This weekend, we did what most expectant couples do before their child is born. We put together her bedroom.
Because Tye has been sleeping with us, she hasn’t ever had a crib. Her changing pad is on Tyler’s dresser, and her clothes are in a dresser in what we call the “second bedroom.” The second bedroom also had a queen sized bed for guests, and it’s slept quite a few people since Tye was born.
Driving Tyler’s parents huge SUV, we made a trip Sunday to Ikea. We picked out a bookshelf for the collection of books we’ve acquired between gifts for Tye and my years teaching. We also chose a loveseat with a pull-out bed so we can still host guests. To tie together the blue loveseat and the apple green décor we’ve been planning since before Tye was born, we found a brightly-colored carpet that will soften the hardwood floor nicely. Lastly, we picked out a mattress sized to fit a crib or toddler bed.
I love having Tye sleep with us. I feel infinitely better knowing she is safe beside me through the night, and know I get more sleep because I don’t have to get out of bed each time she wakes up, and that doesn't even begin to factor in how much I love cuddling with her. For now, I’m not ready to give up bedsharing. However, Tye is becoming a much more active sleeper. She crawls on top of me and around the bed in her sleep and crawls immediately upon waking, usually towards Ziggy at the foot of the bed.
Until recently, Tye was also napping in our bed as well as sleeping there each evening before I turned in. Putting a child to sleep in an adult bed without the adult present is a major co-sleeping no-no for safety reasons. Because I’ve had the video monitor on which I can watch Tye and know immediately when she wakes, we survived, but we reached a point where I’m not comfortable with it any longer.
Tye is ten and a half months old. I don’t feel like we need a crib for her at this point, especially since we’re still mostly bedsharing, but I’m also afraid she would roll out of a toddler bed. So, for now, we have a crib mattress on the floor, and I love it. I can easily lay down next to Tye as she falls asleep, and Tye can crawl into and out of her bed safely. She will nap in her new bed each day and start out each night there. The first time she wakes up after I’m in bed, we’ll move her to our bed for the rest of the night (at least that's the plan- last night, I didn't want to face the big bed alone and waited until Tye woke up to go to bed at all!).
Our second bedroom is now officially Tye’s room. It’s another safe place for her to play with her toys- she spent almost 45 minutes this morning playing by herself (of course, I watched on the video monitor as I made lunch). We have a perfect little corner set up with the rocking chair Tye’s grandma and great grandma, Gram and Grammy, gave her, right next to the book shelf. It creates a beautiful little place to read. The lowest shelf holds baskets of Tye’s stuffed animals, easily accessible from the plush carpeted play space or her cuddly bed. Having a bedroom for Tye makes our home feel more like it belongs to a family- our family.
As we walked around Ikea through the busy Sunday crowd, I saw quite a few women with pregnant bellies walking alongside their significant others. Part of me thought, Wow, they’re really ahead of the game, already putting together a nursery. But knowing what I do about our family, our parenting style, and our space, most of me thought, I’m so glad we waited.