Co-sleeping can be a nightmare


WHEN my daughter was a baby, I was a big fan of co-sleeping.

She slept well, fed well and was the happiest baby in the world.

Let's face it, what baby wouldn't be happier snuggled up to the one person in their life who makes them feel safe?

Let alone lying right next to breakfast.

Baby number two came along and co-sleeping was no longer an option.

With a nasty bout of reflux he couldn't sleep or feed lying flat, so off to his specially angled crib he went.

Of course as he got older, he grew out of it and sneaking in to his Mum and Dad's bed became more frequent.

Not only did co-sleeping provide a nurturing environment for my little people, but as a side effect it also granted me immunity from any unwanted advances that we mums simply don't have the energy for.

Incidentally I now have a big bed all to myself. (I guess this is where those avidly against co-sleeping have a valid argument).

With the newfound availability of bed space, I always have at least one of them cuddling up to me in my bed. Even though they're a little older.

If I'm honest, I think I've found a great sense of comfort snuggling up to them too.

It's been a bit chilly in our house this week, so naturally my toasty warm bed was the place to be.

But while their cuddles are always welcome, lately my sore back and sleep-deprived body don't agree.

I guess my tired old body just isn't what it used to be and the notion of 'co-sleeping' is wearing thin.

I don't even know what the time was, when I woke to find myself buried face first under my daughter's mass of bed hair!

Spitting out her long tresses, I rolled over to find myself face to face with something resembling the sound of Darth Vader.

That would be my son, the heavy breather.

The same little person who had also brought two matchbox cars and five pieces of Lego to bed!

Throughout a night of tossing and turning, I discovered an overabundance of books, toys and dolls had also joined us.

I'm quite positive that co-sleeping never involved this amount of paraphernalia - or fatigue.

After a night of grumbling, tossing and turning, morning came and I woke up to two beautiful happy smiles . . . staring 10 centimetres away from my face.

Of course they were fully recharged and unfazed by my need for further sleep.

The notion of sleeping in is absurd when you're a child!

My only hope of pay back is to wait until they become teenagers. I hear they love nothing more than to sleep.

I can't wait to jump on them at 5am on a Sunday morning.

Perhaps I'll demand breakfast, then tell them is tastes horrible and refuse to eat it?

I'll turn the TV up to full volume first thing in the morning, ensuring it's playing something so repetitive that sticks in your head all day.

Yes, I think it's high time my 'babies' depart my bedroom and stay in their own beds all night.

While some experts say children benefit from the closeness co-sleeping provides, I'm pretty sure they'll benefit more from a mother who's not sleep deprived and irritable the next day!

Topics:  kat van wyk modern mum opinion

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