You read all of the books. You visit the websites. You make friends and soak up every bit of advice you can...
And then you have kids and it all blows out of the water!!
I do want you to take this little piece of advice, though. Whether you co-sleep or not, it's useful to know. It's especially useful in toddlerhood.
HAVE A MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT BED-CHANGE PLAN!
We've been battling a stomach bug around here. It seems to hit my youngest at night more than anything. When we were on vacation it was fine if he puked in the bed because someone ELSE would change the sheets. Now that we're home? It's up to the adults in the house! And we aren't dealing with puke anymore....think diaper blow-outs. They're gross when you're talking breastfed baby...they're trauma inducing when it's a toddler!! *shudder*
My husband and I have gotten pretty good at doing the change quickly at night. It came to us naturally. If that's you then that's great! If not, keep reading! There is hope!
1) Have extras of everything where everyone knows how to find them.
You want a change of clothes for EVERYONE (even if you don't co-sleep. Sometimes the mess will get on your PJs by transfer) If it's especially bad I'd recommend TWO of everything. Have an extra set of sheets at the ready. Know where that extra comforter is stored. Trust me, you might need it all.
(Last night's incident involved poop up to his shoulders. I wish I were exaggerating)
2) Assign the parents.
There's the "Child Parent" and the "Bed Parent" in my house. The CP takes the kid and focuses on cleaning him up. The BP focuses on getting the linens changed/washing and makes the bed. Whichever parent finishes FIRST helps the other if they need it.
3) Have clean-up supplies.
Those old towels you want to throw out? Perfect for this job!! Who cares if they're stained beyond recognition afterwards? You were going to toss them anyway. If you use disposables (we have been at night) keep those plastic grocery bags handy. Keep your wipes handy as well.
It sounds simple because it really is...but in the middle of the night things can get jumbled and confused if you don't have a good plan in place. The first few times we had to do this I tried to do everything (because that's how I am) when I should have let my husband help!
Do you have a plan? When was the last time you had to change sheets in the middle of the night?