When you’re pregnant, you are given a lot of advice…even from strangers. So while I took it all with a grain of salt, there was one piece of advice I was told over and over again and so, I figured it was a must.
Everyone told me that I absolutely, positively had to have a pack and play or bassinet in our room so that when Ava woke up in the middle of the night, it would be much more convenient for me. And even then, it was just something that all new moms did because it made them feel that much more comfortable with their little one by their side.
And so, we did our research and purchased the best portable crib (for our needs) that would also be great for travel, as we often have hotel stays and travel to Frank’s mom’s house and my dad’s house for the weekend so it was a necessary item as it is.
The first night we brought Ava home, Baxter (our 70 pound Boxer puppy) was still getting used to her, as expected. And all he wanted to do was lick her and try to get as close as he could to give her kissies in the face. He just didn’t want to leave her alone. All expected.
It was time for bed and we got the portable crib all set up...and when I say set up, I mean we popped it open in less than 10 seconds. And then we realized that we didn’t really want our 7 pound newborn baby on the floor next to our 70 pound pup. All he was going to want to do was paw at the crib and try to get to her. And being a very lightweight crib (perfect for travel), it just wasn’t a risk we wanted to take. We just imagined him pawing at the side of the crib and our little Miss Ava and her portable crib going sliding across the hardwood floors.
Plan A was a fail.
Plan B? Co-sleep? This wasn’t even an option in our mind (another blog post on that later) so we moved on to…
Plan C: Put her in her crib for the night. Yes, the beautiful white crib that we spent a whole lot of money on and spent hours setting up. That crib. The crib that is meant for sleeping in. Crazy that that is typically Plan C, huh?
So we put her in her beautiful crib, put on her SIDS monitor, put on the video monitor and went to bed (just FYI, the photo above is not in her crib...no blankets allowed in there, of course!). Yes, she woke up in the night and yes she continues to wake up at 2:30am every single night to eat. And yes, I walk the 20 steps from my bedroom to hers and bring her back to mine to feed her. And when she is done eating and is all burped, I walk back the 20 steps to put her back into her crib. In her own room. Yes, picking her up from a bassinet right next to me would be much more convenient at 2:30am but would it be more convenient than re-training her to sleep in her own room in her own crib in 6 months when we’re ready? (yes, WE. Because she otherwise wouldn’t know anything other than that).
While Baxter is extremely gentle with her now and the portable crib would work just fine, we have continued to place her in her crib for naps and at bed time, so that we don’t have to start from the beginning and re-train her sleep patterns twice. We only have to do it once!
I urge all new parents to consider the option of crib sleeping from day one, as everyone made us believe it wasn’t an option until we had no other choice. Because while there may be reasons for some families and we all have our own needs, I feel that placing her in a bassinet would have been solely for me, myself, and I. And it would have actually made it more difficult on all of us down the road. A baby doesn't doesn't know any better if she is in her own room from the beginning, right? And did I mention intimate time with my hubby? I am not sure how that works with a baby in the bed, but I will leave that to you to figure out.
Moral of the Story: Don't listen to what others tell you is important or necessary and do what works for you and your family, keeping the long term in mind. Because you and your family are what matters.