Co sleeping…by choice or consequence

I was not a #firsttimemom that researched a hella lot out of anything. I was too busy playing Doctor Google trying to find home remedies for my hemorrhoids and avoid surgery. I knew nothing about vaccinations (in fact I still don’t hehehehe[1]), breastfeeding and nipple confusion or co-sleeping; the fact that this word even existed threw me when I eventually did hear of it lol

So my kid sleeping next to me did not happen by choice or carefully researched and tested – it just happened. A few days after coming home and one night while breastfeeding, I realized I was waking my husband up unnecessarily. He could not feed the baby (useless man chest with no boobs) and I did not see the logic in waking him up to change a diaper or burp when I was already awake and looking like shit. He had work the next day and I had Jurassic Park (my child was a velociraptor in the making). I nudged him out the bed and made the executive decision that he sleep in the spare room and get a good night sleep. That decision worked for us and it changed my life. It meant I could do everything I needed to do with ample bed space, I could cry alone (there were many nights like this), I could catch up on social media while I had said velociraptor attached to me and I could watch many hours of TV as my night and day turned into one big mess of #demandfeeding. And of course, it meant he got to sleep.

That was the first step. Next was the camp cot, which took up half the room and caused me to have to bend to reach in to get or lay #zakariyyanoah18 down. It was not helping my fresh C-Section cut at all and I researched and found a co-sleeper cot[2] that I could hire. Basically, it was a chipboard box thingy that fit between mattress and base and allowed baby to hang next to you, literally. Yet, I found that with #zakariyyanoah18 getting up every few hours to feed, it still meant I had to get up and WAKE UP. Something my body and my brain was not keen to do. I remember the night distinctly; I reached in, pulled him out and lay him next to my boob with various sized pillows placed strategically behind him (yes I know you should never use pillows with a baby blah blah blah -I told you I did not research enough). He latched on, drank himself into a frenzy and we both went back to sleep. I did not have the energy to move him back. Plus it felt warm and cosy and and and…

There are so many reasons why co-sleeping is THE BEST (IMO) and if you co-sleep already, you know them already. I know there are anti co sleepers out there but each family unit needs to find a solution that suits them.

Before he turned one-and-a-half years, old Faeez decided he was ready to move him from the bed to his cot, which was placed up against our bed. It was nightmarish but Faeez handled the whole situation because I knew I would cave and slide him back next to me. His first nap he cried, whimpered and called for me but I did not react. I busied myself with cleaning his cupboard (my free version of therapy) and Faeez went to him each time he cried, spoke to him and comforted him but did not pick him up. That was a Friday and by the Sunday, he was sleeping fine. A few weeks later, the cot was moved to the side of the room away from the bed. At 18 months, Faeez unceremoniously moved him out of the room. I literally went to the kitchen to get something and when I came back, the cot was in his own Toy Story themed room filled with toys and books and spare diapers. I got a skrik[3] but accepted it was time for him to move on. A few weeks later he outgrew the cot and by outgrew I mean he could jump out if he wanted to and have a self-inflicted concussion. Not really what I was going for hahahahaha so we had to come up with Plan B.

We moved our spare room three quarter bed into his room, got some cool bright bedding, a side safety rail (one of my best purchases; click on the link to view on Takealot) and he was officially in his own space. He knew how to climb down backwards and safely so would come to our room after a solid few hours for some kisses and cuddles and I did not mind this at all 🙂

When Anas arrived on board, we followed the same tactic minus the camp cot; straight into bed with momma on one of those newborn sleep recliners right between Faeez and my head. Now at eleven months old we have a great rhythm, he has boobs on tap and I get to sleep cos its #selfservice baby!

If you are worried about rolling on your baby or pillows affecting breathing, then follow the La Leche League International[4]The Safe Sleep Seven” to get some great tips. Speak to a fellow co-sleeper, research it (type in “co-sleeping with baby” in Google and you get just under 600 000 results) but do not knock it until you try it 😉

This was possibly the greatest decision I unknowingly made for my role as a mom. 

Yours Truly…

Call me Nuz

Side note: When lockdown hit and our nanny came to stay with us for live-in support, Zakariyya lost his bedroom and suddenly developed a fear for the dark and monsters (hey I am 40 and still sometimes wake Faeez to come with me to the bathroom at night because I am scared of the dark!). He moved back in with us so we have a king sized bed and a three quarter in our bedroom. It is cramped but everyone gets to sleep with minimal interruption. I choose sleep over comfort ANY. DAMN. DAY. Sometimes I miss sharing a room with just my husband but then I remember that all too soon my sons will not want to cuddle or sleep next to me or let me smell their toes (it’s a vibe). It’s a cliché but the time does go by so swiftly.

[1] However this is not an invitation to educate me 🙂

[2] A co-sleeper bassinet, also known as a side-car crib, is a separate sleeping surface for babies that attaches securely to the side of the parents’ bed, without any gaps.

[3] Skrik, Afrikaans word for:  a sudden fright or panic

[4] La Leche League International is a non-governmental, nonprofit organization that organizes advocacy, educational, and training related to breastfeeding. It is present in about 89 countries.

Anas: This is a mountain and I will climb it
This woman tires us out with all her nagging to pick up toys
Hey mom, I am ready for the day! But not sure about the guy next to me

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