The princess room

Posted by ~Summer~ on 7.1.14
in ,

One of the biggest decisions when you become a new mum is whether to co-sleep with your baby or not.

Co-sleeping is a practice in which babies and young children sleep close to one or both parents, as opposed to in a separate room.

While there may be conflicting views on this matter and concerns on safety and health have been raised, I believe that it is ultimately the decision of the parents and no matter what advice you have been given, whatever that works for you and your baby, just do it.

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For us, back in Sweden, since our guest room was located at the other side of the hallway, we decided it was not practical to have our newborn sleep alone there and thus our initial plan was to have Angel sleep in a playpen in our bedroom.

Within the first two weeks of her birth, due to the frequency of her waking up in wee hours to nurse, meaning that one of us would have to get out of bed, go to the playpen, carry her out, bring to mama to breastfeed, wait for her to finish, pat her to sleep and then carry her back to the playpen, the sleep-deprived hubby caved in one night and let her sleep on our bed. I was going to protest but seeing how snugly and perfectly she fitted in between us, I decided to let it go, close my eyes and drifted off to sleep.

The fact was, from that night onwards, we never looked back and it somehow became a routine and a habit to have our baby right beside us.

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Some of you might think, what if we toss and turn and crush our baby? What if she rolls off the bed? What if I hit her accidentally? What if our bodies press too hard against her and she suffocates? Interestingly, studies have shown that mothers are so physically and mentally aware of their baby’s presence even while sleeping that it is extremely unlikely they would roll over onto their baby. Some fathers, on the other hand, may not enjoy the same sensitivity of baby’s presence while asleep, so it is possible they might roll over on or throw out an arm onto baby.

Truth is, I have seen my hubby throw out an arm onto Angel's face and I was so upset by it that I kept a vigil watch over her the next few nights. Eventually, I came to realise that it was a rare accident which didn't happen again, at least not that I could see or sense it, and the baby was totally fine and happy to be there with us. Especially since I breastfed her up to 16 months, having her right beside me made it so much more convenient and less tiring. In fact, sometimes both of us would doze off in the process and I would wake up with exposed boobs.

As she grew up, we continued to co-sleep and when she turned two, we let her sleep on a single bed placed beside our queen-size bed. No more bed sharing but still co-sleeping nonetheless. Not to mention she would sometimes roll over to our side for that familiar feeling.

So you see, for those cold winters or days when the hubby went sailing, it was my girl who kept me warm with her hugs. We would snuggle in bed, read bedtime stories, sing nursery rhymes, talk about the day's happenings, kiss each other goodnight and then just go to sleep feeling our skin rubbing against each other. It somehow felt so good to know despite the gloomy house, raging snowstorms and freezing nights, I was no longer alone in the world.

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That said, I knew that in no time to come, she was going to have a room of her own. In fact, I promised to give her a princess room full of girly, pink stuff, along with flowers and butterflies.

When we came back to Singapore, we realised that having six people living in a 92sqm 4-room HDB flat didn't give us that much room to play with. The parents-in-law took one room, we took one room, the bomb shelter functioned as a storeroom which was packed to the max, the kitchen was full and so was the living room, we couldn't find enough space to put even a computer table, much less devote a room for the princess. Eventually, when our shipment arrived from Sweden, the third and last room became another storage room for the baby clothes, toys, stationery, books and all the hubby's and my miscellaneous stuff from fishing gear and roller blades to craft materials and party supplies.

Upon giving birth to Ariel, I wasn't that devastated by the fact that we had to co-sleep as a family of four. In fact, that idea thrilled me and though it wasn't easy to make both the kiddos go to bed at the same time, it was fun to sleep together, have girly talks under the blanket, read bedtime stories together and just do the things that mothers and daughter do.

We also made a trip to IKEA and got a bed for Angel. Finally. Her own bed. Back in Sweden, we slept on mattresses on the floor so you must understand that having a bed frame is a big thing for all of us. Why, I even bought a Dora bedsheet for her so she would love sleeping on her bed.

Last month, after a year of co-sleeping with four in the room, we made a big decision. The hubby and I donated away boxes of stuff to the Salvation Army, including toys, games, clothes and bags, some of which were either brand new or in perfect condition. After some shifting, tidying and spring cleaning, we achieved what we set out to do.

THIS.
 
We were going to give the big girl her own room.

Yes I know, it is a far cry from a princess room because half of it still functions like a storeroom. Ok, it doesn't even have any proper curtains as you can see. But, at the very least, she now proudly proclaims "This is my room" and happily shows it to the gramps or anyone who comes to visit.

The most surprising thing is, she actually likes sleeping in the room. While she may request for Mummy or Daddy to accompany her for a while, the fact is she has already taken afternoon naps and even slept through the night on her own not just once or twice, but many times. Wow. She is really no longer that small girl who clings onto Mummy and has to pull my hair till it falls off before she can doze off. I don't know how many of you can understand that, but having co-slept for the first four years of her life, this is a big milestone for us.

And I'm not afraid to confess, while she might be the big girl who sleeps on her own bed in her own room now, I am the small baby who might tear up or even bawl knowing that there is one less person beside me for me to cuddle. In fact, call me a childish mama who refuses to move on but I have secretly whispered to her "When Daddy goes sailing, you can always come to sleep with me and meimei, ok? I will miss you."

That said, I now get to do what every mum does in storybooks. Tuck my child in, kiss good night, turn off the light and gently close the door after I go out. Albeit half-heartedly. The first night was hard. I walked away with heavy steps and felt like I was leaving a part of me behind. Ironic, isn't it? It's like a part of me wants her to grow up and be a more independent girl, while another part of me is still hanging on to the good old times of her as my sticky, cute little baby.

Motherhood, it is always so confusing, isn't it?

Like it or not, I guess, it's high time for me to start thinking of how I can spice up the princess room. Come the day when both my girls leave me to sleep in that room, I'm not sure if I can take it with a smile.

When did your child sleep in his/her own room? Do you have any tips to share?
 
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23 comments:

  1. We just moved Jonas our 18 months out to his own room. :( Hard decision as well. I check my baby monitor every 15 minutes just to make sure he has not fallen off the bed. On some nights, I will go and fetch him back into our room just because I will sleep better knowing he is safe by my side. Ironic since one reason for letting sleep alone is because we felt we needed our space to read in bed... watch TV in the room etc. And, I think Angel has an awesome room!

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    1. Bravo Jonas! At 18 months, my girl was still a superglue. Lol. Yeah I totally get the irony! By right sleeping separately should give us better quality sleep, but somehow we can't help but get worried all night long. Haha. I am just glad she likes the room. Thanks for hopping by!

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  2. Similar to you, but I am co-sleeping with my boys. I have upgraded the bed from queen to king when we moved into our new hse so that free up some space for us as family of 4 on the same bed! I had wanted bb to slp alone in his cot but it was my hb whom 1st insisted to co sleep w bb and boy, its best feeling ever, cuddling the LO to zzzland together! I have no idea when we will move the #1 to his own bed/room yet... but I know I will surely feel like you do. I think I will be the one bawling too!

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    1. Yeah king size is good for four pax, isn't it? I agree, BEST feeling ever! Haha. I am missing that feeling already. How, I so feel like a kid. Lol. Glad we think alike!

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  3. I' still co-sleeping with #3 even though she does have her own bed in our room it is still hard to get her to sleep on her own bed herself throughout the night. I aim to shift her out into her own room by the end of this year .

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    1. Maybe she's more sticky to you than the boys? If it is hard to sleep through the night on her own, then probably need to give her some time too. End of the year sounds like a feasible plan! I hope you succeed and then finally get all the three kids to sleep in their rooms! Couple time! Hehe.

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  4. Replies
    1. Haha I love the result but the process is pretty exhausting! That's what makes it worthwhile, I guess!

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  5. There's no room in my current house for my girl to have her own room too. So now she sleeps with my mum-in-law while the baby sleeps with us (in his cot). So far it's working out for us. We will probably get them their own room when we buy a new house.. like in 1-2 years time.

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    1. Yeah I bet you can't wait to get the new house! If it's working for now and everyone is comfortable with it, that's great, right? My girl was the one who started to show signs that she was ready for her own room so no matter how I procrastinated, it was going to happen one day. And the day has come! =)

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  6. I moved both of my boys into their own rooms just shortly after they turned 2. Prior to that both their bassinette and their cot were right beside our bed in our bedroom. In saying that I still end up with a 2 year old and an 8 year old in our bed each night :) Its lovely for them to have a room to call their own though, glad she loves it :)

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    1. Haha yesh, still have a room to call their own but sleep with you, why is it that I like the sound of that too? Lol. I am hoping to have some co-sleeping nights once in a while too even when both the princesses shift to their room. =p

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  7. Wow it's a beautiful room for your little one. My firstborn has had her own room since she was a baby as she hated co-sleeping with us :( . But my second born is still with us and then she will share a room with her big sister.

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    1. Thanks much! Oh, I didn't know babies will dislike co-sleeping! But yes, let each baby make the call and everyone will be happy! =) Thanks for the comment!

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  8. I had no intentions of doing it but ended up co-sleeping for about 18 months. Then there just wasn't' enough room and none of us were sleeping well because we had feet in our backs, or were clinging on to the edge for dear life while Mr N took up almost the whole bed! He moved fairly easily into his own bed, I think it was just time. But I had people telling me we were making a big mistake, that he'd never move to his own bed, and all kinds of other things. I am glad in hindsight that we did it, because we haven't had any more kids, and it was nice to have that closeness when he was so little. It goes too quickly. x Aroha (for #teamIBOT)

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    1. Haha I so feel the feet in my back! =p Sometimes I even think I am going to roll off the bed. Haha. I don't really mind what others say, it's all about if we think the kids and ourselves like it. I will never trade the co-sleeping experience for anything, like you say, it goes too quickly! =)

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  9. We shifted Blake into his room when he was around 18-20 months old. Need to move him out so that his little sister will have a place to sleep when she arrives.

    We started with afternoon nap first. It was tough initially, but the moment I found him sleeping in there for an afternoon nap all by himself, I know the transition has been made! And I'm super happy cos the husband and I get to have better sleep (i.e. sleep in!), while the boy has a room full of toys to entertain him if he wakes up early. Hehe.

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    1. Haha that's so nice and sweet of him to play with his toys so you can sleep in a little later. Once Angel wakes, she runs over to my room! I'm not complaining though, cos it is so nice to see her after a long night. Sounds like your transition was quite smooth, bravo Blake!! =)

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  10. Our twins have been sleeping in their bedroom since they were 4 day young infants. They will be 3 years old in three months time.

    We would take them out of their cots, fed them every 3 hourly in the lounge room and return then back to their bedroom after. When my husband went back to work after 6 weeks, I did that on my own and he would do his part in the evenings when he was home.

    The twins were weaned off overnight feeds at 10 weeks, slept trained for a week and have been sleeping through the night from 11 weeks from 6:30pm - 6:00am. Till today, they continue to have 1 day nap from 12:00pm - 2:30pm.

    We are very grateful for that. Routine works for my family.

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    1. That sounds like very well organized and planned! Haha. My family runs without a routine and perhaps that is not really advisable, but it's the work that goes around here. No wonder I feel a little chaos and madness now and then. =) I am so amazed they sleep almost 12 hours through the night, fwahhh! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. I love how her bed is so cozy and there's a little bookshelf right next to her! So glad that she likes her new room. well, now you can snuggle with Ariel :)

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  12. We have been co-sleeping with my son since he was born. Now that he is older, he sometimes will be on his own or sometimes in my bed!

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  13. We never intentionally co slept. There were a few times when I would fall asleep feeding, but when I woke, I always put the baby back to bed. I just found it was easier for us and helped so much with sleep training.
    Having said that, our kids rooms are nothing special so one day I would like to make them a special place with lovely curtains and painted walls.
    One day....

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