Two and a half years ago and suffering from lack of sleep due to being hugely pregnant and uncomfortable – with the arrival of the Wee Man imminent – I entertained a vision of a happily sleeping baby tucked up in a moses basket placed next to our bed, whilst the Other Half and I gazed down lovingly before falling asleep for four or five hours. Sure, we wouldn’t get as much sleep as we used to, but we could cope with a bit of a reduction for a few months until he started sleeping through.
Fast forward six months, and the vision had changed to a crazy, wild eyed dream of just 90 minutes of unbroken sleep. The moses basket had lasted just two days, before the Wee Man crept slowly but surely into his chosen place for sleep – which in the early days was the chest of either myself or the Other Half, and then migrated to in my arms, before finally ending up as ‘giant starfish between my parents in the bed’.
As you can see, given that we only had a double bed, this resulted in the Other Half inhabiting around 1/3 of the space, the Wee Man enjoying 1/2 the bed, and me teetering on the edge in the final 1/6th of the bed, veering between ‘don’t fall off the bed and wake up’ mode and ‘don’t wake the baby by moving further over’ mode.
Therefore, even when the Wee Man WAS having his 45 minute sleepy times, I spent quite a lot of that time being vastly uncomfortable, worrying he would wake up, worrying that he would be squashed by the Other Half who was used to being the previous ‘bed starfish’, worrying he would fall out of the bed, or falling out of bed myself.
On the plus side, I did get more sleep than I would have if I’d had to get out of bed and get him from his cot every time he wanted feeding/resettling. (Something that we tried from time to time in attempts to get him – and us – sleeping better). And as time went on, he learned to use me as a ‘snack machine’ himself – I’d leave my top open, and he’d roll over and help himself! He was also always a generally laid back and happy baby, and I think this was helped by the closeness that we always had.
But in general, given the above, it may come as no surprise that I was approaching the imminent arrival of my second child with some trepidation, envisaging the sleepless nights ahead. Whilst I find that co-sleeping offers huge benefits for both myself and my children – extra sleep, easier night-time feeding, and – in my experience – a generally happier baby, I still had the worry that one of us might roll over and squash the baby in the night, or that she may fall out of the bed.
Then I discovered the BabyBay whilst pregnant with Bubby D, and I felt I just had to have one! We did upgrade to a Kingsize bed when we moved house, but with a 2 year old who still sometimes comes and joins us for a snuggle, two adults, and a baby, I felt it probably still wasn’t big enough. The BabyBay solves this problem by clipping to the side of the bed and being adjustable so that the height of the crib can exactly match the mattress height of the bed. Bubby D has her own protected sleeping place, where she can stay safely without being able to roll off the bed or be squashed, but she’s also within reaching distance of me (and my boobs!). I was able to set it up quickly and easily even whilst heavily pregnant, and I adjusted the height with no problems. It’s easy to clip to and unclip from the bed, and equally great, it can be used as a standalone crib if necessary with the additional side which was provided with it. Its sturdy enough to withstand a bouncing toddler flinging himself around in it, and it converts over time to a highchair, a desk or a seat so I know its definitely worth the money it cost me.
Although I can’t claim to be one of those lucky mothers that has a baby that sleeps through the night, I definitely feel a lot less like a zombie than I did first time round. Bubby D will sleep anything between 45 minutes and 6 hours in a stretch, and when I get the opportunity to sleep, I CAN sleep, happy in the knowledge that she is safe and secure. She will happily self settle at the beginning of the night in the BabyBay too, as well as napping in it during the day (the Wee Man never napped in the bed during the day as I was always worried he’d roll off it!).
So – to other tired Mummies out there who aren’t sure about having their babies in their beds – I can’t recommend using a cosleeping crib enough. If you have the room (and as you can see it doesn’t take too much extra room…), and you have the cash then it’s definitely worth going for!
Now fingers crossed for some sleep tonight
Oh…and if you’re wondering how we got the Wee Man to sleep through in the end, then the answer is…JETLAG! Yes. We took him on a 36 hour flight (well three flights actually) home from visiting the half of the family that resides in New Zealand, and when we got back we were all so tired that the three of us all slept pretty much two days in a row. Since then we haven’t looked back. Sadly, we can’t afford to go to New Zealand again for a while so Bubby D is going to have to find some other method. But that will be a whole other story for another day…
All the opinions in this post are my own, and I have not been asked to write a review of the BabyBay. I bought it with my own hard earned cash and I genuinely believe it to be a great baby gadget worth shouting about!