Thursday, 6 September 2012

On co-sleeping AND breastfeeding

This morning I sit here feeling worn out! I've been breastfeeding frequently during the night and Nelly just wouldn't settle into relaxed sleep at all!  This I want to admit, yes me, mother of 4 who 'should know the ropes' by now and 'all the tricks in the book' is a regular occurance in my life.

There I've said it.

My baby is a terrible sleeper.

Or the question is, is it baby?  I think I've caused all this and I want to stand on my soap box and admit it!

I never intentionally decided to co sleep with Nelly but as breastfeeding progressed and being conscious of having 3 other children in a small space things just kind of panned out this way! It made sense to me after I got over the initial feelings of failure in getting my new baby into a reasonable sleeping pattern. I also felt like I had not succeeded in making her feel comfortable and confident to be laid down in her crib alone for a few hours with a full belly.

Then I got to thinking, what was so wrong with my baby wanting to be close to me all the time? In fact maybe it's natural and a good thing, she was healthy and bonded and knew when I wasn't there.  After all if we really strip it down all other mammals sleep with their young don't they?!....

BUT, what I have noticed is that she still feeds often in the night and although I tried not to I did start to Google the 'norms' for a 9 month old after yet another restless night from her.  You see she doesn't seem to sleep deeply hardly ever!  She's active and strong and doing great but I can't help feel maybe I've made her reliant on me and breastfeeding is her way to drift off whenever the need arises! I'd never admit all this to my health visitor! Whenever I go to the baby weigh in clinic they tend to frown upon breastfeeding on demand at this age, especially if I say I know it's for comfort. Also let's not get me started on certain friends and family who tend to ask "how long are you going to keep doing that for?" likes it's some kind of bad habit to be broken and "can't you just give her a dummy?"

Anyway, what I'm getting at is maybe I will try putting her down at night to sleep alone and for daytime naps as she's starting to get overtired alot now that she's crawling and cruising and climbing!

Oh I'm so torn....

I've loved cosleeping, but what I do know is every child is individual with individual needs and instead of going by what the text book says or what the au natural mothers say I'm just gonna roll with it...

So for now wish me luck, I hope I don't wake the neighbours, I hope we get some sleep, I hope I can work out what's best for my baby but right now I think we're just going to lay down and drift off to sleep breastfeeding and when we wake up I promise I'll set up that cot ;)

1 comment:

  1. I'll confess, this could be written about my little guy and he's my fifth. He co sleeps, and still wants to nurse from oh about 1 am -5am constantly. It may be my fault, in fact I'm sure it is, but he is happy and healthy, my other children are happy and sleep well, just me... I'm so so tired. I have started just patting his back and seeing if he'll settle, and he made it to 3 am a couple times without needing more reassurance so I'm sure I could push him. Trouble is, those night cuddles are lovely, and they grow so quick. Your baby glows with health and love, you are doing an awesome job.