Bad Habits.

It’s 4am in the morning- it’s dark outside, the sun has yet to rise in the sky and the streets are deserted.  Our house is still and silent.  Mr E is fast asleep, and I am lying dozing in and out of a light sleep next to him.  There is a little body next to me, her face so close to mine that I can smell her milky breath.  She snuggles herself into me, I wrap my arms around her and hold her tight.  She’s so warm and I place my arm on her tummy, feeling her little chest rise and fall.  We stay like that until half seven when the alarm goes off to signal the day is due to begin.

Of course I am talking about LL.  We have got into a pattern ever since she was tiny that she comes into our bed in the early hours of the morning.  She has always started the night off in her own bed but some how by the morning she is always next to me.

Let me start by saying, I have absolutely nothing against co-sleeping.  However when Mads was born I never ever let her share our bed.  I was strict on routine, and I was also worried about pulling the covers over her.

But with our second baby, it has all changed.  This time around we have a toddler to think of.  There’s no lounging in bed till 10am or staying in our PJ’s all day.  I have to get up and start the day with enthusiasm as my little Mads is always happy and hyper when she wakes up at 7.30am.  Therefore we have to do what is right for us- the second time around is all about survival.  It sounds dramatic but it is.

   And of course there is a part of me that adores the connection and feeling I get having her close to me.  I lie there and watch her sometimes, watch her little eyelashes flickering as she falls into a deeper sleep, the way she looks so content lying next to her Mummy.


I think I am realising that although my babies have the same big blue eyes, the same cheerful and happy disposition and the same Mummy and Daddy, the reality is they are very different.  Mads slept through from a few weeks old, but LL is just not as much of a sleeper as her sister.  Mads was always quite independent, happy to go to anyone when she was sad and needed a cuddle, whereas LL seems to only want me.  She is a lot more of a Mummy’s girl than Mads was.  As such I am having to learn to parent them in different ways.

With Mads if she ever did wake up and cry at night, she would settle herself back off to sleep.  We ‘sleep trained’ her by letting her cry it out, something which I know not everyone agrees with, but it worked for us.  However she never really cried a lot, and we got her into a good pattern quite quickly.  I can honestly count on one hand the amount of times she has woken up in the night since she was six months old.

With LL, it is totally different.  She goes down to sleep fine, but she struggles from about 4am onwards.  A couple of nights ago we decided we would leave her to see if we could get her to settle, but after an hour of her crying and us going over to her every five minutes, I cracked and fed her and let her sleep with us.  I just can’t seem to remain consistent.

With LL I definitely have picked up ‘bad habits’.  She is still in our room at seven months, whereas Mads went into her nursery at six.  We are just so worried she will wake up her sister as their rooms are next to each other.

She has her naps on the sofa, again out of fear of waking Mads who still naps for two and a half hours upstairs.  LL will drop herself off to sleep after lying on the sofa for a few minutes and will sleep a good hour or two in the afternoon, and this just seems to work for us, but I dread to think what will happen when I try and move her to her cot upstairs for her sleeps.

She is a milk monster and whereas with Mads I was in a routine of feeding her every three hours, with LL she still feeds on demand.  I feed her if I think she looks tired and needs a sleep, or if she is a bit grumpy.


I am exaggerating when I say bad habits, but I do feel like I am making a rod for my own back.  At the moment she is a happy, cheerful, content baby, but I do worry that as she is growing more aware it is going to be harder to break the patterns that we have created.  I want to try and help her sleep through as we are all getting tired with her early morning antics, and I don’t sleep well when she is in our bed, but I don’t know the best way to do it.

There’s the confliction between thinking she won’t be a baby forever and to just enjoy every moment and take each day as it comes, to thinking I don’t want to create problems further down the line.

I think the next stop is her own room and then we will see what happens.  Yet I know that when and if she sleeps through, I know I will miss our sleepy snuggles, and I will miss those early hours in the morning when I feel so full of love and grateful for that little body lying next to me.

Because like all ‘bad habits’ they are ridiculously addictive.

And there is nothing more addictive than my sweet, gorgeous little baby girl.




  • Nicola says:

    We were quite strict with Paige and moved her into her own room at 12 weeks I think it was. This was mainly because she outgrew her Moses basket. I’d like to think we would do the same if we had another baby but I guess you never know. I think this has to be the best bad habit though… all then snuggles you get 🙂 x

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      Oh definitely, it is the best bad habit ever! There is no where else I would rather be than snuggling her in the early hours of the morning when no one else is awake. x

  • Lauren says:

    I am officially the queen of bad habits. When I was pregnant with Harry I had all these plans to be “good” and to put him in his room for naps, and to try and get him in a bedtime routine. But none of that happened. Mainly because when he was here it just didn’t suit us. I’ve never been one for routine so it felt wrong to do it just because I thought I should.
    As a result we co-slept for 16 months. I don’t regret it for a second. He will be our last baby (I think) and they only stay little for such a short time so I just embraced that moment and enjoyed it.
    With Charles, he went into his room at 6 months but would come in with his around 3 o clock and it worked. It was lovely. xx

  • LauraCYMFT says:

    I don’t see them as bad habits, I think your survival description hits the nail on the head. You just do what you have to do. I look at it this way…they are only babies for such a short time. Soak them up and enjoy what works for you.

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      This post has definitely made me realise that I should just enjoy it. It’s not the end of the world if she is not sleeping through yet, and I adore our early morning snuggles.
      Survival is definitely true the second time around- we have to do what is best for our family. x

  • It’s so hard to leave the snuggly newborn days behind, isn’t it!?

    We put Lydia in to share Georgie’s room when we got back from Cornwall at the start of the month. Like you I was scared that she would wake up her big sister at nap time or in the night. Thankfully, the most that happens is Georgie just informs us Lydia is crying and then carries on playing/sleeping, depending on what she’s doing!

    Lydia is waking up a hour or so before her big sister; when we hear her over the baby monitor one of us goes in to get her, and then she has a nappy change and sleepy morning feed and cuddles in bed with us. She is definitely sleeping longer in that room, but I’m still getting snuggly cuddles – hopefully moving LL into her own room will get you the same sort of balance.

    It is harder with two I think, in the sense that you have to be nervous of the younger one disturbing the elder. It was a lot less disruptive than I was afraid it would be, thankfully! I hope the bedroom move goes well for you 🙂

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I think that is a really good balance, perhaps we can strike some sort of compromise where she can go in a cot in her room but still come in for early morning snuggles. I am not quite ready to give them up just yet. x

  • It’s certainly a different ball game the second time around. For all the ways that you do thins better for having experience, there are other things that you don’t. I think with you, that LL being your last bubba is a big part of it. And you are allowed to cling on to those baby days if that’s what you need and want to do. Yes it may get trickier as she becomes more aware, but at the same time, it just won’t last forever. We all know parenting is fleeting, and we really will be dragging teenager, who don’t want to get up, out of their beds before we know it.
    We had a similar pattern with BG of bringing her in with us, and it worked fine for us, then suddenly it didn’t anymore so we broke the cycle. I think while you are still enjoying sleepy cuddles and while it works, why change?
    These kiddos do keep us on our toes. It’s just scary how the same genes and the same environment can make two such different people. I feel like that about my two a lot at times! x

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I think that is definitely what it is, we are 95% sure she is our last , and therefore I am trying to cling on to it. It is fleeting and as such I am being a lot more relaxed than I was with Mads. I know that she will (hopefully) be sleeping through eventually, therefore I am just enjoying the snuggles while I can. x

  • Emily says:

    If you find an answer let me know! We are doing exactly the same except without the older toddler as justification. Ruby starts off in her own cot, even in her own room. But as soon as she comes in for a feed she’s in for the rest of the night – mainly because I fall asleep. Lately I’ve just lay next to her and she’s been suckling for hours while I doze. We’ve never done self soothing or strict routines. As you say, it’s whatever gets you through the day and ruby is incredibly happy and content and secure. But are we making a rod for our own backs??

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      It seems not by the other comments. I guess every child is different and they all thrive on different things. If Ruby and LL thrive on being cuddled in our beds then it all goes so quickly so we should enjoy it and not be too hard on ourselves for not following routine. x

  • It must be so different second time around, I have no idea how we will manage with two. We were so strict with Lucas’ bedtime routine and he is an amazing sleeper now but will I have the energy second time round, I just don’t know? Plus I know these will be our last babies and letting go of those little baby days will be hard! It’s hard when you know you have to get up and entertain your biggest girl and if LL is happy even harder to be tough! As long as it’s working for now and you are all happy maybe don’t worry too much about those ‘bad habits’ xx

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I definitely think with the second (and third in your case) that you become more relaxed about routine and things because you do anything to get some sleep. It is incredibly hard letting go of the baby days- we are pretty sure LL is our last baby and it is so bittersweet for me. Hence why I think I let her come in our bed and nap downstairs with us. I want to soak in every moment with her. x

  • Ahhh just wrote an essay but my session expired and it’s gone. Will write again later, off to soft play hell! xx

  • Kellpops says:

    I was so scared about this when Sebastian was a baby. We Co-slept for 8 months, right up until he got too mobile and would quite happily spend all night nursing in a half sleep half feeding dreamy state. and i always fed him to sleep.
    We found it really hard to transition him into his own room, and had a month or so of tears by us all at bedtime. Then one night in an act of desperation i climbed into his cot and fed him to sleep. Once he was properly asleep i would creep out and he stayed there then for 12 hours!
    You’ll fobnd the way, you just have to do what works for you and LL.

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      Thats the thing, I am sure we will find a way that works for us. I do worry she is getting too aware of what is going on and as she gets older it will get harder, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. x

  • While W is still our one and only, I feel into the ‘bad habits’ trap with him – mainly out of guilt from working. I’d get up, whatever the hour, and comfort him. So much so that he didn’t sleep through until he was around a year old, when we finally decided to start sleep training. The thing is though – would I go back and change it? Probably not. Those cuddles and snuggles, in the night hours, when I had guaranteed time with him where not wasted time. They were lovely and I was shattered the next day, but, as you say, they are only tiny for a short while aren’t they? xx

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I find your story refreshing and comforting Charlotte, that even if we did carry on with LL as we are, we can always hopefully change it when she is a bit older. Yes it will be a harder habit to break but it can be done. They are only tiny for such a short while, I love the way she snuggles into me and at that moment there is no where else I would rather be. x

  • It is so true it is just about survival with the second! I was the same with Lissy, really strict about putting her straight back in her moses basket / cot after a feed etc. With Caitlyn she barely went in her moses basket and I just used to let her feed on and off as I needed the sleep!

    Now she is pretty good going to bed, but like LL she ends up with me in the earlier hours. I am such a light sleeper that I don’t sleep well with her there but I just love the snuggles. She is waking quite a bit for feeds at the moment so I don’t think there’s any way she’ll be in her room at 6 months either like her sister was.

    Hopefully they will both learn to sleep like their big sisters in time!

    I love sleepy night feeds though and I know I’ll desperately miss that time where you are sleepy and snuggly and it feels you are the only ones awake in the world.

    L x

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      That is the thing, I know I will miss the sleepy night feeds when they are gone. I should just relish them and not worry too much about routine. It works for us at the moment. x

  • Notmyyearoff says:

    Ahh she is the cutest milk monster ever though and they are such little charmers aren’t they? LL sounds like Z – he was always in our bed by 5 or 6am and then used to have a right good old snooze, complete with arms above his head knocked out style. I think it comes down to the wise old “Every baby is different”. And I bet, if we have a second, it will probably not leave my side 🙂

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I think this post has made me realise that I am going to relish it and not worry about it too much. I think we will put her in her own room soon but I will still enjoy the early morning cuddles. Neither of us in a hurry to stop them .x

  • Been there done that but strangely it was the other way round for us. I co-slept with my first daughter, it felt like a luxury I could afford but when my second was born we just couldn’t do it, sleep was too precious and we were getting little enough of it as it was.

    I do miss the snuggling that you can only get from a baby, when they get to 7 & 8 they’re just not interested any more (deep sigh, but not deep enough to go for baby no3 😉 ).

    Enjoy it while it lasts. S

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I think this post has definitely made me realise to just not worry about routine and that we will get there eventually. I am gong to enjoy it as I know I will miss them desperately when they are older. x

  • Like Sinead has written above, for me it was the other way around too. I co-slept for 7 or 8 months with my first but only a month, if that, with my second. I am far stricter where it comes to sleep with my second as I know the depths things can get to if I’m not strict (my first was a terrible sleeper, partly because of him, a lot because of what I did).

    I completely understand the ‘survival’ comment, but for me, survival is being strict with sleep. Funny how it’s different for different parents. As Mads is a really good sleeper, is there a chance she actually wouldn’t wake up from LL’s cries? My boys sleep in the same room (my oldest is 4 and youngest 7 months) and I actually let my youngest cry it out in that room. My oldest does stir at times but has never properly woken up. When my oldest goes to bed, my youngest sometimes wakes up, I just give him a pat and leave the room and both go to sleep. These kids can be quite surprising at times. Just a thought.

    Either way, don’t beat yourself up. Enjoy the cuddles x

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I do think that perhaps Mads wouldn’t wake up if LL cries as she is a really heavy sleeper. I think we are going to try and put her in her own room over the next few days. Wish us luck! x

  • katie says:

    Its funny because my eldest has always been a great sleeper too and baby S is still waking for feeds at 7 months. It was twice but he has gone back to once again which i can cope with.

    I don’t have the time or energy for sleep training plus his crying is way too loud! The way i see it they will all sleep through at some point so we just keep chugging on….

    Plus to make you feel better i know lots of people in much worse situations. Once has a toddler who still wakes up 3/4 times plus a 6 months old still feedng 2 hrly and another has two little ones both waking for the day at 4.30am and not going back to sleep at all – ouch! So i think overall i’m quite lucky.

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      Thats the thing, hopefully they won’t be doing it forever and will be sleeping through at some point. I think if you really wanted to it is easy to break sleep cycles, but I don’t think I am ready to give up my cuddles just yet. It is just easier and works for us at the moment.

      And I agree I think I am lucky too. Mads has slept through from a really young age and LL still only wakes once or twice at her age- it isn’t that bad at all. x

  • rebecca says:

    well you know what shes so happy and content i wouldnt worry about any of it. we kind of co-sleep in our house and i have a really relaxed routine that we had since birth she always went four hours between feeds and from 5 weeks slept through but i can honestly say i dont know what her newborn cry sounded like as i never heard it. i think you take you lead from baby and what works for you who cares what others say aslong as you are happy thats what matters.i heard a lot that i was making a rod for my back as hope switched between being in her room then our a few times and she know has her room and thats it , i was told it would be hell but you know what it was so easy no tears no nothing she goes in there fine and she two and a half so been next to me for years! it all works out in the end and these precious few years are just that so enjoy them xx

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I think thats exactly right, do what works for you. And this does work for us at the moment. I want to enjoy her and snuggles are the best thing. Thanks hun. x

  • Mummylimited says:

    It makes me a little sad when I hear the terms ‘bad habits’ and ‘rod for your own back’. It sounds to me like you are just in tune with your daughter and are parenting in the way she needs.
    I have 2 totally different as well, Nano has been left to cry a tiny bit, but mainly because I learnt that being with him and cuddlig him does nothing. MM was totally different. He needed closness, but eventually, when he was maybe a year old he stayed in his cot and by 18mo he didn’t need us to be with him while he fell asleep. Ever since he’s been fine with sleeping.
    What’s important is you all, Mads included, get the sleep you need. Please don’t worry about rods and habits.

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      Thank you, and I think perhaps bad habits was the wrong word. I just worry about routine as I was very routine led with Mads. However this post has made me realise that actually we are doing what is best for us at this moment.
      I think I will put her in her own room cause we are keeping her awake, but I am going to let her come in our bed and not worry about it- time is just fleeting and I want to relish the snuggles. x

  • Ooo, tough one, Katie. BB was waking up for feeds at 2am and 5am and then we made the decision to move him to his own room and he’s slept right through and for longer ever since. Seems that it was us disturbing him rather than the other way round. I really do miss having him next to me and if he falls asleep on me in the day now, I’m not particularly quick to put him in his bed. But, it’s absolutely wonderful to see how excited he is when I get him out of his bed in the morning. He gives me the biggest smiles.

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I think we are going to put her in her own room in the next few days and see what happens. But I hope she will still come in her room for snuggles! x

  • I definitely feel there is an indescribable bond with your second and last baby. Which make you just want to eat them up! xx

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I completely agree, the fact she is almost certainly going to be our last makes me treat her totally differently. I just want to soak in every single moment of her babyhood. x

  • Kat says:

    second babies…they are just SO DIFFERENT! Taylor and Addison are NOTHING alike. Not in their looks. Their personalities. Their likes. Their eating habits. Nothing. They are day and night, both absolutely wonderful but completely different from one another.

    And since Tay is our last….these little “bad habits” I think are easier to go along with because, really, who doesn’t want to snuggle a warm, milky=breathed baby from 4-7am???

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      Mads and LL are similar in so many ways, both very cheerful and happy, but LL is definitely more needy and more of a Mummy’s girl than her sister.
      And I agree, there is something about last babies that make you forget the routine and just enjoy the snuggles. x

  • Aida says:

    I must say I’m happy we are finally sleeping a bit better, sometimes even a whole night but I sure miss cuddling up with my lill guy through those early morning hours and i think I always will

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      That’s defintely the thing, I know I will miss it so maybe thats why I am reluctant to change it? They are little for such a short time. x

  • Ahhh I loved reading this post, all those memories of baby Noah and Isla came flooding back. I love the bonds you have with your babies that no one else will ever replace – or nothing will ever come close to replacing. It is a sacred bond. We, as Mummy’s are very lucky! Ohhhhh man… I want a little newborn to snuggle again 🙂 x

  • Carie says:

    My babies are the other way round in that Elma is the champion sleeper and Kitty the one who struggled. With Kitty by nine months she was coming into our bed most nights, where Elma rarely has, just because she hasn’t needed to. So I’m no use on the second child not sleeping conundrum, all I can offer is the perspective of parenting a little girl with a serious 3am habit. For us co-sleeping worked, it got us all the rest we needed, and the snuggles and comfort that Kitty needed to feel safe and secure.

    Sleep training never felt right to us so we went with our gut. Kitty fed n demand and nursed to sleep until she weaned at almost two and for a while after that went to sleep holding my hair. Now she happily snuggles down in her bed after stories as shes fast asleep when I check on her 10 minutes later without a tear in sight. She still climbs in with us if she wants to but at almost three thats becoming less frequent.

    All of which is a very long winded way of saying that you don’t have to feel like you’re creating bad habits etc, you can trust in what you feel is best for your family and LL will find her rhythm in her own time.

    Good Luck – and lots of hugs because this is tough xx

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I definitely think it is best to do what is best for you and your family and this post and the comments has made me realise that. LL goes down to sleep at the start of the night really well, either asleep or awake, so I hope in time it will all be ok. I am reluctant to stop the sleeping next to me just yet. x

  • Emma says:

    Awww, I have two little girls in bed with me every morning, one wedged to each side. I love it, but at the same time, I could REALLY do with a full nights sleep 🙂

    I’m just enjoying the snuggles while everyone still wants them. x

  • Sian says:

    Aww they’re not bad habits. Enjoy these moments while they last xx

    Quite Frankly She Said – UK Lifestyle Blog

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      Thanks Sian, and I know deep down they aren’t bad habits, but I do worry about routine. I have always been a more routine led parent, albeit a relaxed routine so this is way out the blue for me! x

  • Mammasaurus says:

    Such sweet photos Katie- she has the sparkliest big eyes. I must admit I’ve always been a really strict routine type of mother and I know I couldn’t change now. I look at mums and dads who can adopt a more baby-led, relaxed way of parenting with a mixture of respect and envy, envy that I couldn’t manage it.
    I know that for me sleep is key, if I don’t get enough then I am a misery to be around therefore I’ve been a bit of a selfish madam and never let any of them into my bed (well maybe a couple of times with the older ones when they were school age but that really did lead to very bad sleep habits so I stopped that quick smart!)
    So long as you are happy and everyone’s enjoying it, go with the flow xxx

    ps. Really looking forward to Friday!

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      Thanks Annie, I love her eyes. I am a mixture between strict routine and a more relaxed approach. We have a bedtime and nap routine but we don’t always stick to it rigidly. However we will if we are home and not doing anything because it all works for us.
      Can’t wait to see you Friday. x

  • I’m with MummyLimited on this one and say forget about that whole ‘rod for your own back’ nonsense. Having your second baby (or third of fourth in my case!) is completely different from your first and you’re right about the whole survival thing! Plus as you’ve said, she’s so different as a baby and so has completely different needs and it sounds to me that you’re doing a fantastic job. Honestly, cuddle away. These days are over all too quickly trust me. Enjoy every minute of it x

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      Thanks for your comment lovely. This post really has made me realise that I do just need to enjoy it and not think about the potential consequences for our future sleep! 😉 We will get there eventually and in the meantime I am going to enjoy the snuggles. There is no where I would rather be than there with her. And I am well aware how quick the time goes. I am so glad I wrote this post. x

  • Bryony says:

    Personally I don’t think these things are bad habits, just things that work for you and LL. When Frankie was a bad sleeper she just had to be left to get on with it, no amount of cuddles or soothing would aid her so we implemented ‘crying it out’ and that worked for her. Georgiana on the other hand needs some attention when she wakes, just a rub on her back or a quick cuddle.

    Both girls have slept in our bed at some point or another. we co-slept with Frankie for most of the night until I was around 5 months pregnant with Georgie (Fran was about 20 months old). Georgie only seemed to benefit from it until 3/4 months old but to be totally honest I’d still be doing it now if I could. When else in there lives do you get to cuddle in close and completely soak them up? Never.

    I know it’s tough to have a bad sleeper (you know both of mine have been nightmares) but I’m starting to realise that before long I won’t have a baby anymore so I’m making the most of every second they’re awake… even if it’s 3am 😉 xxxx

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      I think this post has made me realise that actually it really is what works for our family. And at the moment her napping downstairs, her coming in our bed early and her still having a feed at night are things that work for our family. I don’t want to stop them just yet as she will be tiny for such a short time. x

  • Lisa H says:

    I am the same as Annie – I need my sleep so for the most part have been firm. J was so different from H so we did have to learn to do it how it worked for him. In the end we did CIO at 8 months as he was still waking for feeds. It Waac hard but it worked for us. He is still not a sleeper like H was though.

    • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three says:

      It’s funny how different they can be. I can survive on a relatively short amount of sleep but I did let Mads CIO a little. She wasn’t like LL though, she only really grumbled at night whereas LL can full on scream. I find it hard to let her CIO at that stage and I have no consistency.
      Still she isn’t particularly bad, only usually waking the once at 4 or 5 and coming in with us, so I am going to go with it for the time being! x

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