Monday, September 8, 2014

Co-sleeping with the kids

When I was pregnant with Bree and Bea, one of the concerns I had was the sleeping arrangement.  I wanted to sleep with the kids and give the yayas a break during the night, but I don't know if I can actually handle two babies on my own.  I was also concerned that if the girls sleep with Ben that they'd wake him up.  So for the first couple of nights, I tried sleeping with the girls in another room with a yaya.  That arrangement didn't last long.  The yaya complained that she didn't get to rest.  This was even if she was just a back-up during the night since I was directly breastfeeding the twins at night.  Ben was also looking for me at night.  So being in a different room made me sad and frustrated.

  Eventually, Bry encouraged me to try having all of us in one room at night.  It took some adjustment but we eventually got the hang of it.  I learned how to tandem feed the girls on my own when they wake up at night and Ben adjusted to the girls waking up in the middle of the night. This has been our arrangement ever since.

It may seem crazy, having all 3 kids in the room at night.  The boys share one big cushion at the floor.  The girls sleep on another one (also on the floor).  As for me, I transfer from one bed to another depending on which of the kids need me.  I also get to sleep on the main bed if I'm lucky.  It's tough but I survive because of two reasons (1) I breastfeed the girls direct which allow me to feed and soothe them right away and at the same time if needed.  This keeps the boys from being awaken at night and (2) Bry is a hands on dad who is willing to help soothe the kids when they wake up at night.

Our system is not perfect and definitely not easy.  There are nights when I really really miss having uninterrupted sleep.  There are nights when one child cries just as I am about to rest my head on the pillow.  What keeps me going is that as tiring as it may be, there will come a time when the kids will be more independent so I have to make most of this time that they need my their side (almost 24/7).

Co-sleeping is not easy, especially with more than one kid involved.  But it has its advantages.  At the start, it's a way to breastfeed long term because you get to direct feed at night which is convenient and good for maintaining supply.  For me, it helps you get to know your child better.  I'm the first one to notice if a child is not feeling well because she/he changes his/her sleeping pattern.  I get to listen to Ben sleeptalk about what happened at school.  It's also a way for us to bond because we are the last people we see before going to sleep and the first ones we see when we wake up in the morning. 

I know there will come a time when the kids will sleep in their own room. I look forward to those days.  But for now, I'll try my best to treasure these moments.

What's your current sleeping arrangement with your kids and why does it work for you?

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