Within Arm’s Reach
We have a crib. It’s very nice and even has a changing table attached. And that’s all we use it for- changing. V sleeps next to me in a bassinet. The idea was that I could just roll over to pick her up and feed her. In reality I change her before every feeding so we have to make the trip to her room for the changing table then back to our bedroom for feeding.
Before she was born my husband and I had one of those moments where two lines of miscommunication finally converge. I’d always planned to have V sleep in the bassinet, but apparently my husband was under the impression that this would only be for a week. He was alarmed when I gave him a rough estimate of six months. “Well I don’t know for sure! I don’t know how fast babies grow!” His concern was that she would not learn to fall asleep by herself if she slept in our room. We had previously had a discussion about a method some friends of ours had used on their son. They patted him for comfort if he fussed, but they didn’t pick him up. He now slept easily. We both agreed that it seemed like a good method. The only problem was that I pictured this method being used in tandem with a bassinet, and my husband pictured it in the crib. After V was born, as I poured through the baby books, I read that babies can self-sooth after two months but not earlier. I gave my husband the new deadline: two months.
Little V turned eight weeks old on Monday. Problem is, I won’t move her to the crib yet. It seems entirely too early. After all, we have the bassinet and might as well use it. The thing can be used up until 15lbs or until she “begins to push up on hands and knees.” V is currently 9lbs and well within the developmental limits. The bassinet has also proved to be a wonderful tool during the day because we can wheel her all over the house. I honestly don’t know how we’re going to confine her once she outgrows it. A playpen wouldn’t fit in our office.
However, the biggest hurdle is me. I don’t want to move her. I like having her close to me. I like being able to roll over and hold her little hand, or give her the pacifier that has fallen from her mouth, or just make sure she is still breathing. Who needs a baby monitor when she’s that close? It also seems barbaric and unnatural to banish her to another room (albeit right next door) when she’s still so young. Heck, many cultures practice cosleeping. I don’t know why anyone would want to push their child away at such an early age.
Back in the hospital, my husband kept telling me to send V to the nursery for a few hours so that I could get some sleep. What I couldn’t explain to him at the time was that I needed her to sleep (Or rather, to get close to sleep. I was pretty damn wired). The hospital beds were safe enough that I could even sleep with her on me. We were sedatives for each other. When my baby was sleeping at my breast all was right in the universe.
I no longer need little V to snooze on me in order to sleep, but I do like having her close. And while I may be setting her down in the crib for a few minutes during the day while I put away her laundry just so that she can get used to the idea (she hates it), I’m not yet ready to let her move to that room permanently.