Why it is none of my business how your child sleeps (and visa versa)


I love advice. Any old wives’ tale, helpful hack or top tip you have about parenting, please share. I would even go so far as to ask advice from other mums and dads regarding my latest parenting panic. I don’t even mind the repetitiveness of the classic ‘sleep when your baby sleeps’ – it never happens but it’s a sweet thought!


Being significantly younger than your average momma, I am often gifted with unsolicited opinions from total strangers, wise relatives and - I kid you not - childless peers. I smile and nod and pretend I’m making plans to implement their suggestions immediately.  It’s routine at this stage and I know its harmless. However, I have recently read and been subject to several opinions about the sleeping arrangements of babies and their parents - and I need to vent.


Every baby is different. Every parent is different. We are not minion mums and dads with minion offspring who speak minion-tongue in unison. Individual families will have individual ways of doing things. This includes bedtime.


Once, another parent looked baffled when I told her I pick my daughter up from her cot as soon as I hear her cry. What they didn't  know was that I live at home with other family members who work and attend college and school. ‘Crying out’ was never an option- not to mention the thought of it caused me more anxiety than lack of sleep EVER would.



Yet, I know that there are mums who wake at every sniffle, dream and turn. Who, if they open the covers to one, would have four more pouring through the bedroom door. Couples who need this precious time to themselves, or single parents whose only me-time is at night. We need to consider that not all of us are in the position to provide our little one(s) with their own room, or even their own bed. Some of us literally cannot sleep with something that does full 360s continuously through the night. Some of us have hearts that break at the sound of tears or sink at the thought of another sleepless night.


What we do have in common, is that All of us try our best each night to make sure we can function the next day.  Whether this takes the form of co-sleeping or sleeping as far away from baby as possible, that is no one’s business.


Doing what works for you is best. Parenting is tough enough without us all becoming critics of each other. 


I rarely give my own advice. Being a young mother does suit the dolling out of wisdom. But I think its time we started trusting mums - you're all doing great!

With her daughter Evie as her muse, Anna writes about mumhood and all its intersections from mental health to movies, social issues to pop culture. Anna lives in Dublin with her daughter, partner, three younger sisters and parents. She is a dreadful cook, a fair guitar player and thinks caffeine should be given as a yearly vaccine to parents - courtesy of the HSE.

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