Saturday, November 28, 2009

a little bit of heaven

We've been co-sleeping ever since Adelaide was a month old and - utterly exhausted - I finally threw away all those baby books, listened to my heart, and tucked my sobbing, hysterical baby (who never wanted to be put down, ever) in bed with me. And Addie and have slept side by side cozily and happily every night since.

Recently, however, Adelaide has been growing rather long. Her habit of sleeping sideways across the bed - with her feet in my face - is starting to get to me! And so we have decided to try and find her her a bed of her very own.

We took a trip to Ikea, but the toddler beds we saw there just weren't for us. A quick look online showed us that we didn't want to spend a huge amount of money on a designer toddler bed. So we decided to drag Adelaide's old (brand-new) crib mattress up from storage and we just plopped it down alongside our bed. It's a good spot - Addie and I can hold hands when we fall asleep, and in case of bad dreams she can still crawl in with me, if she really needs.

It's been getting really cold lately, and I was having trouble finding a nice and warm blanket for her. I have this aversion to polyester bedding, or wrapping up my kid in synthetic fibers - they just don't feel good to me. After much internal debate, I have finally caved and bought a down duvet for Adelaide. I looked online and on ebay and called all around but was discouraged at the price tags when I found them at Quilts, Etc for quite a bit less than price of other shops, as they are made locally right near our house.

After I brought the duvet home, I quickly sewed up a cover for it out of wonderfully soft and warm pink flannel with polka dots. The fabric is "Be Merry by My Mind's Eye" from Riley Blake Designs. I measured and put together my own basic pattern, but you can find many patterns online to make your own as well. I double-folded all the seams over so that it is sturdier and I don't have to worry about it fraying. I also didn't bother with any buttons or snaps to close the duvet together, but just left a small 14" or so opening a the bottom and it works just fine. I think that a lovely down duvet and cover would make a wonderful gift for any toddler or child... Adelaide's new duvet really is a little bit of heaven!

Now Addie loves her little bed, and insists on tucking in her dolls and showing it off to everyone who comes to visit us. So if you happen to drop by, please don't mind when she drags you upstairs and insists that you try out her new bed!

18 comments:

Donna Jo said...

You don't know me but I read your blog. I have 2 boys (21 and 18). When they were little we had a twin bed beside our king size bed. That was so I could get some sleep. The younger of the 2 was breastfeeding through the night and did not want to sleep in his bed. Through their younger years one or the other or both was in that bed. We now have 2 well adjusted, loving and independent sons. Don't let anyone tell you how to raise your daughter. Your gut instinct and heart are the best guides. You will make so many wonderful memories from the middle of the night.

Tamar said...

same here! 3 sons now 19, 17 and 15!the three of them are independent, well adjusted and calm, all breast fed and slept with us until they naturally wanted there own corner which was right by our side and then in there own beds. follow your heart!!! xox T.

Sandrine Deleuze said...

AAAAAAaaaaaawwwwww kids ! I remember how Louis slept between us years ago and now Charlotte is still sometimes sleeping between us too when she is not fine, had bad dreams or simply needs us ^-^ She put her legs on my back, put her fingers in my hair and play with or wake up, take her "lillipop" out of her mouth to put a kiss on my cheek !! too cute ! even if I would love too have better nights AHAHAHAH

amesh said...

i do that too - sleep with the baby i mean. we had crib/toddler bed beside our king size bed, but my son always wanted to sleep in between us. the husband and i enjoyed this sleeping arrangement and we're sure that he'll be independent in time. so i say follow your heart, great blog bytheway xoxo

Georgine said...

I always like to read about others who co-sleep. It gets such a bad rap, and I just think it is the best thing!

We did the same thing as you - almost. I am expecting another child, so we thought it would be a good time to get B in her own bed. So, we went to Ikea, let her pick out her own bed and duvet, then put it next to my side of the bed. That way, we could hold hands while she fell asleep or could easily climb in next to me.

That was May or June. Now she is back sleeping with me. We fell back into it when my milk dried up, seemingly overnight, around September, Even though she wasn't nursing a lot, it hit her pretty hard. She kept asking to sleep with me, and I relented, saying it could be our Saturday thing. Well, she was 2 then (3 in October) and didn't quite understand Saturday only falls once a week. So, now with a baby due in 5 weeks or so, I have to get her back in her bed. Or not. It is a king and my husband sleeps in his own bed.

Polly R said...

So sweet! I love the duvet. x

Lori said...

we co-slept and all we heard about was how many problems we were going to cause, how our kids would never sleep on their own, etc. etc. etc., and instead they very easily and gradually moved to their own beds, then their own rooms, and they have always been *great* sleepers, with zero sleep issues. we've never had a bedtime (they go to bed early on their own - and they are now 10 and 13 and still do!) and they've always just responded to sleepiness by yawning and going off happily to bed. when i see the fuss and bother other parents go through to get their kids to sleep, i think ours was the easy, peaceful, simple (and successful!) way! :^)

Maribeth said...

I slept with my six-year-old son until last week, when I got him two lovely twin-sized beds for his room. (I posted about this with a photo last week if you want to check it out). It has been a transition for both of us, but he is very proud of his bed. I miss the closeness, but know it is the right thing to help him manage better when I am not available to sleep with him. So, after nine and a half years of co-sleeping (my older daughter is 9), my husband and I are on our own. My son still cuddles with me before sleep and in the morning. I love that.

Mãe da Rita said...

Well, I slept with my four-year-old girl in my room until last month. Now we've moved to her room which is now called "The Princess Room" because she was getting to big and none of us could get any sleep :-)))
Rita now sleeps in her own bed and I sleep besides her in a little sofa bed.
She's very proud she's sleeping in her room!

Sarah Kershaw said...

I too threw away all the books and listened to my heart and have slept with my daughter since birth, she slept well and so did I, in fact from about 6 weeks old she slept right through the night, from 11pm till 6am, that was a blessing since I was bringing her up alone. It's great to hear of other mums doing the same and just doing what feels right.

My daughter is now 11 and taller than me, and fully enveloping the early stages of adolescence, but we still manage to spend at least 1 or 2 nights together and it is such a special time, I am so happy to have been able to offer her my company at night time. Adelaide is such a lucky child to have a wonderful family like you give to her.

Anonymous said...

My daughter and I coslept until she was about 9 months old. It was lovely. Then she kicked me out.

A little tip on keeping warm if you are interested. My niece constantly kicked off her covers so my sister bought an electric mattress pad for her twin bed and just set it on the lowest setting. When the covers were kicked off, she was still on top of her toasty bed. It is also nice to just warm up the bed before you get in and then shut it off.

SJM in Atlanta

Yelena said...

Our son co-slept with us for the first year. We gave up on both the basinet and the crib after a few tries and a few sleepless nights. As soon as we moved him into our bed, things got SOOO much better!

Then at around 12 months he got big and restless enough and we moved him into his own room to a twin-size mattress that we just put on the floor. Our son loved the arrangement and I loved the peace, quiet and the convenience of it (when it came to nursing).

Stephanie said...

I just put my baby boy to bed in his crib just now after 2 attempts. He slept between us until he was 3 months, but I was set on having him sleep in his crib since he had a habit of spreading his arms wide while he was sleeping. You don't know how uncomfortable it was sleeping in my bed for 3 months! Luckily he adjusted to the crib well. Well, he had to because we spent a small fortune on his designer crib!
Now I sleep much better, but I do miss having him beside me at night. Sometimes I take naps with him during the day to make up for that.

I think all babies are different and you have to do with what works for you.

Looking forward to reading more stories of you and your beautiful girl, Adelaide. BTW, I want to name my future daughter Adelaide. That is, if I have a girl...

Mary Ann said...

My son and I co-slept for the first year and it was lovely! I stressed so much about sleeping that it made me crazy! I too finally tossed the books and stopped worrying about what everyone thought and lo and behold everyone in our family finally started to get some sleep!

Are you happy with the quality of the duvet from Quilts, etc? I've been looking at their product for a little while ... but always like to touch & feel before I buy. I like that they're made locally.

Allison said...

She looks so big compared to the picture prior to this titled "beautiful sleep"! Having a bit of independence must have matured her.

Megan said...

This post was so sweet. I've been a longtime reader and I know it is a big step for her to have her own little bed. It's such a joy to watch her explore the world and see her excitement at all her wonderful milestones.

lori said...

you should call your blog "lovely mama", because that is just what you are! you put so much of your heart into every decision that has to do with your daughter, she must feel so loved.

raeleneb said...

The duvet cover is so sweet (almost as much so as Adelaide herself). When it came time for a "new bed" for our little boy, we couldn't find anything reasonable either, so we decided to make one.

Design Sponge featured a DIY toddler bed tutorial from Gabi at Design Mom here: http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/07/diy-project-upholstered-toddler-beds.html We adjusted the measurements to fit our crib mattress, chose a great fabric and tada - the perfect new bed.

This might be just the way to use the crib mattress you have and yet have a 'big girl bed' small and neat enough to fit next to yours.

You can see pics of how ours turned out here: http://nestedinterests.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-bed.html

Enjoy!