The next, and most current, evolution came around 18 months, when both she and I were ready for a little more space. I had begun to wake her when I would come to bed later than her, and she seemed more disturbed by my often restless sleep, and I by hers. This time, we took away the crib and added a twin mattress on the floor right next to our bed, about 6 inches lower than the height of our mattress. To ease the transition, I made a big deal about how exciting it was that she was getting her very own bed with her very own blue sheep sheets, and I started out putting her down for naps in it. The first night I put her to sleep in her bed was scary for me, even though she was only an arm's length away. She and I, in our entire relationship history of a year and a half, had never slept on a separate surface. Even when traveling, we’d find some way to set up a safe family bed in our hotel room. That first night, she started off in her bed, and when she woke, moved to our bed to nurse and cuddle for the rest of the night, and that’s about where we’re at now. Sometimes we play bed roulette. If I’m feeling the need for some more space and she’s in our bed, I’ll move to her bed. Sometimes she’ll come into the big bed and, at some point, roll back down into her bed. Occasionally we’ll both fall asleep in her bed and stay there the whole night.
Kelsey Voelker is a labor doula and lactation educator with Full Circle Birth Collective. Learn more about Kelsey here.