I’m not a parent who likes to co-sleep with my children. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love cuddling my kids and watching them sleep. Kids are always angelic when they are resting with their eyes closed. But I’m just not someone who likes to co-sleep with my children.
And I have a very good reason for that.
I don’t sleep well when my children sleep with me on the same bed.
Both my children sleep like rolling pins, so even though we have a king-sized bed, I get jolted out of my sleep whenever they sleep with me, worrying that they might fall off the bed.
I never allowed Phoebie to co-sleep with my husband and I when she was a baby. I would make it a point to sit up and nurse her at night and then walk back to her crib and put her in there.
I told myself that I would do the same with Breyen and I managed to do that up until he was seven and a half months old. We went on a family trip to Japan, and because the entire family was sleeping in the same room, I worried that every whimper from Breyen in the middle of the night would wake everyone up.
So even though the hotels we stayed in provided us with baby cribs for Breyen, he ended up co-sleeping with me almost the entire trip. How did that happen? Well, let’s just say that after walking a lot during the day, I had no energy to sit up in the middle of the night to nurse the baby. That was how I ended up lying down to nurse him, and then falling asleep while doing that.
After 10 whole nights of having mummy hug and nurse him back to sleep, Breyen became super-glue baby at night. It didn’t help that we had to stay over at my mum’s place after our holiday due to some repairs going on in our own home. So all in all, Breyen got to be cuddled and co-slept with me for about 13 nights.
And then he could no longer sleep through the night in his crib. Arrgghhh…
It didn’t help that he suddenly developed and achieved many milestones right after our family trip. Again, don’t get me wrong. I love that my baby boy is growing and learning new things.
But he gets so excited that he wakes up multiple times a night, just to sit, and eventually to stand in his crib. He wakes up, stands up and looks at my bed, waiting for mummy to be awakened and to lull him back to sleep.
At the same time, he is teething and can get rather grouchy when he wakes up in the middle of the night.
Breyen’s cries, especially in the quiet of the night, can be really loud, and I don’t want to wake my husband and daughter, so I end up carrying Breyen to my bed and nurse him back to sleep. As any tired mother of two would, I would end up dozing off while nursing him.
And this has been the case.
And again, because Breyen, like his sister, sleeps like a rolling pin, I jolt out of sleep many times, worrying that he will fall off the bed.
My attempts to put him back in the crib can be futile on many nights. The moment his bum touches the crib, he wakes up and sits up, crying and “asking” me to carry him out.
The thing I don’t get though, is how he can sleep in his crib peacefully until the middle of the night and then refuse to be put back in.
While I loved and enjoyed that family trip we went on one and a half months ago, I certainly don’t like what it has trained my baby into.
For some reason, I have a much harder time sleep-training Breyen than I did with Phoebie. And it’s beginning to wear me out. I have tried putting one of my worn-but-clean t-shirts in the crib so that Breyen can “smell” me in his sleep, but it didn’t work for very long. I tried to let him cry-it-out and all Breyen did was to stand and wail in his crib until I came to get him, even if it means 30 minutes of screaming his head off. I tried the no-crying method but that only made me the human mattress/pillow/cushion/pacifier and I was exhausted.
So if anyone has some great advice, I’m all ears (or eyes).
In the meantime, I can only pray that Breyen loves his crib more than my bed and goes back to sleeping nicely through the night again soon.