One morning I woke up and they were no longer by my side. And that day, everything changed
My little ones have been sleeping alone in their room for only 15 days. And life in my family has taken an unexpected turn. I feel weird, but happy. And I can say that now I realize that before we were not ready – none of the four – to make the change. But since they sleep in their room the climate is different, and many things have been happening in this family.
Why did I move them to his room now and not before?
Since I can remember, my goal in this life was to be a mother. I love babies, children, and I love motherhood and the opportunity this life gave me to raise my two children watching them grow without losing a second of their development. I have two children: Indira, 4 years and 8 months, and Tizziano, 2 years and 10 months. This was the moment, and not before, and I’ll tell you why.
In the beginning, I always knew that we would co-sleep. I had my first daughter in my bed until she was 11 months old and then in a crib attached to my side. When her brother was born, she went to sleep on her dad’s side and I put the crib with the baby on my side. I no longer put my youngest son in my bed; he just woke up too much and I saw that he slept more comfortably in his crib. That’s when you notice the difference that not all children are the same, even if you intend to raise them the same.
With my husband we love seeing our children when we wake up. Cover them when uncovered. Be there when they are afraid. And particularly, as a mom, the act of breastfeeding was tremendously easier with them by the side. I didn’t have to get up, I just walked over and we continued in the drowsiness of sleep.
But there came a time when with my husband we felt it was time to take them to his room. We wanted to have more privacy, and also, when night came they monopolized our presence. They wanted stories, games, and when they fell asleep, Mom and Dad fell asleep too. We as a couple needed our space. But they, as developing little people, needed to try the new experience of feeling independent and “great.”
This was the operation
We had as an excuse that we had not yet finished placing the railings on the upper floor. There was no way to get the children into his room if there was no protection. But the same day that the blacksmith came to put in the last remaining railing, my husband said “it’s today or never .” It was a Saturday. A perfect day to start. If they woke up or slept badly, the next day no one had to get up to work or go to school. And we had the advantage of another two days of rest that in my country were holidays.
In the middle of the bags that were still accumulated we passed the beds, while they were in the shower playing. I put a nightstand, tidied up a little, put their favorite toys and that same night they slept there.
To our surprise, our oldest daughter slept through the night in a row and was happy to sleep in her little bed. And although the little boy woke up twice, he understood from the beginning and without complaint, that this was his room from now on.
The transfer to his room brought many changes. but the most significant were these:
- Sense of belonging: My children, in these few days, achieved a sense of belonging with their room that is adorable to see. They love to have it neat. People who come home are taken to their room to show “where they sleep.” Her room is now her holy place.
- They look for their clothes and they order them: Next to their bed I put a low cabinet, where they have two drawers for each one with their clothes. They both know where to find them when to dress and choose what to wear. In another piece of furniture they have the shoes; each has a shelf with their own. They liked the order of their things and their clothes so much that they feel “important” when it comes to dressing.
- They are no longer afraid: When they slept in our room, my children asked me to close the door, because they were afraid of the gloom. Now, mysteriously and miraculously, not only do they not ask me to close the door but they have never mentioned being afraid of the dark until now.
- There are no waking up crying: When they wake up, they come to my room to see if we are still in bed, but at no time do they wake up crying. On the other hand, when they slept with us, if I or my husband got out of bed and they woke up and couldn’t find us, they would cry. Now that has changed and they have taken a radical leap.
- Mom and Dad have more intimacy: And I’m not just talking about sex, but the unique and rewarding moment of being hugged when they are already asleep, or chatting and telling each other about our day. A time had come when it was impossible for us to make contact of any kind.
- We renew the environments: The movement represented an absolute renovation of the environments. The room where my children sleep now was the reservoir of things that I did not know where to keep. it was all bagged and topped up. Now, with the curtained windows, character stickers on the windows, character sheets and padding, and their dolls on the bed, it now looks like a child’s room. Also, our matrimonial room has changed as well. We can now use the night tables and I even put armchairs where the children’s beds used to be.
- Another energy is breathed: We are all in a good mood. We sleep better and wake up happy. They wake up happy and love their room. And we parents love being able to wake up without having to tiptoe so as not to wake anyone up.
- No more videos at bedtime: In our room we have television, so it was always feasible for us to turn it on to put on a cartoon channel. Now, the routine is to put them to bed and read them a story. And they are very happy with it.
Everything at the right time
When my first daughter was a baby, people used to tell me “get her out of bed, you’re not going to get her out later.” And here we are. Not only does she sleep alone in her room, but not once has she woken up crying in the middle of the night. And if you need anything, call me to come to your side.
The youngest still needs a mother to fall asleep, and when he wakes up in the middle of the night he calls me or comes to get me. Then I lie on the bed next to her until she falls asleep again. You can wake up up to 3 times in one night. But I am not concerned, I am there to help you, to accompany you in this trance and to tell you that I will always be by your side when you need me.
It’s just a stage in which chubby hands hug us and cute little voices shout “mom” throughout the house. It is only a couple of years that you should get up at night to calm their anguish. But it’s wonderful that they love us so much that they need our protection to feel good.
Just today I feel that this was the time to take them to their room. Before, I just wasn’t ready. And I don’t think they either. And my husband less; It was he who said “let her sleep with us” when Indira in the middle of the night came out of her bed close to ours to get in between the two. Time does not return. Time is sacred. And the more we take advantage of it, the better the fruits it yields.
I recommend it, but when you feel it with your heart
I have seen countless mothers and fathers wanting to “force” their children into their rooms. Listening to the opinions of others, thinking that they will never take them out again, or thinking that their children will become weak and emotionally dependent if they do not move them to their room before the year. As a mother, and in my experience, I tell you that not only is none of this true, but that everything done with love always gets good results.
If you are going to prepare your child’s room, let it be at the moment when you and your partner feel it, because that way the child will feel the security he needs. There is no “right” age for children to start sleeping alone in their room. In fact, there are many families who do not have the luxury of having another room for their children. But if you make the decision with conviction and with love, it will surely turn out as you expected.