Conflicted over Co-Sleeping

Jan 11th

I have a very snuggly baby boy. He adores being held and I indulge that pretty much all of the time. I wrote a post a few weeks ago called Giving Co-Sleeping a Try. Sam has taken to co-sleeping like a duck to water. We lay down on our sides, facing each other and he snuggles right into me and sleeps SOLID for up to 4-5 hours! I sleep as well! I’ve never been a good sleeper…I sleep very lightly so everything wakes me up. But, fortunately, with Sam next to me, I do manage to sleep and feel rested when woken up for a 3am feed or 7am feed. Co-sleeping definitely has its benefits!

My challenge, however, is that Sam needs holding pretty much all of the time. He’s become more attached to me (physically) than ever and while I adore it and don’t believe in the “Gina Ford” method, it does make getting things done tricky. We now have a Baby Bjorn carrier which really suits us both. The last two mornings I have worn it to take Ella to school and then Sam and I have gone for our morning walk around the village. He falls asleep and when we get home, I have continued to “wear” Sam in the carrier for an hour or more while he sleeps. I’ve been able to eat breakfast, type posts, reply to emails and even tidy the kitchen while “wearing” Sam.

What I am worried about is that Sam is becoming unable to soothe himself without being near/on me. I want to be able to put him down and let him “play” without having to hold him or hover over him all of the time. Don’t get me wrong, however. I am not wanting to “get rid” of Sam, I am just wanting him to be confident without me. I know I may be asking a lot of a 6 week old so I need some “expert” opinion on whether I am expecting too much.

What I would like to accomplish is to get Sam used to being put down in his Moses Basket and spending some time, during the day, for naps. He’s never been particularly keen on his Moses Basket so we may have an uphill battle here. I know all of the tips for success:

  • Hot water bottle in the Moses Basket to warm it before putting him down
  • A shirt or cloth that I have worn, with my “scent” to comfort him
  • Swaddling
  • Fully darkened room
  • Put him down somewhat awake so he can learn to go to sleep himself

Can anyone recommend anything else? Something you’ve tried that worked? I know I probably have to toughen up and just bite the bullet. What I don’t want is for ME to be the only person who can soothe Sam. While I am his primary, pretty much exclusive caregiver at the moment, he should be able to go to his Daddy or Nanny without putting up too much of a fuss. I should be able to go to the bathroom without wearing Sam. Or sit at the laptop without rocking! Again, am I expecting too much of a 6 week old? It’s been so long since Ella was at this stage! I’ve forgotten.

I have adored co-sleeping. Sam sleeps so well and it’s really lovely actually. But, I would like to be able to go to bed when I want to go to bed. I would like to claim my bed back for Mark and myself. I appreciate our good sleep pattern that we have developed and I know that when Sam is on his own in his nursery (Moses Basket or Crib), I will be getting up and have much more broken sleep. But I feel conflicted over co-sleeping right now. Even though it’s working well for us, I still have these concerns.

Thoughts? Opinions? Commiserations? Tell me off?

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