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.