As so many of you have been inquiring about it, I’ve been looking forward to crafting this post for a while! How’s it going with sleeping, baby, breastfeeding? And what about your pretty bed?
I’ll get to all if it, but first and foremost I want to talk about the bed. Because when we moved upstairs, into what must be the best bedroom in town, we were in need of an adult bed. Now, what is that? To us, it meant a BIG bed; 180 cm broad as a minimum! Or, that is, we’ve always slept in a 140 cm bed and loved it – without a need for anything bigger. I fall asleep and wake up in the same position. Perhaps ought to consider pulling a H. C. Andersen and sleep with a ‘I only appear to be dead’ sign around my neck if anyone ought to feel the need to declutter. Adam, on the other hand, tosses and turns a thousand times. But I’m used to that by now – and take it as loving nudges throughout the night.
But then I got pregnant, and then I got very pregnant, and then I thanked my lucky star for the big bed from Auping. It landed with us sometime back in July, I think. A few days before Italy. Until then, we’d been sleeping on the old mattress on the Kabe floor upstairs. It was rough, I tell you. So, suddenly being able to stretch my big body and settle in with the divorce sausage (you know, the BBHUGME roll) – without disturbing Adam on his side of the bed. Perfect.
What was even better? Summer nights, open terrace door, sweets in bed – and an elevated headboard. YES; our Auping comes with elevation! Imagine the bed turning into a SOFA BED (the former part of which it also doubled as in the months when we didn’t have a sofa) that allows you to spread out completely. We opted for elevation, although I started out considering it a no-go parent thing. You all said that it would be the BEST idea now that we were becoming parents. Breastfeeding in an elevation bed = THE DREAM! INTENSE comfort. Well, what did I know. At that point in time, my main requirement was being able to lie comfortable when watching films.
But then I suddenly had to breastfeed. And during the first precious time after the birth, I used it all the time; the elevation. And when in addition he was SUPER sniffly during the first two months of his life, being able to elevate the headboard was GENIUS. Everyone ought to have that in bed – that option. Elevating the headboard to direct the snot away.
Currently, I breastfeed while lying down and several times during each night. The advantage of horisontal breastfeeding is that I (almost) don’t notice when he needs food (except for when I have to crawl across him in order to breastfeed from the other side). So, right now, we don’t use the elevation when breastfeeding. But as soon as I start watching films in bed again, reading books in bed, I’ll definitely start using it again. Whenever one of us has a cold, we use it. When my lower back was aching towards the end of my pregnancy, I just elevated the footboard. I must say. An elevation bed is the shit. You’re so right (good thing that I’ve got you all!).
With that, I want to move on to something about which there are several opinions: SHARING A BED WITH A NEWBORN.
So many of you have asked me about it. I remember the first night I had with Eddie at the hospital. I’d put him to sleep in the crib in my bed, which meant that I was quite squeezed up against the metal sides, and also quite awkwardly holding one hand up over the edge and into the crib as I couldn’t let go of him for even just a second. I felt SO uncomfortable, and I’d have preferred to just have him with me, but I didn’t dare doing it. This small vulnerable being, only just out of the CPAP.
The following day, I spoke with one of the nurses (again, the staff at Herlev Hospital’s parental leave hotel – a dream!). She was obviously obliged to inform me that the health council discourages sleeping next to babies. However, she said that there are qualities to it, as long as the following safety measures are observed:
Make sure the bedroom is between 18-20 degrees celcius. Not any warmer than that!
Ensure that the baby’s head isn’t covered when it’s asleep.
Let the baby sleep on its back.
Place the baby on the outside – i.e., not between you. Babies easily get hot.
Let the baby sleep with its own duvet/blanket – again, to ensure it doesn’t get too hot.
Refrain from sharing a bed with your baby if you’re under the influence of alcohol/drugs.
Consider whether it works for you if you are a very heavy sleeper, are sick, take medicine or are heavily overweight.
As such, we’ve actually done it ever since, slept in the same bed, as soon as we came home from the hospital. To begin with, over the first two weeks, he was lying in his nest in the bed. It felt safe as he still was super tiny. But now he’s actually just sleeping on our mattress, next to me. With his own duvet. But actually also quite often under my duvet – I know it goes against recommendations, but that’s how we do it. Often times, he’s got about 120 cm to himself, while Adam and I make do with 60 cm, haha! Me on one side (although I miss sleeping on my back), Adam on his back. And no matter how much ‘distance’ I keep between me and Eddie, he still ends up in my armpit in the run of the night. And, my gosh, it’s the best thing in the world.
I can’t recommend sleeping in the same bed highly enough. It facilitates breastfeeding. Being able to sense him so easily really comforts me. I think it’s comforting to him as well. And for those who ask whether I’m afraid of squashing him? Not at all. I’ve got this intense mummy-reflex, so if anything is up, I wake up immediately.
When is he leaving our bed? To me, it’s not a pressing matter. Nor to Adam. Perhaps a natural time will appear, when I’ll enjoy sleeping across the entire 180 cm again, completely undisturbed? But as long as I’m still breastfeeding during the night, he’ll stay put, I guess. Adam is very loose around it – he just wants it to work for me. I love our mornings – even though it often times starts around 5:45am, it’s no problem at all when a happy little baby is babbling away next to me. His spirits are so high when he wakes up in the morning. It’s pretty great to witness. He loves exploring my face – drive his fingers around in my eyes, in my nose, laughing simultaneously.
I must say that it feels great to have my child close by, just as could be expected. Swaddled, in bed. It’s natural to me, just as I had imagined. BUT it’s absolutely not wrong to not like it. Each to their own definition of safety. Swaddling, sleeping in the same bed – it’s not more ‘right’ nor ‘better’ for the child, I find, if it doesn’t work for you. If mum and dad are happy, so is the child.
And when you ask about naps/tucking in?
Around about a month ago, we started settling into a really good tucking-in routine. Approaching 6:30pm, we started slowing down, getting ready for bed, cuddling and singing, breastfeeding properly. At 7pm, I put him in his own bed in his room. Sing ‘Hvilket postbud, en due’ a few times, just like my mum always did for me, and then I kiss him good night, stroke his forehead and leave the room. 9/10 times, he falls asleep automatically within five-ten minutes; 1/10 times, I’ll have to go back, hold his hand and carry him upstairs with me. I breastfeed him properly throughout the night, so being able to breastfeed whilst lying down is genius. He’s just been through a period of waking up around 4am with a stomachache from having been lying down and eating all night long. It was quite a drag, and I felt so sorry for him. But it seems to have passed.
He only really rises around 5:45-6am. Stroller nap time is around 8-11 / 9-12 (preferably whilst rolling after 40 minutes of the stroller standing still – today, he’s actually doing his first nap ever without the stroller having been pushed for 1.5 hours). And then a nap again around 1-3pm, and a power nap around 5pm. We haven’t done anything to enforce a pattern as such – it actually happened organically. We’ve tried to be very attentive to when he grows tired. And at one point we saw a clear pattern and then that’s how it was.
The specs on the Auping bed; what have we picked?
But what did we choose then? Well, from the very beginning, we were quite certain that we wanted an Auping bed. I’m also seduced by influencers, and when my greenest friend has spoken in SUCH good terms about Auping for years, how sustainable their production is (you can read all about it HERE), how gorgeous, chemistry-free the bed is (we do after all spend 1/3 of our lives in it, so we want it to be as ‘eco’ as possible), it felt very alluring. As such, we went over to Sengekompagniet by Forum and crawled around in their display beds, after which we continued over to Auping’s showroom/store in Østerbro to get even more help with choosing.
We ended up choosing a pretty elegant Auping Criade at 180 x 200 cm – white legs and grey fabric covering the bottom part. The mattress? Cresto in a medium (that’s the tip they gave us in Sengekompagniet, taking our weight and the fact that we don’t have particular shoulder issues etc into consideration) – plus the 3-motor elevation. In effect, we can pretty much model the bed to our liking. Elevate, lower – all parts of it, more or less. We opted for a synchronicity cable, which allows us to elevate both sides simultaneously. It may be a bit silly, when one is breastfeeding and the other is sleeping. But it’s due to the fact that we wanted one mattress rather than the feeling of a divide in the middle. Even though Auping has put a lot of effort into developing a ‘good’ transition between the two twin mattresses, the ridge is still palpable. We wanted one big bed – especially for when Eddie is sleeping in it as well. We assessed that the bit of discomfort that Adam would be exposed to over a limited amount of time was acceptable when thinking about the longterm benefits. The cable is removable. And, hello – the entire bed can be controlled via an Auping app. Of course it can.