The lazy co-sleeper: Week 1 update

It’s been two weeks since I wrote a post about how badly we were all sleeping as a family. About how Harper was in our bed, each and every night, for almost a year. About how most of the time Rob was sleeping in the spare bed while I slept badly with a two year old spread eagled. About how each morning I would spend 15 minutes stretching on the floor before I could get my stiff body working.

So. Where are we at?

Well of course I did nothing about it for a week, except moan about how bad things were. Standard lazy practice.

And then, well one night, we just decided that that was the last time that Harper was coming into our bed. Ever. The weather was warmer so we made a bed for her on the floor next to the bed. Just like a cute pet or something. Nice hey? It was really uncomfortable, made out of lounge cushions that kept pulling apart so her bottom would fall right through. I did give her a warm doona though. And a pillow. See? GENEROUS. In she trotted at 11.00pm, ready to hop in, and let’s just say if she could have said “What the FUCK do you mean I can’t come into bed with you guys?” she would have. Instead she just lost her shit in a spectacular 2.5 yro fashion. After 3 hours of talking her through it, reassurance, hand holding and talking her off the ledge, she slept a little next to our bed, and then a little in her bed.

A chart (another fucking sticker chart) was made. Promises of one sticker for not coming into our bed and TWO if she stayed in her own bed all night. If she gets 7 stickers, she gets a weekly prize. I’m yet to work out the details of that prize.

The next few nights were mostly spent on the floor to my bed, sleeping soundly all night. The change in my own sleep was extraordinary. Sleeping! In my own bed! With space! AND MY HUSBAND! I was able to wake up and move about! I wasn’t a cranky, resentful mother towards her first thing in the morning. BONUS.

Then she got sick. Really sick. With a cold that turned into bad asthma. That meant she could barely breathe all night and so I ended up sleeping with her so I could watch her, give ventolin when required and just keep an eye on her. WE BROKE THE RULES. Because I am a sucker for the sick babies. Who isn’t?

But the next night? Well we started all over again. And this time, when she trotted in at 11.00pm to hop back into bed if she could have said “Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?! Last night we were cool. Weren’t we? What’s GOING ON? This is bullshit!”. She would have. But instead she completely and entirely lost her cool. A tantrum SO big, and so loud, that everyone was awake. It took 45 minutes to talk her off the ledge and another few hours before she would sleep on her bed on the floor.

The night after that, the trotting into our room became later. 2.30am I think. Same again last night – closer to 3.00am and after 5 minutes on that shitty bed, she asked to GET BACK INTO HER OWN BED. Where she slept. ALL NIGHT.

Two stickers Harper! TWO STICKERS.

Slowly, but surely, we will get there. I know we will. One night, somewhere in the future, she won’t come in at all and we will ALL SLEEP IN OUR OWN BEDS ALL NIGHT. It hasn’t been fun, it’s taken patience and effort, consistency and non laziness but it’s been worth it. That sound sleep in my own bed has been worth every tantrum along the way. Times a thousand.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08527117186553582420 Leigh Goodman

    You fucking GO mofo – proud of YOU!!!! xo

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02005492484650666091 BabyMac

      Thanks mate x

  • http://mum-abulous.com/ Mumabulous

    I woke up with P2 in our bed again this morning. I am so utterly over it. Dadabulous literally built her a castle bed and she wont stay in it! Aaaargh
    I might have to introduce a sticker chart system at Chez ‘Abulous

  • Annie M

    Well done Beth!! It is the hardest thing in the world to be consistent with that tough love but really worth it in the end for the rewards of not only having a good nights sleep yourself ( with the bonus of your hunky husband beside you), but also Harper will sleep better and be a much happier little person. Good luck and don’t stress if plans change again….that’s life and with kids we just have to keep changing channels and reinventing things to find what works best for us. Annie M

  • aballerinasmums

    Yeah Harper!!! You go girl!

    Little bit envious of the sound of ‘sound sleep’ – had both girls tag team last night – grrrr!
    We might have to start being bad cop too!

    Enjoy your new found energy due to sleep! xx

  • http://mummyslittledreams.blogspot.com.au/ Simone

    Just loved this read! I too as well as many I am sure can relate to this post. My 2yr old started around 6 months old not sleeping properly. All the plans we had made of where and how she would sleep went out the window when she was born 2 months early and spent that 2 months in NICU. We had to do the opposite to our so called plans. In May we went to sleep school and within the week had that blissful sleep that you mentioned but illness and bloody teething has us back to co-sleeping yet again. Routine out the window. Seeing your post has made me realise I have to get my butt into action and start. I have a very similar sticker chart which will come out again.
    I had a good little laugh of this read but I do feel for you. Thanks for reminding me of what I have to do.
    Simone

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16423155273754490984 Something Gorgeous

    I think your last sentence “patience and effort, consistency and non laziness” just about sums up what it means to parent. Well done and hang in there! xToni

  • http://www.thisbloominglife.com/ alison@thisbloominglife

    Go Girl!

    There is a rumour doing the rounds that you love pork…does Bev have a yummy pork belly to share with us, pretty please with a night’s full sleep thrown in? I’ve got serious cravings.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02005492484650666091 BabyMac

      You have a point! I think this weekend will call for it – thanks for the reminder, it’s CRIMINAL that it doesn’t exist in the blog yet!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14360482896874477280 Jessica Flett

    Yay Harper!! Good girl and good on you Beth!!!! Things will keep on the up and up I’m sure. Thanks for sharing this with us. A Mum of a 13 month old this could all be ahead of me and with your help I will know what to do. Thanks again. Jx

  • Deb

    Your dead right, that full nights sleep is just around the corner, hang in there, she will come through!!!

  • http://blog.scissorspaperrockdesigns.com.au/ Claire Chadwick @ Scissors Paper Rock

    Gah. Kids & sleep. NEVER ask me for advice on this subject – my kids suck at sleeping for long periods…especially in their own beds. And I’m totally lazy in the middle of the night. Good on you Beth – wishing you lots of full nights sleep with only u & Rob in your bed :) The tantrums and stickers WILL pay off :)
    x

  • http://www.raisingmastermax.com/ Cherie @ raising master Max

    Beth!

    You’re SLEEPING!

    This is FANTASTIC!

    And me? I just resigned from my job. And night shift altogether.

    Because I need me some mother flipping sleep too.

    Here’s to us. And sleeping.

    Air kisses x

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02005492484650666091 BabyMac

      Cherie baby that is some GOOD news! Can’t wait to hear all about it x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17637050670133692926 BossyMummy

    Go you! And go Harper!!! Great result so far. You won’t know yourselves when you all have a few nights of consistent sleep. Good luck xx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17637050670133692926 BossyMummy

    Go you and go Harper! Great start so far. You guys won’t know yourselves when you have had a few nights of consistent sleep! Good luck xx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11632583614863675870 Shelley

    Go Harper! A few nights of tough love is well worth many nights of uninterrupted sleep. Keep up the good work!

  • Traci Sparkle Devlin

    My mum and dad did this with me and apparently it worked wonders.
    Well done! tx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09175518584860029434 Bec | Bird with a Chip

    I love this post so much, particularly as I am watching and learning. As much as I enjoy co-sleeping right now, my bebe is little, and stays still… I can see myself needing aforementioned fucking sticker chart in the future. :)

  • http://www.ohsewrosy.wordpress.com/ Amy Fennell

    Great work Beth! We have a 3 year old who tip toes into our bedroom each and every night! I’m still lazy though & lift her up and in. Actually on the few rare occasions that she’s slept all night in her bed, I’ve got up and checked on her to make sure she’s still breathing!! I think it’s time I showed her some tough love. I’m sure you’ll hear her [very loud] protests from the Gold Coast. Amy x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11416451148055700239 Elisa {with grace and eve}

    Oh that’s awesome! I’m dreaming a little dream about sleep {without interruptions and a baby in the bed} most days! You have given me hope! x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09651116248452404269 Lipgloss Mumma

    Yay! And you didn’t break the rules, you bent them as they should be for any sick child. She will be a magic sleeper so soon Beth, just keep going :)

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking we need to implement this – our 3 yr old often comes in with pillow and just climbs up and she’s in.. if the 20mth old also wakes – and when re-settling fails – he also comes in

    Que musical beds – daddy or mummy end up in the 3yr olds king single – whist the other has 2 kids in the big bed… CRAZY

    best of luck Beth – I’ll be following closely to see how you go – fingers crossed it doesn’t take too long…

    Wendy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14851709906766532130 sascedar

    loving the fucking sticker charts, and the shitty bedside-bed. it’s a long relentless road, this stuff, isn’t it? hoping you get to experience that joyous real sleep soon. :)

  • Nic

    Well done for getting back on the wagon. And you can’t be tough cop when they’re sick – that’s just mean – so, fair enough.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05243841590573082124 Holly

    Go Beth! Sounds like you’re doing great. Keep it up. As long as you make sure you give a regular prize for achievement, the results should keep coming. I have 5 year old and nearly 3 year old boys and I love the sticker charts. Just recently I started one for our littlest boy to help him stay in his bed and most nights it is working. Thank blooody christ – I was over it in a big way!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13439663139027095903 Mary

    Oh yay!! So glad to hear you’re standing your ground and you get to sleep with your husband!! Just this morning we (ie school mums) were discussing sticker charts and rewards being something tangible for kids – like playing at a different park or doing something special on the weekend as a family – giving them your time, rather than toys or sweets. Also to discuss this with the kids when doing the chart so that they know what they’re aiming for!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09334181966209041832 Corinne – Daze of My Life

    GO you! I have two currently sleeping in their beds all night (yee hah, this is a victory). Middle child still coming in. I cart her back to bed, have her come back in and I cart her back. We do this most of the night. You’re inspiring me. x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14225191303428309442 Seana Smith

    Go that full night’s sleep! I say this as someone who has been awake since 4am, but I can’t even blame the kids for that, just this rotten COLD!!

    I need to get out the sticket chart again, not for sleep but for talking like a human as opposed to shrieking like a banshee. And I will, yes, oh yes… or a lucky dip maybe. And I know that a family outing is the best prize but frankly we will be going straight for the Maltesers… lazy but quick. Good enough!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00781939430745328713 Redcliffe Style

    I’m so glad I don’t have a toddler anymore. I have enough sleeping issues without their shit. Good luck, Rachel x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08281463357359416086 Mrs BC

    You are an inspiration for my own little co sleeper situation. You so are. Thank you.
    xx

  • JP

    You’re doing the right thing.. stay the course and you’ll thank yourself.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09248957309139580162 Latte, chocolate and night shifts

    It’s bloody hard work isn’t it? Reading your post took me back 10 years in time to my eldest little darling who learnt to make herself sick so I would get her out if bed (I swear she would look you straight in the eye whilst she shoved her pudgy little fingers down her throat) Hang in there!! We are now pre-teen and dealing with all the joys that brings, you do get a couple of lovely years in between!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13151973819133926868 Mama of 2 boys

    Well done lady AND Harper! It’s a back breaking grind the ol’ sleep issue, but so worth standing strong over. There will always be times when they fall off the wagon… but I guess we just have to keep putting them back on again xo

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00249766510078357225 Mimsie

    I take my had off to you for your perseverence. Hopefully before too long all will work out just as you want it.
    You make me realise how extremely fortunate I was with my two children. I don’t either of them ever slept in ‘our’ bed. Why? No way were they perfect children but for some reason both slept well and no nightlights etc. I just had to put this comment as a sort of thank you to my two who are now in their 50s. Thanks to both of them for letting me have reasonably peaceful nights and days that were pretty good too.

  • Reen

    Wow, go you good thing! It’s hard while you are living it, but as you are no doubt aware, the end result will be worth it! Happy days (and nights) for everyone!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12173085007473641503 Tessa White

    Go Harper.. Can you send her around here to lose her shit on my H and tell him the chart is cool and he should go for 2 stickers too?! We have a piss chart right now..

    He has been toilet trained for 7 months could hold a pee from one end of shopping centre to another and suddenly he is pissing his pants when he could throw stones at a toilet

  • Anonymous

    Just found your blog from another good one and can see your family topics are really popular.
    But what’s with you and your readers constantly using the F word?
    Is that going to be passed on to your children too?
    PLEASE – it’s such an offensive gutter word – am sure you weren’t brought up there yourselves.
    Would have enjoyed reading your blog otherwise.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02005492484650666091 BabyMac

      Thanks Anon – appreciate your comment. I’m a swearer. I just am. It won’t hopefully be passed onto my kids – I certainly won’t be intending it to!

      Hopefully you can stick around…if not then I’m sure there are plenty more than don’t have the mouth of a truck driver like I do! That’s the great thing about blogs…you can move along if it doesn’t quite work for you….and there are so many wonderful Australian blogs out there now.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16738183438346735542 Amy

    It’s funny because although I don’t swear on my blog (and I’m sure none of us swear in front of our kids!!!!), one of the main reasons I visit this blog is for the swearing!!!! ;-) Sure, I love the photos, recipes and stories, but there is something very reassuring about hearing a candid and funny representation of a situation you’re experiencing yourself. I think I will find myself with more patience and perhaps even a silent giggling swear word in my mind at 3am when I have a 3 year old keen to crawl in to our bed tonight!
    Love ya Beth!!!xoxoxo