When M was 3 weeks old we made the decision to Co Sleep, however that was never our plan, actually we were quite against the idea. At 2 weeks old M was taken into hospital for light therapy due to jaundice and we were admitted for just under a week. He hadn’t taken to the breast very well and at this point I was persevering. This unfortunately meant he wasn’t drinking enough milk to flush away the jaundice, which is why we were in hospital for so long and the reason why, in my opinion, M would not settle at night. I think he was hungry.
Whilst we were in hospital Kirsty and I actually got some sleep and we weren’t prepared to go back to continuous sleepless nights and the rest is history. Over the months we began to enjoy our snuggles with Monkey and felt it was our family time and even though we were asleep it was a time for bonding too. Lots of skin to skin and most importantly blissful sleep. I loved co sleeping with my little man for so long.
However most good things must come to an end. Monkey was getting too big and we just didn’t have enough room for a comfortable night’s sleep so Kirsty and I made the decision to slowly introduce M to his cot. I won’t lie, it took a long time. Monkey really didn’t like the sleeping bags and we had to unzip the bottom so his feet weren’t trapped inside, that worked for a while, however once the winter descended upon us he just got too cold and night after night he ended up in our bed.
We fully support safe sleeping and advise using safe sleeping methods like sleeping bags, which is why we persevered for so long. We tried every trick in the book and we still didn’t get anywhere. We were getting less and less sleep as the weeks went on, M would wake up and we wouldn’t be able to soothe him back for anything up to 5 hours. We would get frustrated with him because we were just so tired and made us incredibly sad because it’s really not his fault.
So two weeks ago Kirsty and I had a long conversation about the possibility of introducing a toddler duvet and pillow. We had heard a lot of success stories and considering M would end up sleeping under our duvet and on our pillows each night, it seemed like the best thing we could do. So I bit the bullet and hit the shops the next day. I made sure I bought a duvet and pillow especially designed to be lightweight and breathable. Some lovely people on twitter told me John Lewis was the best place to buy them and although they are a bit pricey I didn’t really mind. I would rather buy a good quality set which would last a long time rather than having to buy them over and over again and I was very impressed with the quality. We had a pillow case and duvet cover in storage from the Ikea make over which look absolutely lovely in his room.
Just before bed we took M upstairs and told him we had a surprise for him. I washed the sheets that day so they were all lovely and fresh for him. We asked him to help us take the duvet and pillow into his bedroom with us and put them in his cot. He was so excited and started bouncing around the room. We then lifted him into his cot and the first thing he did was lay down on the pillow and pull the duvet up around him, grinning like a Cheshire cat as he did it. He was so happy and I think it made him feel special. Since then M has slept so well, I really couldn’t believe it at first. We have only had a couple of bad nights due to M being so poorly and sometimes he doesn’t like the pillow in the cot but most nights are good nights.
It’s a bitter sweet moment for me really. Now, even when he does wake in the night he would rather settle back in his cot than come into bed with us. I’m not going to lie, I do really miss him, and we both do. When I first tucked him in his cot with his new big boy duvet I welled up a little. My baby boy isn’t a baby anymore but he looked so comfy that it counteracted my sadness. I love the time I get with my wife now. Monkey no longer dominates the bed and I actually get to fall asleep cuddling the woman I love. It has been a long journey but I think we are now in a good place. I’m sure we will have to go through this all over again once he’s in his big boy bed but for now, I’m just going to enjoy my time fast asleep.