sleeping arrangements

I don’t know why I feel like this is shameful to admit, but here’s my nasty little confession: Cate sleeps in our room. Not in our bed, although we have taken a few “family naps” together (as long as she’s between Dave’s pillow and mine, I don’t worry about either of us rolling over on her). But we have a Pack ‘n’ Play set up in our bedroom, and that’s where she’s slept since she was born.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. When she was about 6 weeks old, I tried moving her to the nursery. But she woke up every hour screaming in terror because she didn’t know where she was, and I woke up even more frequently than that because every little bit of static on the baby monitor had me practically flying out of the bed and down the hall. So that lasted about two nights. Then it was back to the Pack ‘n’ Play.

For the past several weeks, we’ve had a nice little nighttime routine going:

1. Cate sleeps about 5-6 hours.
2. She wakes up, I pull her into our bed and she has half of a bottle. (A million thank-you’s to Cat & Tony for this, which lives on my nightstand, so I can warm up a bottle without even getting out of bed.)
3. We go down the hall to the nursery for a quick diaper change.
4. If she’s wide awake after the diaper (which she almost always is), we head downstairs so she can play for a little while & burn off some energy, and I can take all the vitamins that I have to take every day (part of that whole gastric bypass thing, I have well over a dozen pills that I take on a daily basis, lucky me). I figure it’s one less thing I have to do when I get up for the day, so that’s fine.
5. When she seems tired of playing, we head back upstairs, and she usually zonks out before she completely finishes the bottle.
6. She sleeps another 2-3 hours, then we’re up for the day. (Although sometimes I pass her off to Dave so I can get a little more sleep.)

The whole process from start to finish takes about an hour. I know that some people have miracle babies that sleep through the night from the time they’re six weeks old; in fact, according to my mom, my sister was sleeping 12 hours a night by three months. (To be fair, my sister has always been a freak about sleep – take your eyes off of her for five minutes and she’s out like a light.) But I also know there are moms out there whose babies are still waking them up three or four times a night when they’re a year old. So by comparison, one wake-up call a night doesn’t seem like I have much to complain about.

The irony is that this is one of those things that I was so opinionated about before Cate was born. I was adamantly opposed to co-sleeping, and I still generally think it’s a bad idea. It seems like a slippery slope into something that can become habit-forming, and the idea of having a 5 year-old child who still sleeps with her parents… well, that’s just kind of creepy to me. I mean, whatever works for your family is great and all, but that’s not for me. But even just having her in the same room as Dave and me – I thought that we would do that for the first month, maybe six weeks at the most. Ha.

I guess I’ve just been thinking that this pattern has been working ok for us, so why mess with it? I was worried that if I put her in the nursery, we’d go back to waking up every two hours, and I’m just barely starting to feel like I’m recovering my sanity. I’ve been working on the crib idea with her – I put her there for naps sometimes, and occasionally I’ll just put her in there when she’s in a mellow mood and turn on the mobile, which she seems to like. I wanted her to be a little more familiar with it so she wouldn’t wake up in a strange place and freak out. But I hadn’t put her down for the night there, I guess because I wasn’t ready for it more than anything.

Last night, Dave and I talked about it and decided it was time to try the nursery again. And? Nothing really happened. She slept for about 5 hours, woke up, we did our routine, and then she slept for another 3 hours. Same as usual. Huh. Whaddya know.

9 thoughts on “sleeping arrangements

  1. It’s hilarious that admitting to having the baby sleep in your room is a confession. When I admitted that Elizabeth was in the nursery at 2 months to some of my friends, they looked at me shocked, like “Oh! How will you know if she stops breathing?!”

    As long as she doesn’t get used to sleeping in your bed (until she’s in jr. high), I can’t see any harm in having the pack&play in your room.

    How did the 2nd night in the nursery go?

  2. We are already planning on keeping Little Miss C in our room at least until we move, for simplicity sake. I know it might make it harder to move her to her nursery, but until we move, there won’t be one. I am sure that every child has their time to move to their room to sleep. I just hope our plans at present won’t mess her up too much.

  3. The “what if she stops breathing” issue was another thing, although my mom pointed out that if she did stop breathing, I wouldn’t wake up because I wouldn’t hear anything. Hmm. That’s a disturbing thought.

    Night 2: She went nearly 7 hours on the first shift (which I’m cautious not to get too optimistic about, since she ran errands with me all afternoon and evening, so I think she was just unusually exhausted), and another 2 1/2 on the second shift. Not bad.

    Liz, I have friends who have a new baby in a one-bedroom apartment, and they aren’t even planning to start looking for a bigger place until this summer. I think it’s fine – my understanding is that babies are pretty easily adaptable at least for the first 6 months.

  4. Gaby and I slept in one bed and Ernie slept in another bed for the first 3 months of her life. Then we moved her straight into her crib and it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
    I always sort of figure as long as the baby is sleeping, whatever the arrangement, it’s all good.

  5. Ah, affirmation of my plan. Thanks! Its comforting to know that our little plan might just work. Like I said, it just makes sense for us. Once we move, we’ll probably transition her to the nursery. All at once and all that jazz.
    Gosh, is it time yet? 🙂

  6. Do many parents feel shame over little admissions like that? It seems like such a simple thing to sleep in the same room. How could it be harmful?

    But that reminds me of a story my friend told me: She and her husband were enjoying some moments of marital duty in their bed one weekend morning. Their little son popped the door open. Surprised, they stopped their motion and remained still, with Husband continuing to lie dutifully upon Wife. Son said: “Oh! I can stack too!” and climbed up and laid flat on Dad’s back before either could think what to do.

    So, yeah… maybe it’ll be awkward someday. I bet she’s cool for now though.

  7. See, now, the kid might not even remember something like that, but I think I’D be scarred for life. Too funny.

  8. It’s not really shame, I think it’s more that fear of, oh god, she’s going to be a teenager and still sleeping in our bedroom with us.

    Oh, and my mom told me a story about a 3 year-old me padding down the hall to get her after I woke up from a nightmare one night. All my parents heard from the other side was: BANG BANG BANG “Why is the door locked?!” Heh.

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