Sunday, April 10, 2016

Moving our last toddler out of our bed

With all of our children, we found it most convenient for the baby to sleep in our bed from the very beginning. I'm a firm believer in everyone sleeping where everyone sleeps best, and it just happened to work with all of them that we all slept best when the baby was in our bed. Neither the baby nor I ever had to really wake up for breastfeeding, my husband never really had to wake up at all. Win-win.

However, everyone has their limits SOMEWHERE, and my limit was, that as committed as I was to what is known as extended breastfeeding (I'd prefer it to be known simply as "normal", in that it's not premature weaning...), I couldn't bear the thought of two babies trying to nurse all night, and our oldest did NOT approve of my attempt at night-weaning her, so when she was 19 months old, we moved her into her own bed. It was considerably less traumatic for her than for me, and she very soon was happily calling for Papa in the night. :-)

The next four have their own individual stories, but in all cases, the decision about when they moved out of our bed did have some relation to when their next sibling was due.

And then...there was Elisabeth. She liked her space and stayed mostly sleeping happily on her "baby balcony" (a bed frame I built for a crib/cot mattress, so that it fit snugly between the wall and our bed, at the same level as our bed), and no little sibling was expected, but SHE started talking about when she would "get to sleep in the girls' room." It was a LOT easier to have her in our room than for one of us (okay, usually my darling husband...) get up if their were any issues in the night, so I kept putting it off, but on April 9th, 2013, when Elisabeth was two months short of three years old, we finally moved her into the girls' room. It was even easier than with the others: we just moved the "baby balcony" in there, between the wall and the bottom (double) bunk of the bunk bed, where Katie and Helen both slept.

And then on the 10th, I wrote this at around 8:40 a.m.:

Yesterday I moved Elisabeth's bed to the girls' room, and my first thought this morning was, "Cool--Elisabeth slept all night in the girls' room!" While out on my walk, I wondered if maybe actually Jörn had gone to her in the night and I'd just not heard him/her/them, but when I got home Jörn confirmed he'd slept all night, too. Then I thought it might be nice to take a photo as proof that Elisabeth had spent the night in her bed...but she wasn't there! Some panic as I couldn't find her anywhere, then Katie said, "Oh yeah, I remember--Marie took her to her bed." I don't know why Marie didn't bring her to us, but I certainly have NO complaints! 

Yay for big sisters! (Marie was 15 1/2.)

And then 20 minutes later, I posted this: 

Elisabeth just appeared, and I said, "So where did you sleep all night, little girl?" and she said, "In a box!" 


Turns out, she thought I was talking to the kitten. 

When I then asked, "Okay, so where did ELISABETH sleep?" she said, "In my bed with my pajamas next to Helen." I said, "Really....?" and she smirked and said, "No...I sleeped in Marie's bed after I closed my eyes and opened them again."

Incidentally, some of the children had a tendency to join us in the night more often than the others, but the two who from the very beginning of being in their own beds were the least likely to ever come to ours were the two who left our bed at the oldest ages. Elisabeth was positively insulted once when she was maybe 3 1/2 and not well, and I asked her if she wanted to sleep in our bed.

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