Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Part II.

Leslie asked me a good question yesterday on what I thought about keeping your newborn in your room for a little while versus moving the baby to the crib immediately.

Good question!

And ... it really depends on the baby!

And the parents!

Okay, here it goes: You will just know. Sigh. I said it. I'm sorry. I'm sorry to give you "that" answer, that blanket answer that covers everything from "When will I know I'm in labor?" to "When will I know I'm done having kids?" You'll just know. Really. Because, the reality is, it's different for each family.

I can tell you what will influence your decision, though, to at least give you a heads-up! Or, rather, I can tell you what influenced our decision.

First of all, I knew I didn't want Cub in our room very long before he was even born. I know that might sound harsh and horrible, but I kind of have this opinion on boundaries and our room being our room and his room being his room ... and I wanted to be able to transition him to his crib sooner rather than later. BUT, "sooner rather than later" is a tad relative in and of itself, so I figured we'd bring him home and go from there.

Like I mentioned in yesterday's post, we put Cub down for naps in his crib from Day 1. The way our house is set up, Cub's nursery is close to the living room, so we could lay him down in his crib and leave the door open and have easier access to him during the day than if he were in our bedroom. Looking back, I'm glad we did that, because Cub never had to adjust to being in his crib--it was already familiar to him, even though his night sleep still occurred in his pack-n-play in our room.

Secondly, I had to decide whether I liked feeding Cub in our room during his middle of the night feedings. And this is where a lot of moms differ, because every mom is different and every mom has different strengths and weaknesses. For me? STARING AT MY SLEEPING HUSBAND WHILE I'M AWAKE TRYING TO FEED A BABY IS A WEAKNESS.

I mean, I'm not bitter. Really. I knew that was part of breastfeeding. But.

(Okay seriously, I wasn't bitter. Because my husband had to get up and go to work while I could at least catch up on sleep during the day. So we did not share in nighttime feedings.)

I just could not feed Cub in our room in the middle of the night! It was too hard for me to stay awake. So, the act of having to get out of bed, walk across our living room to the nursery, pick up Cub, carry him into the living room (back when his feedings were really long, it was easier to do it in front of the TV) was really good for me. It woke me up enough to be coherent. This is a good thing. You have to remember--those first few weeks of breast feeding (should you choose to do so) take a LONG TIME. Also, for me, during those first few weeks, breast feeding literally physically drained my body of energy. So, you can understand why perhaps I couldn't lay in bed and attempt to nurse Cub for an hour next to my snoring husband while the energy is draining from my body. And it's pitch black. And I'm exhausted anyway.

It would have made for two sleeping parents and one hungry baby.

Watching Little House on the Prairie at 2:00am in our living room while nursing Cub was much more successful for me. Plus, there's nothing like watching life in the pioneer days to give you a kick in the pants and realize how easy you have it now. Shoot fire.

So, Cub went to the nursery after five days and we never looked back. And not being in our room did not make him a miserable, grumpy, non-affectionate child. He is the snuggliest of Cubs and my friends even comment on how much they love to hold him. He's a good hugger. So be encouraged that whatever decision you make will be the right one. You will know what works best for you. Some moms love to roll over, grab the baby, feed the baby, put the baby back in the pack-n-play/cradle/co-sleeper, and go back to sleep. And other moms are like me and need to actually get out of bed to stay awake long enough to feed their baby.

And, as far as whether or not you should even get a cradle, that decision is up to you (I saw that in your comment, too). Our pack-n-play came with a bassinet, so we used that. Other people have cradles and love them. It's really up to you. Either will work, and cradles are just so gosh-darn cute, anyway, that you can't go wrong either way. :)

Good luck!


  1. Another thought on that is that some babies are noisy little sleepers. Their grunts and snorts make you think they're awake when they're not. Especially if it's your first baby, you're probably super sensitive to every little noise. That said, your quality of sleep goes WAY down if your half-awake all the time listening to every little noise the baby makes.

  2. Oh my goodness, yes! Our first baby was SOOO noisy! She grunted and cooed all night long!

  3. I would save my DVR'd shows for my middle of the night feedings. I really actually didn't mind it either. I coulnd't feed her in our room because I would fall asleep too.

  4. Haha, I love the late night shows. I woke up in the middle of the night last night and caught an episode of Family Matters ... the one where Steve turns into Stephan the Heartthrob. Good stuff :)

  5. I had to go to the living room too, but it was to feed and then pump, long process and then clean-up...I hope this next baby just takes to the boobs, cause I don't know if I want to ever pump that much again!

    Alex slept in a cradle and then moved to the crib with ease. I think we kept him in a cradle until he couldn't fit anymore and started swinging himself a bit...I loved having him in our room, but I also love having him in his own room --- I sleep much better, that's why co-sleeping is out for us. I'm awake all night worrying if Mike will roll over on him or smack him.

    Great post!

  6. I would add that if you DO choose to have him in your room, try to make the transition before 4 months hits because that's when they start becoming aware of their surroundings and they know they're someplace different! For us we slept much better once Levi left. He stayed with us for 3 months and while it was sad to make him leave, it's good for them to love their cribs. I don't know if I would have been so adamant about making him leave if it wasn't for friends warning me that their kids, (2 and 4) still won't sleep in their room. Another reason I'm so grateful for advice from moms who have gone before
    But then again, some people prefer co-sleeping through the toddler years, and that's fine. It's just whatever you desire for your family. But like you, Katie, we want our bed to be "our" bed.

  7. Brian got me a season of Friends on DVD for my first Mother's Day. I wanted to throw it back at him and demand some hand-stitched-baby-footprint-doily or something with at least a little sentimental value. But then he explained his reasoning... he knew I didn't like nursing the twins in our bed, so I would sit on the couch and watch random late night TV. At least this way I could enjoy my favorite show in the middle of the night. Once again proving that he is both brilliant and thoughtful.

    Quick comment on the previous post. We moved Jakin and Anna to big beds at 23 months. Went awesome. It took two nights of us sitting in their doorway and putting them back into bed a few times, but was hardly a battle. And the idea of them staying in their beds until Mommy or Daddy come get them still holds today (they're 4). Wonderful!

  8. The hubby and I are looking for baby number 1 right now... and I have to say that I feel the same way that you do. We have talked about it over and over and we think that everyone should have their little space. I am open to ANY possibility but for right now, that seems like the way we are going to go.
    Thanks for this. Makes me feel like I'm not alone out there (most of my girlfriends prefer co-sleeping).
    :) Jen