Operation Sleep Rule Change was about getting some more space in our bed in a gentle, respectful way. If you missed the first post, it's here. In summary, we were aiming to get Chubs to sleep in her cot until 3am, and then to come into out bed. Sometimes she does this on her own - the last few nights she's slept in her cot until 4:30am, but it's certainly not consistent.
It was working for a while, however things started to fall apart. Chubs was sick a lot, Dear Husband was away so I was flying solo and Chubs started waking more frequently and needing more settling. Over the Christmas break we had two trips away for over a week each which meant a break in routine.
Perhaps most importantly, the plan (that Dear Husband and I would get more sleep) wasn't working. In August I said: To be honest, Dear Husband and I aren't feeling as wonderfully well rested as I
was hoping. As I supsected (but was dearly hoping I was wrong) I think at lot of
our constant state of exhaustion is more to do with having a vibrant, beautiful,
bouncy toddler than a cosleeping one. To resettle Chubs in the middle of the night when she is in our bed is much, much easier that getting up to feed/ cuddle/ rock her in the cot. I'm sure we all get much more sleep when she's in with us. Often Dear Husband and I don't know who brough her into bed with us or what time it was now that we aren't trying to change it.
The final straw for me was one night when she wouldn't settle in her cot. I felt so mean. I was trying to settle my young child in a cage in a room all on her own so that I could go into a separate room, and not only share that room with another loved one, but actually share a bed! Why should I, as a grown adult who knows all about object permanence and how to ask for help clearly, get to share a bed with someone I love and at the same time expect my baby to sleep on her own in a cot in a separate room? She clearly needs the comfort and closeness - this is normal toddler behaviour.
Yes, we still get a lot of diagonal starfishing and bed angels. There's nothing glamorous about waking up with one foot in your ear and the other in your back. The problems that caused us to seek Operations Sleep Rule Change still exist. However, it now seems that these things aren't going to be fixed by having me stand by Chubs' cot several times a night.
I don't regret bringing Chubs into bed with us when she was little and teaching her 'bad habits'. I don't regret feeding her to sleep, nor 'training' her to sleep through the night at weeks or months old. This is all normal behaviour. She's a happy, healthy, thriving little girl. She won't always be in bed with us, she won't always feed through the night, she won't always want cuddles during the night - well at least not from Mum and Dad anyway.
I've never heard anyone say "I wish that I had cuddled my child less when she was little". So, for the time being at least, we will continue to love, cuddle, feed, rock and sleep togetherin the big bed - just where everyone wants to be. Even if it is a bit crowded.