Monday, February 26, 2007

A Room of One's Own

Last night Genevieve slept in a separate room for the first time. Not in the nursery, with Julia--we still haven't figured out how to keep the little baby asleep while the big one sings Sesame Street songs at the top of her lungs, or embarks on an hour-long soliloquy about her day, or calls one hundred times in a row for the next bedtime "need" as she winds down each night in her bed, but we eventually need to, so if you have any tips in this regard, please, please share. We temporarily moved Genevieve's porta-crib into our guest room, and put Genevieve to sleep somewhere other than in our bedroom with us for the first time in her baby life.

Sigh. I always get sad when we move our babies out of our room. I mean, obviously I want to do it, or we wouldn't bother; plenty of families co-sleep or room-share indefinitely. But when you've had your precious bundle just feet from you all night since her birth, and you're used to being able to see her from your bed, and you're used to hearing her every breath and sigh, it feels a little...wrong, somehow, to have her down the hall in a different room. Of course, one of the reasons you want to have her down the hall is that you can hear her every breath and sigh, which is--surprise!--not very conducive to (your own) good sleep.

So, it really is time for Genevieve to sleep in a different room. Julia shared our bedroom for 16 months, mainly due to a difficult room layout in our former house, but in some ways it was easier then, despite her light-sleeper status. Our bedroom was a huge room under the eaves with a large alcove perfect for a pseudo-nursery; our bed was out of sight of the crib, and we could fairly easily sneak to our closets or dresser for clothes, pajamas, etc. Plus, the one bathroom in that house was on the lower floor, so we could actually shower! groom ourselves! etc.! without interfering with Julia's sleep. In this house, our bathroom is in the master bedroom suite, meaning that until last night, we either had to be ready for bed ourselves--bathed, faces washed, contacts out--by Genevieve's six p.m. bedtime, or remove all our toiletries from our bathroom before she went down so we could use them in another bathroom later on. It got, um, a little crazy.

It's not a perfect arrangement, of course. The guest room is COLD; we have to keep the heat turned up significantly higher than our bank account would prefer and it's still nerve-wrackingly chilly in there--hate that--and since right now Genna is still night-nursing, we had to move the big plush rocker out of our cozy bedroom corner, where it fit so nicely, into the spare room as well. And, naturally, when guests come to stay, we'll have to move it all back into our bedroom for the weekend. In general, night-nursing is marginally less convenient with the baby in a different room. But those circumstances feel more workable than having our bedroom suite hijacked every evening right after supper.

In the end, it's bittersweet. I miss Genevieve in the night. It seems like a major milestone for her to sleep elsewhere, and it came so much sooner with Genna than it did with Julia. One more baby stage over!


Donna said...

Congrats! How did she sleep in her first night in her own room?

Shan said...

Um, not great, but not as badly as I'd feared. In the earlier part of the evening, she was obviously either interested in or weirded out by her new surroundings, because she fussed and cried out a lot more than usual. And we had a terrible time with the room temperature (tried a space heater on "low," but then the room became an inferno within an hour). But after awhile all settled down and I'm sure it will get easier each night. Now as for the naps.....!