When it comes to making choices for our baby, I think for the most part we’ve stuck to a pretty traditional path. The one place I seem to be struggling with is the issue of where our newborn will sleep when he comes home.
The common practice seems to be putting your newborn in either a bassinet or co-sleeper right by the bed for the first few months, and then eventually transitioning to the nursery once the baby is a bit older. But for several reasons, my hope is to start our little guy out in his crib from night number one.
Am I crazy to consider this?
I am definitely not making an grand proclamations of “I will do this” or “my baby WILL sleep here” because who knows – he might arrive and I might totally change my mind and never want to leave his side. Flexibility is the name of my game.
But with that said, I’m really hoping we can utilize our nursery from day one if at all possible. I know that once he arrives there will be lots of feeding and very little sleeping. Since I’m the one with the boobs, it makes sense that I’ll be taking on the brunt of the evening care. Every piece of advice I get from experienced parents seems to revolve around one thing – SLEEP. Sleep while the baby naps, sleep while your spouse watches the baby, sleep every chance you get. But with the baby waking up to feed round the clock, how can either one of us get any sleep if he is in our bedroom?
My husband won’t have a long paternity leave, and I don’t really see any reason for us both to be completely sleep deprived in those tough first weeks and months, especially when he’ll still need to be working. Wouldn’t it make more sense for me to just get up and do the feedings, and let him get a good night sleep? He can return the favor with lots of diaper changing and baby snuggle time in the day and evening hours, while hopefully I can catch up on some extra zzzz’s.
There are two main reasons I think nursery sleeping will (hopefully) work for us:
1. Our nursery is three feet from our bedroom. If the baby was going to be on a separate floor, or even down a long hallway, I’m sure I would feel completely different about this. But since it is so close to our bedroom, it makes me much more comfortable with the idea of putting him in his own space.
2. Our baby monitor. We were lucky enough to get a super-deluxe video, movement, and sound detecting baby monitor that is about as fancy as it comes (the Angelcare AC1100 for those who are interested). The sensory movement pad is placed underneath the crib mattress, and can detect movements as small as breathing, so you don’t need to check on your baby every five minutes to make sure he is still alive (but I probably will anyways). In addition, the video feature allows you to see your baby and make sure he hasn’t somehow ended up face down or tangled in his swaddle blanket. With both of these features, it’s almost just like having your baby next to you…right?
I have talked to a few moms that have started their babies out in the nursery from the beginning, and the general consensus I have heard is that both babies and parents tend to sleep better when they aren’t waking each other up all night long. I guess we’ll need to wait and see what kind of baby we have, how often he likes to eat, how long he likes to sleep, etc. before we can truly decide.
Are there other reasons to keep the baby in your room with us, other than to ease the frequent nighttime feedings? If we do end up deciding we need him in our room with us, we have a Pack N Play we can set up quickly. I’m curious to hear where other moms have (or plan to have) their babies sleep, and how you came to that decision!