’t do various things to ensure the safety of baby Boyo:
– Don’t use duvets, just a blanket or two. I always ensure that there is no extra blanket bulk near him, by pulling the blanket tightly around me when nursing and tucking it under my body. I am a little hot water bottle at night, so getting cold isn’t something I have to worry about too much (call me sweaty Betty if you will). If it does happen to be that bit too cool for me I put on an old cardigan or my merino wool thermal long johns – sexy I know. Actually as long johns go, in black they’re pretty fetching. It’s the drab brown nightgown I put over the top that ruins the look.
– Don’t use a baby sleeping bag (sadly I have lots from Babe which I was hoping to give a second life). He has blankets instead as he gets too hot with a sleeping bag on lying next to me. I also like the flexibility of blankets, allowing you to throw on an extra layer if it gets cooler, and simply peel one off when he’s starting to feel a tad toastie. Under the blankets he sleeps in a vest and sleep suit.
– Don’t let baby sleep in the middle. He always sleeps on the outside edge of the bed (next to his Cosleeping crib), not inbetween me and my husband or three year old. That way there is no risk of them rolling onto him. I now understand there is no risk of me doing this (so pipe down you ill educated scaremongers), and there is a wealth of scientific research from well respected universities across the globe that back up my mother instincts.
Life is lovely; we sleep at night so we can laugh and play in the day. Now we’ve started, I wouldn’t want it any other way.