Today on the blog – in conjunction with Touro Infirmary – we are absolutely thrilled to be opening a dialog about sleep through our “Rest Assured: You Are Not Alone” series. As moms we are all often sleep deprived, and we struggle with making decisions around our children’s sleep habits as well. Should we use a crib or a bassinet? Is co-sleeping safe or not? Should we sleep train? And who IS the expert on sleep training anyway? Will the baby ever sleep more than 2 hours at a time? Why does my toddler have night terrors? When do I move the toddler to a “big kid” bed and oh my word why won’t they stay in the darn thing? Our goal through this series is to create a safe place for all of us to open up about the sleep issues that trouble us and to acknowledge that no matter our struggles or choices, we are never ever alone.
From Hospital to Crib: Does that Mean I am a Bad Mom?
The two things that scared me the most about parenting were feeding the baby and sleep. Feeding your newborn is a challenge and did not work out so well for me at first, but that is another story. As for sleep, though, I had a plan and was sticking to it.
When we were working on the nursery and preparing for the arrival of Miss Annelise, we decided that she would come home from the hospital and go straight to her crib. No co-sleeping, no bassinet, no cradle and no moses basket. And no, this was not based on any research, books, guides or advice.
We had rationalized that for us this plan made more sense with a laundry list of reasons why:
- My hubby goes to work so unbelievably early that I was worried the alarm would wake a sleeping baby
- The baby crying at night for feedings would keep him awake when he was trying to sleep for work
- We had pets that slept with us that I was worried about her being in the bedroom with them
- I love sleep, and I thought that her in her room would force me to sleep and not have her there to look at or play with
- I am a terrible sleeper. The thought of having a wiggly child in my bed would mean that I would be up all night
- Not getting a bassinet meant that it was one less thing that we would only use for the first few months that would also end up in the attic
- And, to be honest, it seemed like one less transition we would have to make. If from the get go she associated her bed with sleep, we figured that would be easier
I mean we had a crib for her, so why not put her in it?
Don’t get me wrong; this was not a fool proof plan. We had nights were she slept in her car seat after driving around the neighborhood, nights she slept in her bouncer because moving her to her bed was a sure way to wake her up and nights were no one slept. But that is normal in those first couple of months when you are delirious and sleep is this elusive thing that you remember fondly from your pre-parenting days.
Thanks to the beauty of technology I could do a thorough amount of stalking her throughout the night without disturbing her little baby dreams. A baby monitor is a beautiful thing.
While the rational side of me completely supported this decision, my postpartum emotional side wondered if that meant that I was a bad mom because I didn’t want my baby in my room to sleep. Am I not loving enough? Am I not giving her the bonding time she needs? If I knew then what I know today I would tell myself that is not the case.
After she was sleeping through the night at three months old, those thoughts trailed off. Miss Annelise is a very adaptable child who is a great sleeper. While this is also based on no research, in my professional mom opinion I think the space was good for her. It allowed her to spend some time alone and know that if mom is not right next to me every second, it is okay.
Parenting is to each her own, but in this case from hospital to crib did not make me a bad mom. I am sure at 13 she will have a list of why I am a bad mom, but this particular issue will not be on that list!
So if you choose to go straight to the crib, rest assured you are not alone.
Great post! We put Mark in the crib at 4 weeks and it was the best decision ever. We all slept better. We had Jack while we were still in a 2 bedroom so he had to stay in our room a little longer but as soon as we moved into our house, he went straight to his crib. We are all more rested because of it.
Phew! I’m glad those “bad mom” thoughts went away after a few months. If straight to crib worked best for you guys, then it was the right choice!
I think in those early days, we all think we are a bad mom in some way. We have no idea what we are doing!
We did the exact same thing for both of our kids! My kids are the best sleepers ever. They learned to self soothe and put themselves to bed. Now at 5 and 9, going to bed (in their own bed) is never an issue.
I agree that I love how good she sleeps in her bed! She puts herself to bed too which is awesome!
We put our son in his crib from day one! Most people are shocked when I tell them this. We definitely had nights driving in the car, sleeping in a bouncer, and night of no sleeping at all just like you said. I couldn’t sleep in the same room as him because every little grunt and whimper had me wide awake. I think it paid off though. He’s been sleeping 10+ hrs at night since he was 3 months old. He also doesn’t have a fit if we put him in his bed awake and shit the door. He puts himself to sleep and it’s wonderful! Thanks for this post. It makes me feel like I did a good thing instead of questioning our choice when so many others looked at me like I was nuts for not having our son sleep in our room from day one.
We put our little girl in her crib at 3 weeks. My husband has mild insomnia and I can be a worry wart. So it was the best decision for us. As it turns out, at 3 years old she loves to go to bed at bedtime. We started her routine so early on that it really stuck with her. Not once has it been an issue. Up until recently we never even put a nightlight in the room. There is one now because she tends to get her “lovie” lost in the sea of princess dolls in the middle of the night and she wakes us up when she cant find it. In fact….weaning off a lovie is another good topic….
Same here with the nightlight. Now we only keep one in the hallway in case she had to potty at night.
It is easy to hear all of the bed sharing stories and not feel bad for making the decision to go straight for the crib. We started in the crib from day one and it was the BEST decision for us! While it was SO hard the first few days, our little girl began sleeping 12 hours straight at 10 weeks! I love my sleep and our awesome sleeper!!! Great post!
Agree! In the end it was the best decision. I would do it again for the next one.