Bedtime with babies and toddlers: not an easy thing no matter what routine, method, or prayer you use in an attempt to get your little one to fall asleep. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no right way or wrong way, but in case you’re thinking about co-sleeping like my husband and I are doing with our Lilly, here are a few things you should expect along the way:
1) Night-time feedings are easier
Nighttime feedings are never fun for new parents, what with all the running around at ungodly hours when you would rather be snug in bed. Co-sleeping though can cut down all that running around because the baby is right there in your bed and if you train yourself right, you can deal with nighttime wakings without having to open your eyes!
2) You will get kicked in the face
Congratulations, your baby has started sleeping through the night. Before you start popping champagne bottles though, remember this: even when the baby starts sleeping through the night, it doesn’t mean the parents get to sleep through the night too, oh no, that would be too easy. Where before you got awakened in the middle of the night by a wailing child wanting milk, now you’ll be awakened by an unceremonious kick to the face by a peacefully sleeping toddler. So much for that beauty sleep.
3) All the cuddles
You can never get tired of cuddling with your babies, especially since nighttime is the only time they want to cuddle as they fully embrace the terrible twos and decide that replacing daytime cuddles with tantrums is a viable option. So yes, co-sleeping lets you sneak in all the cuddles your heart desires while your tiny terror is fast asleep.
4) Leaky diapers, vomit or thrown-up milk takes on a whole new dimension
No one likes it when a diaper springs a leak or when the baby is feeling a little green and throws up during the night, these situations are always stressful and difficult. When the baby is in his own room though, you can at least be a little slipshod about the cleaning up and simply bring the little one into your own bed for the night and vow to do a proper nursery cleaning when you’re more awake. When you co-sleep though such incidents take on a whole new meaning. Now you’re not just cleaning the baby and calling it a day, you’re suddenly stripping bedsheets, scrubbing mattresses, washing blankets and comforters (and probably yourself as well) all at some ungodly hour when your brain is still trying to convince itself this is all some horrible nightmare. The last time Lilly was sick and threw up in our bed I ended up running multiple loads of laundry downstairs in our apartment building’s laundry room at 3 am and trust me, that is not a fun way to spend the wee hours of the morning.
5) Did I mention all the cuddles?
Enough said 🙂