Persephone: Parent

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6 Months of Sleeping With Your Baby?

I had trouble sleeping last night after reading an article that popped up on my news feed. In fact when I got up this morning, leaving my 13 week old baby alone in our bedroom, I got really panicky. It isn’t the article itself (which tells the sad story of a 7 week old who died in their co-sleeping crib when left alone) it was more a comment someone put on facebook when the article was shared.

Why was  a 7 week old left alone to nap? When guidance is all naps and sleeping to be in the same room as a parent?

The comment was probably same room as mum because I feel there’s a huge bias on the parenting pages that it’s all about the mum. Anyway, is it really practical and possible to always have your sleeping baby with you for 6 months?

With Elvis, he was younger than six months when he moved into his own room, younger than 6 months when we started to emphasise that the cot was for sleeping and not playing. But we lived in a small house. Could it have been possible? 6 months of all sleeping in the same room?

How about when it’s your second child?

Every morning I leave Robin alone in her Moses basket as I get up and see to Elvis. If she cries, someone goes to check on her except on a Friday when I’m alone with him and he’s having breakfast.

Please do not get me wrong here, I completely understand why babies should sleep near their parents for as long as possible, but can it be done? 100% of the time?

Robin sleeps in her Moses in her cot right next to me overnight. On nights where I can’t sleep, I go in another room but Daddy stays near her – I could not leave her alone at night. Not yet. Her naps are in the pushchair or, if rocked, put down in the Moses in the lounge. Her pushchair is kept in the hall or kitchen, all doors open if she’s asleep. Am I going to wheel the pushchair into the lounge making the carpet dirty? Should I sit on the stairs next to her pram? Should I keep her near Elvis who’ll wake her? Take her out to the garden in the heat whilst I play with Elvis?

Do parents for at least 6 months keep their sleeping babies nearby in the same room?

Naps and night times?

Have you?

~ P


The First Night

We survived the first night. Still have no wifi. Elvis slept straight through after a rocky start. I tossed and turned a bit worrying about him, the heat and the travel cot he’s in. Apparently even after almost 12 months, SIDS is something I get paranoid about. I was too hot. Then the air con dried my mouth out and I worried about Elvis. Bit we all slept. And in the same room. I might bring our own travel cot next time. And pushchair.

I can hear E playing with his bricks as I type this and we’re off to do our food shopping. Hopefully we’ll sort out the wifi. I miss the Internet!

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Leaving Elvis

I often leave Elvis and don’t have a second thought. It’s always been with Daddy, never anyone else.

This is going to sound awful, but I trust strangers more than my family with him. Read the rest of this entry »


Always Questioning Ourselves

I’ve always had this random insomnia where I spend the night completely unable to sleep. No matter how tired, if it’s an insomnia night I will not sleep. For quite a while it would be Sunday night’s – maybe it was work anxiety I hear you ask. Well, I work in a school all year around and only had the insomnia on term time Sundays. When it happened two nights ago (after a night of bad sleep from Elvis coughing and spluttering) I reached the end of my tether. It was so bad, I couldn’t even nap during the day. Sleep was truly alluding me.

So last night my husband and I decided that I really really needed sleep. I thought this would be accomplished by husband coming back into bed – he’s been out as part of the bed sharing, however, I needed his breathing. Elvis, naturally breathes too fast and in my sleepless state I was trying to match my breathing to his therefore having hubby in bed my breathing should become calm and steady. Because it’s suggested that bed sharing should only have one parent in the bed, or a bigger bed hubby declares, we decided to put Elvis in his big boy cot in his nursery against the guidance of sharing rooms for the first six months.

Elvis was never going to last 6 months in his Moses basket because at nearly 8 weeks he’s too big! Well he lasted in there for about an hour after the first mid-night feed when he started making loads of grunty noises that I couldn’t sleep through despite him being in another room. Into bed with us he came because I still needed hubby’s breathing and I put Elvis on his side to secure him to me as we slept with me spooning him on the outer side of the bed.

Through all of this I kept questioning myself. I even broke down hysterically to declare that I was an awful mother.

And why am I an awful mother?

For one, I didn’t play or interact with Elvis all day because I was so tired.

Reason two is that I tried/managed to put a seven week old baby in a separate room.

Number three is that then I bed-shared against medical advice.

Fourth reason is I bed-shared with a duvet partially on me, my baby nearest the edge of the bed and with my baby on his side.

All these things are what I need to do to cope, but it doesn’t stop me questioning it all and my ability to parent. Is it just something that I do, or is it a general parent issue – comparing yourself to others and the ideal?

I feel like I’m not as good a parent as the next who can do everything by the book simply because I’m not following the guidance. In my eyes it somehow makes me less of a person and parent because I need to go off script. Do other mums who put their young babies in the nursery, bed share or sofa sleep do the same? Do you feel imperfect for not following the guidelines and upset at those who can so easily?

Do those perfect mums question themselves just as much? Do they question themselves over other things? Or do they have less energy to interact, to resume normal life as quickly? Do they wonder or feel left out because they don’t know how their baby breathes all night long, because they can’t get to their baby the second he announces he’s hungry?

When I had Elvis sleeping on my tummy his arms would fall around my waist, he was hugging me at five weeks old. He sleeps better and longer in bed with me. And last night as he slept on his side spooned up against me he felt like a real child and not just a baby. That last part makes sense to me.

Maybe medically or professionally I’m imperfect, but to Elvis I’m not no matter how many rules or guidelines I break. That probably won’t stop me questioning myself. I’m pretty sure that nothing will ever stop that.

~ Persephone M

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Experimental Sleep Night Two

Okay in some respects I gave up last night. In my defence it had been a long day. It was unbelievably hot and our whole city became completely gridlocked. We successfully made it to the other side of the city for a Little Pickles Market (great bargains) but then found ourselves stranded by lines of traffic. Now I’m used to walking across our city, nowhere takes too long at all, but it was amazingly hot and I’m breastfeeding of course so get dehydrated quickly.

And I had abdominal surgery 6 weeks ago. Read the rest of this entry »


Experimental Sleep 6am

Ok so I put him down after that last post – it was 4am – and he lasted all of 5 minutes in his Moses basket before the noises started. And they were louder and had cries in them.

Now at 0400, I’m not ready to be awake. It is not morning and I didn’t want him to wake up so I brought him into our bed. But I only broke the co-sleeping no-no because I laid him on his back next to me and followed all the prepared co-sleeping rules. He snugfled and flailed for a few minutes and then we were both asleep (daddy slept through it all behind me!).

Here we are 3 hours later and we’ve all had a lie in, followed more of the anti-SIDS rules and I’ve had 5 or 6 hours sleep in 9 which is bloody amazing. Let’s all settle back and co-sleep some more.

Safely of course!

~ Persephone M

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