I am not made for co-sleeping


If you talk to anyone who has made a person, they will tell you something about co-sleeping. It’s honestly a lovely idea – babies aren’t used to being alone seeing as they were with us all through pregnancy, so they actually prefer to be with us all the time, including during sleep. Many parents around the world share their beds with their little ones. The concept of the family bed is pretty much as old as humanity, and it’s meant to be way more convenient for midnight feeds, and help everyone get a better night’s sleep. But not me.

I knew I wasn’t cut out for co-sleeping even before Harley arrived. I’ve never been able to sleep well next to other people. I can count on one hand the number of people I can share my bed with and still actually sleep. In fact, it’s a way that I gauge comfort with someone – if I can sleep properly next to you, we must be pretty damn compatible. When I slept soundly next to Dean, it was part of how I knew we were pretty awesome together, plus I wanted to keep our bed as a place where it’s just the two of us and not a baby-oriented area. And while I adore Harley with a type of love I’ve never really known before, she simply isn’t my best sleeping companion. But that could also be because I keep worrying about killing her, something I rarely fear with anyone else I’ve ever slept with.

During our recent family holiday (which I promise I will write all about soon!), we didn’t always have a camping cot for Harley. Plus, when we did, she wasn’t always totally happy in there. Perhaps it was the new locale, but she often would scream when I put her in the camping cot. So, in the hopes of keeping her happy and also getting some rest, I’d bring her into the bed with me and Dean. It wasn’t ideal, but I figured it would be okay. And for a bit, it was – I didn’t get much rest, but more than I would have gotten with her screaming in her cot.

Then one night, I brought her into bed with us, letting her sleep in between me and Dean. Somehow, in the middle of the night, I must have turned over and taken her with me… the next thing I knew, she had turned over and FALLEN OUT OF THE BED. She screamed and cried, mostly from the shock I think, but I was also pretty ready to scream and cry from guilt and fear. What if she was hurt because of me? How could I have let her fall out of bed? What does this say about my maternal instincts?

I know, I know – there are ways that people who normally co-sleep prevent this sorta stuff, and if I wanted to become a co-sleeper I wouldn’t always do this. But I just felt so bad for Harley and so bad for myself. Of course she was totally fine, but it solidified something for me. I am not cut out for co-sleeping. Even if I didn’t want to keep the bed as a marital bed and not a family bed, I just am not meant to sleep with my tiny human.

Do you share a family bed? How do you do it? I know it’s not the thing for everyone, but how do you juggle the whole sleep thing with your little one?


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  • Celeste Booysen

    I’ve co-slept with all my kids out of a combination of various situations and reasons. Didn’t do it with my eldest formally, although some nights she just landed up in there with us anyway. My Son slept a lot of the time in a cot right next to our bed and sometimes in our bed and to this day he still climbs in and he is 7. My youngest although she had a cot next to our bed formally co-slept with us from day one and although she has her own bed and has for a while she still goes to sleep in mine and then I move her, only for her to come back to my bed within hours of transferring her and then spending the rest of the night there. So that is 10 years of having various kids sharing my bed with me and although I always just wanted to give them what they wanted and be there for them, it has been to both my husband and my detrement and I think my kids too because nobody actually sleeps soundly, well except for my eldest who has no trouble falling asleep in her own bed or staying there all night. At the end of the day you need to do what works for you and your family.

    • Zoe Hawkins

      yeah, no set rule for all families, or all kids. Glad you found what worked for you – I wonder how my no co-sleeping situation will change when Harley is big enough to get into our bed on her own….

      • Celeste Booysen

        That’s just the thing, did it really work for us? Honestly I often wish we had been more strict about having our kids sleep in their own beds. I mean my youngest is 4 and my middle is 7 and the are in our bed still most nights for a good portion.

  • I co-sleep only when the need arises. Like last night. She had a nightmare or something as she woke up in her cot in shock and was pretty much inconsoleable unless she was in my arms. So off to our bed she went.

    But I think it’s a great idea to have them used to sleeping in their own cot/bed as they will eventually need to get there. Having it from early on cannot hurt I am sure.

    We actually bought her a proper single bed. On the nights she wakes up we tend to get up (Well either myself or my wife), move her to the single bed and lie next to her till she falls asleep again and then go back to bed.

    Sure, somewhere along the course of the early mornings (Around 3 usually) she’ll wake up, talk a bit to her toys and then grab her favourite blanket and run to our room for a bit of cuddles. But by that poiint she falls asleep quick again and then we sleep well. So we kind of mix and match it up. A bit of co-sleeping along with some training for her own bed.

    • Zoe Hawkins

      Sounds like a good idea! Maybe as Harley gets older and can get in and out of bed herself it will change my approach (especially to help with nightmares), but for now I’m just far too worried. Plus, yeah, I like having her sleep in her own bed. πŸ˜‰

      • Trust me, when she couldn’t get up and out of bed herself I did not co-sleep. If need be I would let her fall asleep on my chest and I would move her back to her cot.

        I was terrified of rolling over in my sleep and squashing her, or as you experienced, have her fall out of bed.

        I understand you 100% lol

    • We do the same here. It works for us.

      We did though have co-sleeping the first few months, but then as K got older and more of a blanket kick off person it changed.

  • I am not a co-sleeper either. I GET zero sleep so we only let the kids in our bed in the mornings for cuddles or if they are sick. If they are sick, one adult and one child sleeps in our bed while the other adult takes the sick kids bed and we swop it so we aren’t both dead the next day. Both my kids are HUGE wigglers and I end up with my face kicked/punched in so ja… I’m not cut out for co sleeping either. You are not alone!

    • Zoe Hawkins

      So glad I’m not the only one! πŸ™‚ And good idea going forward to help when kid gets sick or needs extra love – can lie with her in her bed instead of bringing her to ours.

  • Naxie

    *LOL*….as i’ve told you, i was totally ready and happy to have you co-sleep with me….but right from the get go, you wanted to be in your own crib, in your own room – with the lights out and the door closed!! i think we ONLY began to co-sleep when you were in your late teens – wisdom teeth removal and you spent a week in my bed, some hotels where we’ve shared a king-size bed – visits when we’ve spent the day together and then had MORE to say and climbed into bed together – but as a baby, it wasn’t your thing and as a mom, it just doesn’t work for you. there’s no right or wrong here – as with most everything – if it works, great – if not, you are STILL a fabulous and super-loving mom…..and a wonderful daughter, too. *big, big hugs*

    • Zoe Hawkins

      LOL, yup, wasn’t even a cosleeper as a baby! love it

  • Sharon Van Wyk

    I’m not a fan of co-sleeping either. I never even attempted it with my children. Like you, I’m a terrible sleeper at the best of times and having them in the bed with us, even in the same room as us, made sleep near impossible for me.
    Whatever works for you right?

  • Werner Ackermann

    We’very comfortably co-slept for extended periods. Initially we had a three- bed. Single bed was smooshed against the double. This gives plenty of space.
    Baby was always in the middle.

    Since moving the single away we’ve also co-slept with us on the edges. A much tighter fit, and you might wake stiff from bracing yourself close to the edge, but quite okay for a few nights. Mainly this happens if baby is restless in the early mornings.

    A few stretches I slept on his bed while he and mom shared our bed.

    This all might be influenced by me sleeping like rock…

    It’s a special magic having your baby close to you during the night, and I’ll always remember the moments I woke with him cuddled against me.

    But yes, those nights he turned horizontal kicking one and headbutting the other are a bit of a hassle πŸ˜‰

    • Zoe Hawkins

      yeah, I think if it works for you, it’s an amazing experience. Unfortunately, it just isn’t for me. πŸ™ Of course, when Harley gets older, I might not have as much of a choice in the matter πŸ˜›

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