I think we have the only child in the world who doesn’t like sleeping in their parents’ bed.
I co-slept with her a handful of times in the very early days – you know those nights when you’re literally delirious with lack of sleep and it’s more dangerous for you to sit or stand holding your tiny bundle of joy for fear of collapsing than to bring them into your bed…
To be honest, it wasn’t something we made a habit of as the Other Half in particular was quite nervous about it.
After the OH’s two weeks’ paternity leave and he returned to work, he would get up and change Little Miss’ (then Baby Girl) diaper when she stirred around 6am then bring her in to me for her morning feed. Often even before he’d left the house Little Miss I would fall back asleep together snuggled up in bed, sometimes for a good four or five glorious hours.
Those are some of my fondest memories of the early days haze – waking up next to her sometime between 9 and 11am, and having a little cuddle and a play in the morning sunshine.
Fast forward two years and things aren’t quite so serene and angelic…
Since I’ve returned to work in February, we have invited Little Miss into our bed on more than one occasion. Whether that’s at 5:30am when she wakes just that bit too early for us to function or in the dead of night when she’s uncomfortable with chickenpox, croup, a fever and a cold – you name it, she seems to have had it since I returned to work!
Once or twice, when I’ve scooped her up, floppy, tired, and teary in the middle of the night, she’s mumbled, “Mummy’s bed…” in hope of some extra comfort. But 90% of the time, she has absolutely zero interest in coming for a cuddle in our bed.
Perhaps it’s because she didn’t get used to sleeping with us from a very young age, or maybe it’s because she likes her space (she never liked being swaddled, she fathomed how to get out of her grobag from around ten months old and she hates having a blanket or duvet on her in the night – we have to creep in and put one on her before we go to bed). But whatever the reason, most of the time, Little Miss would appear to rather eat her own arm than climb into bed with us.
Case and point: on Tuesday evening this week, we had pretty much the night from hell.
I had flu and the OH was recovering from said flu. Little Miss woke at 12:30am, sobbing and screaming the place down. No matter what we tried, she continued to do so until basically dawn. I asked her on three different occasions if she wanted to come to our bed. “NO BEEEED!” came the oh so eloquent reply…
Around 4:30, I eventually managed to calm her enough to get her to lie next to me in her tipi. (This was mainly because I simply couldn’t stand or sit up holding her any longer in my feverish state and she wouldn’t let her dad in the room.) We fell asleep there, side by side, snuggled up just like the old days.
Accept we were in a tipi. A tipi. I slept in a tipi. Because my daughter would rather sleep on the floor than in my bed.
So the next time your kids crawl into bed with you, spare a thought for the alternative. I speak from experience when I say, you’re getting off lightly…
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