While i know i’ll jinx it now and then our holiday next week will stuff it up further, i thought i would comment on the fact that we’ve reached a milestone here. Not one i’m completely sure i relish, though i do like having more sleep.
It isn’t that long since Fran stopped being a regular visitor to our bed; she co-slept, against my wishes, right from the beginning and it has only been since we moved here that it has become less frequent. Before that, even as a 7 year old, she would be tucked up under Max’s arm most mornings. She was always too clever to get in my side, i sleep too lightly and get too hot and would send her back. Maddy has never come into our bed; even at 3 days old she would wriggle away from me and she sleeps very deeply and is quite happy to be in her own space.
Amelie was always so itchy that she used to lie in the middle of us and we’d apply cream to her half the night. She is a complete bag of bones and drives me slightly mad when she sleeps in between us; it’s all elbows and knees all night. But until the last week or two she was in most nights, very ably getting into the middle of us without waking us up and then spending the rest of the night working us both out to the edge while she starfished in the centre. Amelie breathes loudly and when she leaves the room, Josie notices, wakes up – and follows. Then we end up with one wriggly bag of elbows and one extremely grumpy, sleep like the dead type – and i end up leaving and finding somewhere else to sleep.
The last few weeks i’ve suddenly noticed a change; Amelie is sleeping through in her own bed, Josie is waking up much more rarely and suddenly i’;m awake at 5am because i’ve had as much sleep as i’m used to! Even more bizarrely, i appear to be waking up actually next to Max for the first time in 10 years. I suppose with Josie heading very fast towards being 4 now and Amelie nearly 6 1/2, it was very much on the cards but it does feel odd to not be littered with people every morning. I seem to have more energy for it and i’m definitely more cuddly through the day, having had a bit of time off at night.
I don’t regret the accidental slip into co-sleeping that happened, in fact my only regret is that i tried to persuade Fran out of it as a toddler. She was so miserable on her own and i listened too hard to what stupid child rearing ‘gurus’ had to say. Fran is the only one who has had sleeping issues, either going to bed or staying in bed from a sensible age. Maddy always had the option open to her (but her bed is her bed, that’s the rules and that is how it should be) and Amelie’s unbearable eczema was really only made okay by having her in with us. I wouldn’t have had it any other way with Josie, who was a dream to move gradually into her own domain. We never had problems with settling her or getting her to stay in bed – and if she wanders at night, so what? I don’t like sleeping on my own, i don’t see why they should have to. Overall i’ve probably had a lot more sleep for co-sleeping than i’d have lost traipsing up and down stairs and corridors to them and everyone seems to have grown out of it naturally enough. Between the 4 of them, they seem to be proof that co-sleeping doesn’t end with teenagers in your bed anyway!
Edit: So far, 1 wailing Josie and 1 wet bed from Amelie!