Up until now, we have had the little guy in our room with us. We tried to have him in a separate room one night back when he was 2 weeks old, and that lasted about 30 minutes before we moved his little bed next to ours.
Part of the reason for the closeness was practical matters – in Stockholm the apartment is a 1 bedroom 42 square meters (420 square feet), and in the previous Hong Kong Apartment, it was a little bigger at 2 bedrooms (1 was tiny) and 65 square meters (650 square feet). And finally at this apartment we are at 3 bedrooms and 82 square meters (820 square feet).
This meant that what we planned all along (1 master bedroom, a baby room, and a guest room) was finally going to happen.
Now, this was something I had looked forward to for a while – but not my wife. See, there’s a closeness that her and the little guy have that I will never, ever have. I do not have any jealousy or envy – I like it. It’s incredible to see those two so close, and there should be a good bond that a son and a mother have – just like there is and will be a good bond between him and me. They make each other smile, laugh, squeal. Sometimes it makes it harder to take care of the little guy, but for the most part I think it is amazing.
So, the little guy got his own room. It’s got a dresser, his bed, an area for changing. It even has a view of Hong Kong Island. We even have an Eames Rocking Chair coming. This is one awesome baby room. Plus, it’s right next to our room, so we can easily hear him if he needs us (we also have a baby monitor).
So, we went through the night routines, and put him to bed. And what happened on the first night? He slept
like a baby very well, and woke up at the normal times, just like he did when he was next to us. How did it go for me? I slept like usual. How did it go for my wife? She was worried that she could not hear him if he needed us. She didn’t sleep well, she was concerned – she could no longer look over at him to make sure he was OK. Day 2 was a little better but he ended up in our bed with us fairly early (how did that happen?!) 😉
Up until now, she has had the little one 40cm away to look at and make sure he is OK – and now she has to have faith that he is OK in the other room. I can empathize with her – and I hope that she slowly gains a feeling of security.
Going forward, we will have to create new routines – for example it used to be easy to reach over and help him fall back asleep, put the pacifier back in his mouth, or otherwise soothe him, but now it’s: wake up – > get out of bed -> help him fall back asleep -> fall back asleep yourself.
As for the timing, moving the little guy to another room when he is just over 4,5 months old: many American parents have their babies in their own rooms from birth, so I think it is just fine that he is going into his own room now. In addition, the transition would not be any easier at 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, and so on – so I guess the question is: if not now, when?