It shows perfectly the difference between the first year with my first daughter and the first year with my second daughter.
I remember waking up every night at least once but usually two, three or even four times. I would breastfeed my baby sitting up in a chair or in my bed, desperately trying not to fall asleep and praying that my little girl would not wake up when I would carefully and sloooowly put her in her crib.
I would then tiptoe to bed for an hour of sleep before the whole circus would start again.
IF I managed to stay awake, that is. Most of the time I would just wake up cramped and cold sitting up with my sleeping daughter on my lap.
It is a miracle that she never fell of!
I think most parents can agree that nights like this will make you cranky if your lucky and plain miserable if your more like me. It sucked, it took all the fun out of being a mother and it made me doubt my parentingskills since *this* couldn't possibly be how it was supposed to be!
Her and my sleepingproblems were resolved when we, out of sheer desperation, stopped trying to get her to sleep in her own bed.
Seeing this we tried a different approach with our second daughter. No more separate bedroom, not even a crib! We took a hensvik crib form Ikea, removed the front panel and tied it to my side of the bed.
And you know what? We slept like babies (no pun intended)! I would breastfeed little Avalon to sleep and if I didn't fall asleep myself I would gently slide her a few inches to my right, into her own part of our bed. If she would wake in the night (IF she would wake at all, my direct presence was often enough of a reassurance to keep her asleep) I would simply pull her closer to me without completely waking up and in less than a minute we would both be fast asleep again.
It is unbelievable how much of a difference this made. Even though she was a *very* fussy baby that cried a lot during the day the solid nights of sleep made it all so much better to handle.
My heart aches if I hear fresh parents complain about sleepless nights and or fussy babies. Sure, cosleeping isn't always the answer and every parent should do what he or she thinks is best.
But boy, it can make such a difference!
If you want to read more about cosleeping, its advantages, some safety guidelines and other interesting stuff then I suggest you pay a visit to dr. Sears's website.