Posted in Parenting

Sleeping Arrangements

Ahhh, peacefully sleeping.

Ever since we brought Charles home roughly 16 months ago, we’ve had to make several changes to our/his sleeping arrangements.  I thought I’d break down what changed when for future reference (y’know, so I don’t wonder how we managed when Peanut comes along 😉 ).

The newborn phase

Since a newborn’s circadian rhythm isn’t programmed the way ours is (from my understanding, that happens around 4 months) they have no conception of the difference between day and night.  Knowing this, we decided to establish a visible difference between naps and nighttime sleep from the getgo.  During the day, the little guy slept in his moses basket wherever his father and I were hanging out.  During nights, though we considered many options (co-sleeping, having a cot in our room…), we decided to get him used to sleeping in his own crib in his own room.  Since his room is right next to ours, we just kept both bedroom doors opened and we could hear him very quickly when he awoke for a feed in the middle of the night (or, rather I woke up very quickly – often my partner didn’t even hear him).

We swaddled him for the first week or two before stopping because he just seemed to hate it.

P1000770
1 week old and snoozing away in the living room.

Eventually, when the little guy started too get big for his basket, we moved him to a baby park bed for his daytime naps.  We also started to swaddle again when he was about 6 weeks old and his moro reflex (startle reflex) started to kick in.

2 months old.  The swaddle is officially back.
2 months old. The swaddle is officially back.

The infant phase

At around the age of 4 months, we felt that Charles was ready to do his naps in his own room and so that’s where he went.  We were still swaddling (as he was still aaaages away from being able to roll) and we had started using the pacifier sparingly to help him settle down for naps when he was overtired.  Except the “sparingly” part eventually led to “frequently” and so we began our road down pacifier hell.

Weaning off the pacifier and the swaddle

By the time Charles was nearly 6 months old, I was way past the mombie phase because I had to keep on replugging the darned pacifier all night long.  I was also getting frustrated with my little Houdini’s ability to break out of every single swaddle, no matter how tight or how creative and so, after trying a gentle method  of pacifier removal (Pantley’s gentle removal), I decided to embark on the sleep training wagon get rid or both the paci and the swaddle cold turkey with the baby whisperer’s PU/PD method.  It was hard, but it ended up paying off.  Oh and this is when we invested in a lovey and when we started using a white noise machine for his sleep.

Of course, the little guy was very happy with his newfound liberty…

…and he got himself into a whole bunch of weird positions…

P1020339
Looks…um…comfortable…

6 months to 16 months

…so we ended up setting his mattress to the lowest setting and we decided to invest in some sleep sacks.

Isn't a sleeping baby the cutest thing!
Isn’t a sleeping baby the cutest thing!

It took a while, but eventually, Charles started to really “get” what a lovey was meant to be used for.  When he was about 12 months old, he would grab on to his lovey when it was story time and keep hold of it when I set him in his bed.  A couple of months later, he would recognize it by name and go get it when we asked him where his friend the ghost (that’s what his lovey is called ’round here) was.  Then, at about 15 months, he started to go and grab it by himself as soon as he was out of the tub and in his pyjamas.

16 months onwards

A couple of weeks ago, after months of pretty smooth sailing when it came to putting him down for naps and bedtime, Charles started to get into a fit when it was time for bed.  Thinking that he had developed a fear of the dark, we started to turn on the little nightlight that comes with his white noise machine.  Then, one night, out of the blue, he reached out for one of his blankies.  I’d never let him sleep with one before because I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to sleep and the possibility that he might suffocate himself (he also doesn’t have any bumpers on his bed or any stuffed animals with him), but I figured that if he was old enough to ask for it, he was old enough to sleep with it (of course, there’s also the fact that he is super mobile now).  He was very happy and now grabs both his lovey and blankie once he’s in his sleepsack and ready for bed.  For the record, this is the shop where I bought the sleepsack from (seen below with a dinosaur print).  I’m not affiliated with the Etsy shop owner in any way, I was just so in love with the product (I mean, it has feet holes which means that my son can walk around in it and easily move around once he’s down for sleep!) that I decided to give it a shout out here.

Blankie: check, lovey: check, sleep sack: check.  Ready for his bedtime story!
Blankie: check, lovey: check, sleep sack: check. Ready for his bedtime story!

Another change in preparation

In preparation for Peanut’s arrival, Charles will be going through another sleeping arrangement change.  We have decided that the baby will be moving into the nursery that Little Dude is sleeping in right now and that the little guy will be moving to a “big boy room”.  We’ll be moving him to a floor bed so that he’ll be able to get in and out on his own and he’ll be allowed to bring stuffed animals to bed with him if he wants to.  I’m really excited (and, let’s face it, anxious) to see how the transition will go.  I will definitely be keeping you guys posted when we go through the move this summer.

What do the sleeping arrangements look like in your household?

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Thirty-something year old discovering the joys and bumps of motherhood.

23 thoughts on “Sleeping Arrangements

  1. So freaking adorable. Stomps hooves. I want a lovey. XOXO – Bacon
    P.S. Sleeping arrangements at the Hotel Thompson – I sleep in a toddler bed in my own bedroom. When mom tells me it’s time for bed, I run to my room, do my business and get into bed for my bedtime story.

    1. Would you believe me if I told you that I went to take a look at your blog after replying? Oh well, now that I’m done laughing at myself, can I just say that you are such an adorable creature Bacon!

  2. Oh I love floor beds! I can’t wait to hear how it goes. We plan on one day having a floor bed for Arlo – that’s if he ever moves out of our bed (haha – so many people think he’ll be sleeping in our bed til he’s an adult when they hear he co-sleeps, and I’m beginning to believe them!!)

    1. You’re actually the reason I even thought of a floor bed. I remember you writing about them a few months ago. I figured “why buy a toddler bed when I can use what I already have”.

      I’m sure he’ll move out of your bed…eventually… 😉

  3. I’m thinking about changing Sam’s crib into a toddler bed by removing the side rail (and having the mattress in the lowest position) but I haven’t decided when yet. He’s happy in his bed. 😉

    1. It’s awesome that Sam’s still in his crib. And if he’s happy with it, why change things? We definitely would have stayed in the crib for longer if I wasn’t expecting a little Peanut. But I just don’t see why I should buy a second crib when I already have a bed that Little Dude can use KWIM?

      Thanks for sharing!

      1. I’m thinking of just making it a little more independent for him by removing the side. He can climb in and out when he wants to right now but I’d like to make it where he crawl in instead of having to “scale a wall”! 😉
        We didn’t use a crib with Samuel until he was about 8 months old. Before that, he co-slept at night and slept in his cradle for naps (well, naps were in our bed at times too – haha).

      2. Hehe, just picturing Samuel scaling his crib to get in. Removing the side will indeed make things easier for him, but then, I suppose he’ll have to learn to not fall out. You say you co-slept until Sam was 8 months old, do you have a post on your experience? I’m curious as to what your set-up looked like.

      3. Well, I wrote briefly on it in a What Do You Think post: http://atlantamomofthree.net/2013/04/30/what-do-you-think-co-sleeping/
        I didn’t stop co-sleeping at 8 months, that’s just when he was too big for the cradle (it’s between the size of a bassinet and crib) so that’s when we put the cradle away and started using the crib. For the first 2 months, he co-slept full time. From 2-12 months, he started the night off in his crib and then stayed in bed with us from the first time he woke to nurse until morning. From 12-25 months I put him back in his bed after nursing (*most* nights). Since weaning him at 25 months, he’s never come to our bed again because he (obviously) doesn’t wake to nurse! 😉
        I am really happy with the way it all worked out but I wish I had known, at the time, that it wasn’t going to harm his future sleeping habits. I would have enjoyed it even more than I did. 🙂

  4. Sleeping arrangement here in the eastern side of the world are strange. Its the norm for children to stay with their parents in the same room, different bed in till 5years old.
    Ideally I’d like to move V way before that. (Space depending)
    As of right now we co sleep/bed share.
    V use to sleep in his cot next to our bed but 9/10he’d be in with from 10PM. This summer I’ll be making more of an effort to get him in there and staying there.

    1. Really interesting to hear about customs in different parts of the world. I’m glad co-sleeping is still working for you guys. I’m eager to hear about how the re-transition to the bed will go this summer. You say that you would like to move Vinnie out of your room before he turns 5, when would be your ideal time?

      1. Now would be ideal lol… ideally once he done waking up umpteen times a night to nurse. We don’t really have the space. Our upstairs only has four basic room.
        Kitchen, living, our bedroom and the other room is where my mother in as sleeps. We have plans for an extension on the house but finances are tough while I’m not working. I think we may give up our room and buy a sofa bed to flip out in the living room as a temporary measure.

      2. I understand what you mean. Co-sleeping is definitely best while you’re still nursing, because, let’s face it, it’s just easier to not have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to nurse. Perhaps you’re in a viscious cycle though and Vinnie wakes up so often during the night because he knows he’ll get some milk (mind you, I’m not trying to tell you that you should stop, only thinking out loud 😉 ).

        Space definitely seems to be an issue at your place; I can understand why he can’t really have his own room for now. The sofa bed sounds like a good alternative while you are working with a reduced income.

      3. Oh yeah total in a vicious cycle. While in the UK we cut down on wakings to just one at around 2am. Im planning to blog about it soon. Night weaning is a huge thing to deal with for me. I just hate the thought of it. But saying that it has to be done and now I’m back after my trip I plan to try and cut it out completely.
        Once we have the whole night nursing sorted I’d like to say by the end of the month. I’ll then try and transition him to the cot~ bed.

  5. I gotta say, I am terrified to switch to a big boy bed! We have a good sleeper who will stay in his crib happily for a long time (some times up to an hour) while falling asleep or waking up…but I can imagine all the fun/trouble he will get into once he doesn’t have those crib bars! BTW, very good memory – I don’t remember when all this stuff happened. Bravo!

    1. Mine’s the same. He can chatter in his crib for a long time before falling asleep and before wanting out in the morning so I’m expecting the new liberty to be hard on us for at least a couple of weeks.

      Oh, and my good “memory” was helped quite a lot with the library of digital dated photos and the old posts I wrote 😉

  6. Thor is still in his crib at the moment, but we plan to move him to a toddler bed once he starts trying to climb out. We figure it’d be safer that way than having him take a spill trying to go over the rail. I’m already shopping around looking for something that will be easy for him to get in and out of himself once the time comes. Hopefully by then we will have found a new apartment and will be able to have him in a room of his own. It’s been a really tight squeeze here with all of us in one small bedroom, and my mother in law on the sofa for the last couple of weeks.

    1. I think it’s a great idea to wait until he starts to try climbing out before switching to a toddler bed. Before becoming pregnant with #2, that what I thought I’d be doing (of course, there’s still time for Charles to try to scale his crib rail before we make the room change…).

      Keeping my fingers crossed for you guys to find an awesome new apartment by the time Thor needs to move out of his crib!

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