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Stopping Co Sleeping: Before you start

I feel it necessary before we start to advise of our ethos: we don’t judge ever!

So before we receive any judgemental posts about Co Sleeping etc we don’t care for those opinions. 

We did what was right for our family in order to give us all peace of mind and we believe that’s what we’re all trying to do at the end of the day.

Now that’s been said: we will begin with our journey;

It was the night after having our little one an anxiety switch flicked inside me and I couldn’t put him to lie down in the bassinet next to my bed on the maternity ward. All the crying babies; the lady next door…we’re all too much for me to bare including the added pressure of not being able to feed my little one. So I propped us up in bed and held him all night. 

There was also the fact he coughed and choked whilst laying on his back that made me change my entire thinking about the advice of putting babies to sleep on their backs.

So on the second night of literally no sleep, I contacted the other half and said we were ready to come home.

His Moses basket was ready. But no matter what we did he wouldn’t settle in there. He cried grunted and griped all night. He had colic. He wasn’t doing well with the formula we were on either.

He was settled only if he lay on a pillow for this heightened my anxiety further as I was scared he’d die. SIDS is a huge worry for me as a loss in my extended family had already happened years ago.

So much so I was crying out in my sleep asking for the baby, scared if my oh took him away out of the room so I couldn’t hear him cry. He was so precious I turned into a nightmare of over protectiveness that at nearly 17 months is just about easing.

The nightmares were vivid and the fear was controlling my every waking moment.

We researched how to cosleep safely with a baby. No duvet near them (you’d be surprised how quickly you get used to a colder upper body), no pillows & sleep with an arm stretched out to prevent you rolling. My oh also began sleeping in the spare room to give us more space.

So in January we decided (after numerous earlier attempts) he’d be in his cot by 18 months… Crazy New Year Resolutions

Fast forward 5 months and I’d finally psyched myself up to do it: sleep separately from my son.

It’s been no easy feat, but we know he sleeps on his own at Nursery. So we thought we’d give it a try.

First night we tried we were unsuccessful whether he could sense my nervousness and then stress, whether it was because it was just me trying to do it without the presence of my other half – who knows but after an hour or more of tears and not settling we aborted. I remember this was a Saturday night.

Over the lifetime of our little one we have researched several sleep training methods but a key thing that’s stood out to us, one advises your child will not be ready to transition if they cry for three hours! Im not going to distress my kid for 3 hours! 

So we decided if he wouldn’t settle after an hour we’d abort! So we did.

But the night he decided to sleep in his cot we had one of his nursery teachers come over to babysit and put him to bed. And it worked! He was ill that night though so bad timing but from that night he has been in his bed so mid June 2017.

We stayed at night to read him several stories, I slept on the floor and we did the waiting til he fell asleep before walking out and gradual retreating until eventually we can just put him in and walk away and he falls asleep on his own. If he cries out we go in and we still use the video camera to check on him.

He also sleeps with a sleepyhead but like last night he can sleep without it too.

Overall having a little one sleep on their own is great for you getting time back for yourselves but at the same time you should so it at your own pace in your own way x

Please feel free to ask any questions 🙂

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Breastfeeding – Ending Our Journey: Day 13

Officially I would say we are at the end of our bf journey. He barely asks for Boobie and if he does it’s not a demand for comfort. More of a fondness of a well thought of friend.

So now we have moved on to stage two of our plan… ending co sleeping. As I write this it’s 4.30am and he’s sleeping next to me seeking comfort now and again. We started three days ago… we’ll keep a note of that too.

Boobs still have a little milk in them, but nothing note worthy. No pain or discomfort now not that there was much any way.

Thank you for following our journey. We hope it helps you too if you’re contemplating starting yours.

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Breastfeeding – Ending Our Journey: Day 1

Never did I think these things:

  1. I couldn’t breast feed
  2. I’d still be breastfeeding over a year from when our journey began 
  3. I’d struggle to stop!

You see, my little monkey is 16 months old meaning we have been breastfeeding (in one way or another) for just as long! This amazes me in light of just how tough it was in the beginning to even start this journey.

Born slightly prematurely my little monkey had trouble latching for the first month of his life. This meant sore nipples, frustrated baby (screaming) & mum (meltdowns) and sadly weight loss.

I saw midwives, health visitors and finally a Lactation consultant who was also a chiropractor specializing in babies, who came to me on Valentines Day… and no one could help. It was a skill baby had to learn. 

The hours I spent feeling like a failure determined to feed by breast, made me miserable. The engorged breasts those first few days were crazy painful – hot shower and rub them hard to avoid blocked ducts and mastitis!!!! Turned out I was doing everything right – he just wouldn’t latch.

Fast forward past the challenges of mixed feeding, blocked ducts, and finally settled routine of exclusively breast feeding (ebf), it’s time to end our journey. Why do I not wish to prolong feed my little one you might be asking?

Well I have a few reasons:

  1. Breastfeeding keeps up certain hormones in your body like when you were pregnant (albeit less) that means your body doesn’t fully resettle from the pregnancy. I had spd/pgp and so these hormones mean my body is still too relaxed and isn’t healing quickly enough for my liking resulting in pain (I’m hoping ending our journey will help)
  2. Lack of night time sleep. Whilst we have reduced our daytime feeds to bed time, my little one treats booby like an all night snacking bar. And without fail is up every 3 hours… I’m tired of being tired.
  3. We’ve heard once the all night snacking bar closes, transitioning to their own beds is made easier… don’t quote me on this… but this is our ultimate goal

So here we are at 1.25am on day 1 of attempt number 2 of trying to end the bf journey (tried to start 4 nights ago- but I couldn’t handle the screaming)…

Let’s back track to the beginning of the night at 6.30pm: He cried and howled but it wasn’t as bad as a few nights ago. I sung “it’s all gone” – a song he learnt from baby signing class which instantly resulted in him cleaning up!!! (Shocked and feeling dumb I didn’t think of this before!)

Throughout this process like everything communication is key. Here I’m trying to change the dynamics of our relationship not torture the little lamb. And I don’t think he understood it before but he does seem to now.

So having sung for ages various melodic albeit out of tune songs – including birds of a feather tv show songs he’s calm enough to attempt to put him down to bed… this included rocking as well.

Total time spent: 90mins

At which point his eyes sprung open and he lay next me cuddled into the fetus position and my body cocooning his. Seems to have worked … I fell asleep before he did through sheer exhaustion! Bouncing and singing does that to you after a full day at work.

He woke up at 11.30pm looking for his best friend (our other name for booby). But after a bit of distraction (trip to bathroom – I needed to go), he soon settled back into our cosy position with a firm “enough! It’s sleepy time goodnight”.

And he’s still sleeping now. Just the odd whine of booby has escaped his lips and I feel awful. But I remind myself my mental health is important too.

Please note my decision to stop now is down to my little boy being able to do the following:

Communicate what he does and doesn’t want – this includes words and pointing. He can ask and distinguish between booby and juice (water), say no and ask for his bed… so I know he comprehends what’s what.

He has a healthy appetite often asking for seconds at meal time albeit he isn’t a chubby monkey.

And overall he’s a happy soul. He didn’t take a dummy but used me instead and now it’s time to stop.

I think it’s important to pick the time to introduce a change in your little ones life. And if you can, manage the process.

He goes to nursery so doesn’t bf at all during the day most days, he can sleep on his own as he does so there. These were all challenges that we over came and now we’re ready for the next stage…

Hopefully you’ll find comfort on these pages as you start ending your BF journey too and can hopefully share your experiences too.