Counting sheep, newborn sleep and second babies

August 20, 2014

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“My baby won’t sleep in the Moses basket…help!” I remember saying to the midwife when she visited the house, about 12 hours after our return from hospital.

She gave me a sympathetic but knowing look, before saying “Yes…that’s perfectly normal.

In my just delivered, highly hormonal and not-slept state I was stunned. Did this mean there wasn’t an easy answer that we’d missed?

Newborn Eliza slept fine in the clear crib at hospital, and we just assumed it would be the same at home. But no, every time we put her in the Moses basket she’d wake up or wail and wail. She would only sleep on us. We were flummoxed.

Although we’d been told how to co-sleep safely by out NCT teacher, I was terrified of squashing her. So instead in the early baby days we took it in turns to sit up with her asleep on us in the night. I dreaded the nights and feeling so isolated. And we were both exhausted.

In the end, it was just perseverance that got her sleeping in the moses basket. We tried everything; t-shirts that smelled like me, muslins with breast milk on, swaddling, and so on. It makes me smile to think of this know, knowing lots more about babies and keeping them close (and to be honest, she was never a massive fan of the Moses basket and didn’t really like her cot either).

I’ve been thinking a lot about what we’d do differently second-time-round, and the answer, despite this tiring story, is not a lot. Not because we were perfect parents – far from it – but because everything we did ended up being instinct based. If she cried, we picked her up. We held her for hours. She slept on us. She napped on us. All the things that you’re not ‘supposed’ to do, but we did them anyway. Even if they were exhausting. It was what was right for us, at the time.

But the sleep thing is one thing I’d like to change this time, as I want the baby to be as close to me as possible, especially as we’re planning on breastfeeding again. And with a toddler who spends most of her time in our bed (fears of squashing her went out of the window at some point) who likes to get up and play at 6.30AM, I will do anything to make sure we all get a bit more sleep.

I had vaguely heard of bedside cots, but in my sleep-addled state last time I didn’t know if it would be exactly the same as the Moses basket, which was right by our bed. Later on, I featured the SnuzPod from Little Green Sheep on TalkMum and thought it sounded perfect. It’s a 3-in-1 bedside crib that attaches to the side of your bed, and you can have the side down meaning you’re right next to your own baby but still in your own space. I love that it’s safe and has the benefits of close sleep, but within your own spaces. And doesn’t it look really lovely too? It also looks great for breastfeeding, which you do a lot of with a newborn.

So I’m pretty thrilled that we’ll be reviewing it when the new baby arrives. I’ll be posting it properly in a few months time, but tweeting about it too in the meantime. Fingers crossed for more sleep, though. Wish us luck! And did you try a bedside crib?

12 Comments

  • Kelly

    August 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Hello,
    Yes, we had a bedside cot with our first boy and it was fantastic. No more getting up in the night to breast feed as I learnt how to simply roll over, move him near to me and feed him on my side, so I didn’t even have to sit up. I ended up doing most night feeds whilst I was half asleep. We kept our son in the bedside cot until about 5 months, after which he went in his big cot in his own room. I cried the first night he didn’t sleep next to me! We will definitely be using our bedside cot for the second boy, when he arrives in the autumn. X

  • Eleanor (thebristolparent)

    August 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I was lucky, and also maybe a bit harsh, in that I put our daughter down quite a lot in the very early times to get her used to things, and refrained from letting every visitor hold her whilst she was asleep. Like you, I went by instinct, and we muddled through as she bravely took on every sleeping challenge we through at her, including a three month spell in our travel cot whilst we moved. Now, 16 months on, she’s starting to get a lot more picky, and needy of our presence, so we’ve got a new set of instincts to fight. I think a bed nest is a splendid solution and will be interested to hear how it goes, good luck!

  • Adele @ Circus Queen

    August 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Ooh, I’m so jealous! I love Little Green Sheep as a company. We have a very big bed so just used a bed guard and tucked a towel down it so there were no gaps. I’ve loved bedsharing in a way I didn’t last time. I think it’s partly because I’m so used to it and partly because this baby sleeps a lot more!

  • Slummy single mummy

    August 20, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I was always gutted I didn’t discover this until Belle was too old as our story was very similar – she just wanted to be near me, ideally touching, all the time! It was pretty exhausting. I will be interested to hear how you get on.

  • Kathryn (@KatGotTheCream)

    August 20, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    I really wish I’d had one of these too as we ended up taking our babies into bed more and more with each one. But we had this sort of family hand-me-down cot which was the one I and all my siblings slept in as babies and it had become something of a tradition to use it. Sounds daft I know. I think you’re absolutely right to trust your instincts x

  • Globalmouse

    August 21, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Yes with my third I had a bedside cot…well, sort of, we took the side off of the regular cot and just pushed it up against the bed! It was the perfect scenario for us to have him so close but also in his space so we could sleep. I hope it all works out for you.

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry

    August 21, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I have no idea why Moses baskets are even sold, I swear I don’t know a single baby who has slept in one! We tried everything too but Cherry would only sleep on me. With Tiger I was more prepared and knew he wasn’t going to sleep in one, I ended up taking the side off his cot and putting it right up to our bed, it was co-sleeping but in a way I felt comfortable with as he had his own space. x

  • fritha

    August 21, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    We made a co-sleeper attachment on our bed (Well tom did) I blogged about it here if anyone is interested http://www.tigerlillyquinn.com/2012/05/co-sleeping.html but if we hadn’t have done that I would have loved one of those Snuz Pods! We only had a double bed at the time and we now had a king so we wouldn’t actually be able to use our home-made co-sleeper next time so will defo have a look at one of these! good luck with the sleep! 😉 xx

  • Laura

    August 22, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Oh these bedside cots sounds amazing – I am thinking about getting one although he was alright (no amazing) in the moses. Why your experience sounds pretty stressful and I take my hat off to you for getting though it! I am sure you will have it easier second time round

    Laura x

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  • Review of the SnuzPod bedside crib / co-sleeper cot |

    January 5, 2015 at 6:01 am

    […] Sleep – or lack of it – is such a huge topic for parents, isn’t it? Our first baby was never a fan of the moses basket – or of sleeping in general, really – so we were really keen to explore other options with our second. Anything to help us all get some more sleep all round. I’ve read so much about the benefits of bed sharing but it wasn’t a full-time option for us as we only have a standard double bed (and a toddler that sleeps in it at some point on most nights). So with Florence I wanted something that would offer the comfort, closeness and convenience of co-sleeping, but within our own spaces. This is where the SnuzPod seemed like a perfect fit. […]

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