Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday: Tot's Secret Bed

Tot is a co-sleeper. I say Tot, because Dave and I are decidedly not co-sleepers. Both kids slept in our bed as nursing babies, and then moved into their own rooms once they were about 4-5 months old. This arrangement worked really well for us, allowing me to nurse in relative comfort and get the most amount of sleep, and the baby to feel good and cozy and safe. Dave sleeps like the dead and didn't notice one way or the other.

Once the kids were less nursing infants and more wiggling babies, the cosleeping lost it's charm and effectiveness and they were off to their own rooms to move about in peace. I would get up to nurse as needed, but the days of all night family bed were over.

At least, we thought they were.

Both my kids have been okay sleepers. Tot was a phenomenal sleeper as a baby and early toddler. I mean, she slept all the time. Awesome. Little David had a rough start (and by rough start, I mean he didn't sleep through the night until he was almost a year old) but now he is a great sleeper and goes from 7pm until almost 8 - 8:30am and still takes a two hour nap. I'm telling you, awesome. Tot, however, has backslidden. She has nightmares, she gets bored, she gets hungry, she gets lonely. And all of these things add up to her coming into our bed for a little sleep and snuggle anywhere from 3am to 7am.

You know, about the time when you are finally in your best and deepest sleep, at your best temperature, and in your best sleeping position and coversharing with your husband. Sigh.

With her, Tot brings her giant adult sized Dora the Explorer pillow, her queen sized crocheted blanket, and an assortment of stuffed animals she didn't want to get lonely. Needless to say, it gets a little crowded in the Chapman bed. While I would infinitely prefer this set up to what she used to do (raid the pantry at 4am and eat all the peanut butter, cut up her curtains and pj's with pinking shears, color her room and bedspread with blue sharpie), I LIKE MY SPACE. And I like my husband in it, not on the completely opposite side of the bed with a sweaty toddler in the middle.

And so, after listening to me whine and gripe about missing my morning snuggles and pillow space, Dave came to the rescue with the perfect solution. And I mean, perfect.

Let's all take a look (um...but not too close of a look. My carpet needs to be vacuumed again):

Since Tot is now in a twin sized bed, we just had her crib mattress hanging around. Dave realized that it would fit underneath our bed perfectly and wham the best idea in the world was born. Whenever Tot gets a hankering to be with Mommy and Daddy at night, she can bring all the junk in the world into our room and pull out her very own Secret Bed (the title was key to convincing her that it was cooler than sleeping all up in our grill) and sleep there until morning.

We know that it's still not getting her to stay in her own room at night, but we're thinking baby steps, friends. And right now, the most important one is getting her out of our bed. We thought about just making a pallet or something, but there is a lot of floor space and a mattress gives her a defined place where she needs to stay and not dink around messing with stuff in our room (like rifling through my drawers and finding a highlighter and highlighting all my library books) while we sleep. And the best part?

It seriously does fit perfectly underneath our bed and doesn't change how the room works at all. It's small enough that Tot can pull it out by herself and put it back by herself without me having to get out of bed at all.


Do you hear that?

It's the sound of an Unsinkable getting a full night's sleep with no children licking her face pretending they're dogs or wondering if Mommy's nose ring will come out if you pull it hard enough.


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Edi said...

Great minds think alike!! Today I posted that we keep our crib mattress as a spare bed for my dd or son when they are sharing a room due to company staying over. Won't last forever as they are getting bigger - but for now we're happy to have the extra "bed" on hand when needed.

kpmattingly said...

This is a great idea! We moved our son to a twin bed and he still gets up most nights and ends up in our bed. No matter how many times I move him back, He'll find his way back again and if I'm not really awake, I don't noticed it until later on. I'd love for him to stay in his own bed, but you're right baby steps. We'll have to see if we can make this work. Thanks.

amberwoodward said...

I am WAY impressed...that is a GREAT idea!!!

Life In Progress said...

I just posted today about my daughter waking up at an inhumane hour today. She did not inherit my penchant for sleeping in.

I love the idea of hanging on to the crib mattress as an extra bed for younger kids, edi! Especially since we could store it under a bed.

Great idea!

Tracey Clem said...

GENIUS! I am a huge proponent of "whatever works", and this clearly works.

LOVED getting to see you and David on Sunday and meeting your 2 Littles...who are not so little! I think the last time I saw you you were pregnant with Tot. Both your kiddos are absolutely adorable...and I feel like know them from reading all of their antics.

Here's to good sleep...I believe that some day I'll get it again too!

April Spicer said...

So exciting. What a splendid idea! Your post cracked me up, as usual. Love your humor, love your stories. Now here's to more sleep. Love ya!

Trina said...

We have done this for the last year or so, but it hasn't worked like I was hoping. My almost 5 year old still wants to be right up in my grill! And I have a 2 1/2 year old too. My husband works nights so it hasn't been a huge deal, but when he's home at night on the weekends, the bed gets really crowded!

My next plan is to get a full size bed for them to share in their room. We'll see how that works...

Laura said...

Yeah...our three year old still likes coming in for snuggles at crazy hours... And it seems that he has a lot of elbows! Great idea!