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Co-Sleeping May Have Cured My Insomnia

By Naomi Odes |

smiling baby

My Fuzzy Bedfellow

We’re now closing in on Fuzz’s 11th month birthday. As I look back over the months and months of posts on sleep and think about our year together, I have to say…I owe my sanity to co-sleeping.

It feels so strange to say this now, since I had such a hard time co-sleeping with Shnook. I think I can pinpoint my difficulty to my anxiety as a new mom coupled with my own insomnia issues.

This time, I really feel it has saved my life.

I feel almost normal in terms of sleep. Sure Fuzz gets up a few times to nurse, sometimes more than a few. But, it’s quick. Really, I’m really fine with it now. My sleep is disturbed by his moving around, sometimes he sleeps partially on top of me. Of course, I wake up a lot, but the difference is I’m not up for more than a minute or so, and then I go back to sleep pretty easily, which for me, is HUGE.

It’s much more rare that I find myself awake for hours on end now, and even though my brain definitely gets wound up right before I go to bed, since this is when I do all my writing, I usually can find a way to relax before I go to sleep. I have a couple of techniques that I use, mostly meditative, that almost always work, and if they fail, usually a couple of Calms Forte do the trick.

I also have Fuzz to thank because bless his little heart, he sleeps in until 8 am almost every single morning. He’s just like his mama, a morning sleeper. I’m not one to brag about anything sleep or milk related, but after what I’ve been through for the last 3 years, I feel this is a gift.   I’m sure I’ll be cursing this when I’m trying to drag his little butt out of bed for school, but right now, it’s sweet bliss.
So, even though my baby doesn’t ‘technically’ sleep through the night, he actually does sleep quite well, and long.

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About Naomi Odes

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Naomi Odes

Naomi Odes Aytur is a blogger who's contributed on the parenting channel of Babble. She chronicles her experiences of being a new mom on her personal website, I Am Still Awake. Read bio and latest posts → Read Naomi's latest posts →

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10 thoughts on “Co-Sleeping May Have Cured My Insomnia

  1. SJ says:

    Ugh! I have had insomnia issues for awhile. Now with my almost 4onth old who is co-sleeping with me, it makes for hard nights. I sleep
    with one eye open and can never fully relax because I’m attuned to every move and squirm. I’m just resigned to the fact that I may never be a normal sleeper.

    1. Naomi says:

      Hey everyone! So sorry for my delay in comment replies but my internet in the boonies is terrible!

      @SJ- This was my major problem cosleeping with my first child. I don’t know if it’s a second child thing or what, but this time around it is way easier for me (although, yes, I still wake up to all the squirms and sounds).

      @Danielle- thanks! Yes, I’m sure it won’t last forever, but I enjoy it when it happens, especially when my husband gets up with the older one-who used to get up before 7, and lately has slept in until 7:30ish.

      @Sarah myers- thanks for the support and glad it works for you too!

      @Jennifer H- I remember you saying how difficult it was for you to sleep with Sam and I’m so glad you guys are sleeping well together now! Cheers to sanity!

      @aly- Yes! not having to get up and rock a kid to sleep only to have him wake up the second you put him down in the crib is SO MUCH BETTER!

      @Natalie- sometimes Fuzz wakes up right away too and I have to abandon all my work for the evening to lie down with him. I get that frustration, especially since it’s my only time of day that I have completely alone and to myself.

      @lo- aly’s way is definitely a great one, but I usually shift my body slightly inward so I’m at a 45 degree angle and do the upside boob. I’m not sure if it helps that I’ve got pretty big mammaries in this case, but try it, I think it’s slightly easier than flipping him over, although not the most comfortable position to be in for a minute or two every other feeding.

  2. Danielle says:

    Yay!!! Glad to hear you feel rested. It is a battle. I always put my kids to bed early, which is nice, but then they are up by 6-6:30. So, I rarely sleep even til 6 these days. I would love to sleep til 8.

  3. Sarah myers says:

    I agree 100%. My daughter will be 1 in a few weeks. We have bedshared since the first week. If she wakes up I stay half asleep while she latches on then we both fall back asleep.

  4. Jennifer H. says:

    Cosleeping saved my sanity. For three and a half months, I was up every 1 1/2-2 hours around the clock. That magical 4 hour sleep window that newborns have? HAHA, not mine. By 3 1/2 months, I could barely make coherent sentences. The week I gave up, went with my instincts, and coslept? He slept a 4 hour block that very night. Now, at 13 months, he still doesn’t “sleep through the night” (but I have insomnia problems and my mother-in-law says my husband didn’t sleep through the night until after he was three, so…). However, the child sleeps a 5 hour block and a few 2 hour blocks, from 10pm to 10am. I am functionally rested. I’ll take it! Like you, I wake up several times a night with the kiddo’s movement, but I can drift right back off after touching him or listening for his breathing. It’s much easier on me, and him. He sleeps with a little hand on my chest or arm… he’ll wake if he disengages and can’t find me, but long as he has that hand out, he’ll sleep.

  5. aly says:

    “So, even though my baby doesn’t ‘technically’ sleep through the night, he actually does sleep quite well, and long.”

    I love this! My son is 6 months old and we’ve bed shared since day one. We go to bed together around 10pm. He nurses without waking up several times during the night…I wake up for a minute when he starts rooting around, help him find the nipple and go back to sleep. My son has never “slept through the night,” but if I don’t have to get out of bed at night, that’s good enough for me!

  6. Natalie says:

    I don’t sleep well either, and my baby (#2) nurses frequently during the night. We’re bed sharing and not only does it help me get more sleep, but it saves me from a lot of frustration. I can’t tell you how many times with my first baby I would get so frustrated (and growl a bit) when I had been rocking her for 45 minutes just to have her pop awake when I set her in the crib. I don’t spend any time in the rocking chair this time around. I do wish that my little one slept more like her older sister, however. Once we got her in to the crib, she’d sleep for 3-5 hours and then come to bed with us when she wanted to nurse. With this baby, I have to be ready to go to bed and stay in bed.

  7. lo says:

    Can I ask one question? How do you do with switching sides? You can’t feed the baby from the same side all night so how do you do when you have to switch sides? My baby sleeps in his crib right next to my bed and it is quite hot for him to sleep with me but I’m thinking about the winter. He will be much older than and hopefully he will sleep though the night but in the event he wakes up I’d like to explore the idea of sleeping together for the rest of the time.

  8. aly says:

    @Lo: when it’s time to switch sides, I grab my son in a bear hug, roll over with him, lay him back down and get him latched on. He doesn’t wake up.

  9. Alissa says:

    I usually put my 3 month old to bed in her crib for the first block of sleep (only 2 hours or so) and then when she wakes up I go to bed with her and nurse her back to sleep. I, also, feed from both breasts while laying on one side. This makes it easier on me and allows her to stay drowsy while nursing so that she’ll go right back to sleep after. It’s pretty comfortable for me as well, just angle the top breast down a little and angle your baby a little more on their back. I felt bad for co-sleeping for a while (people still ask me “Is that safe?!” as if I would endanger my baby…), but I find that she sleeps SO much better and is happier in the morning (as am I). Just be sure to always have an arm around your baby and don’t put blankets on the both of you and it’s totally safe in my opinion.

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