Sunday, February 12, 2006

no baby room, i.e. how we escaped sleepless nights

It's a fact, Timur does't have his own room yet. Does he really need one at this age? As good wannabee parents, we planned to furnish a baby room as we read in the parenting books, but unfortunately this project hadn't even reached it's climax before Timur was born. The room which was going to be the baby room was our study. We moved the computer into the living room and eagerly bought some cupboards to pretend that we were concerned. Honestly, we were much more busy with ourselves and work at that time. We thought that we just 'wait and see' how things go and proceed later according to what was necessary. We had no idea at that time what it meant to be parents and what adjustment we needed to make to our lives.

The advice of the kraamzorg was that it's good to keep newborns close to the mother, but not during the night. That's considered to be dangerous, which I totally understand. We were shown all kinds of tricks how to put the baby into bed, how high the blanket can be, use da kruik, because baby's cannot keep themselves warm etc. etc. Timur slept in his bed the night he was born. Well, his bed, which is actually an old pram we got from the Nina.Bart.Palom.Co. We liked the idea of having a mobile bed and place Timur in the house wherever we wanted to. He slept couple of more times in this bed during the first weeks. However, I found it much more convenient to have him next to me and not having to get up to feed him. In this way I could/can keep the continuity of my own night rest...

...and this is how we escaped having sleepless nights. When we slept, Timur slept as well. He was calm, he could smell us, the parfum of sweat and farts, and feel our warmth. Sooooooo important to such a young creature! The smart ones say that babies have an oceanic consciousness and they cannot differenciate between themselves and the rest of the world. So, why not enter and play part in Timur's little world? His own baby room would have broken down this limitlessness by creating unnecessary boundaries.

I also read about the good effects of co-sleeping in an attachment parenting book I got from our friend, Brent. I would never advise this co-sleeping to anyone though. Try it, experiment with it and be careful. It has advantages and disadvantages and you have to weigh all those. I think, co-sleeping fits with our non-traditional solutions. I like this third-world, tribal kind of arrangement, which I want to cherish. Away with all those expensive baby beds.

When Timur is able to conceive the idea of having his own room, we will help him to it. Am I idealistic, no I don't think so, I'm just practical and I want to follow his natural processes. When he gives signs of separation we will follow those, or at least try to. I believe we will naturally grow into that phase, we just need to keep our eyes open and reflect when necessary.

since we don't have a baby room, we turned the bedroom into a playground


At 7:19 AM, Blogger owensdad said...

Our baby slept with us in our king size bed from the first day he came home. He had a small blister on his upper lip from sucking his thumb in utero. We chose to have him sleep with us because I was afraid to feed the anxiety and fear I thought he may have developed. what we have experienced in the past 5 years is a smart, funny, compassionate, caring, sharing, thoughtful boy that definately benefitted from co-sleeping. He's a 5 yr old that learned to read (almost self taught) at age 3. Does 1st grade math and loves to make people laugh. He shows no signs of clinginess or separation anxiety and never has. the idea that you bring a baby home and put it in a dark, strange room alone and close the door because that's what everyone else does is mind boggling. Is it any wonder there are so many maladjusted youth, teens and adults acting out for attention. Perhaps if their parents had comforted them when they cried out hungry, wet or just afraid of the big world they found themselves in the world would be a happier place.
Keep following your instincts - your child and his evolution is very important. The end will justify the means and it has in my case. I'm glad we co-slept until he wanted his own room. my blog is

Good luck!

At 2:09 AM, Blogger Mama Agi said...

Thanks for your words and the encouragement. It's good to hear that it goes so well with your kid. You must be happy parents. Good luck!


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