First of all, thank you to the people who commented on my last post – your words mean a lot to me. I’m thinking of using it as a jumping-off point for a “My Parenting Philosophies/Attitudes/Rules” post but that will take some work.
Secondly: the floor bed! I’ve mentioned several times that I wanted to create a bedroom for my daughter, not for the adults who will occasionally enter it, and with a bit of difficulty (our house is rented) we’ve managed it! Photos follow – for all of them I had to crouch down to child-height to give a proper sense of the room. It’s really not a space for people over four foot tall!
The bedroom is usually tidier than this*, but you get the idea. There’s a cot mattress on the floor, with a mirror next to it. The floor is carpeted, covered with a rug, and then there are two blankets on top of the rug. In the corner, by a wardrobe, is a lamp (the wires are usually tucked out of sight, I’m not sure why they’re on display here) but that will be removed as soon as the baby starts crawling. On this wall we have stuck up a scratch map.
(Yes, my baby has a lightning bolt for a face.)
Sorry about the light in this one – this photograph was taken facing the window (which is just above this chest of drawers). The drawers are pretty full because some of the (many) gifts we got when she was born are still in use, but as she gets bigger and able to choose her own clothes, we’ll have fewer items in there for her to choose from – that way she hopefully won’t get overwhelmed. There is a book sling on top of the drawers where her picture books live. The purple basket is full of toys plus a couple of ‘playsilks’, which are really just old sarongs that N enjoys chewing on.
The toy basket has worked excellently for us. Previously I was sitting N in the middle of the room (with her back to the mattress), surrounded by toys, and she would look around and then wail. So I started putting all her toys and a book or two in the basket, then putting the basket in front of her – now she removes toys from it one by one, playing and shaking and chewing and inspecting each item for ages before moving on to the next thing.
To the right of the chest of drawers is a tall bookcase lying down. Only one of the four shelves was screwed in, so we removed the others for safety. The books inside are mostly children’s books (T’s old “Horrible Science” books, for example). The picture on the wall is something I chose months before she was born, because it’s beautiful and because we thought it would go with her cot (which we painted red).
On top of the sideways bookshelf are some more toys, the penguin nesting dolls which my parents bought as a “congratulations you’re pregnant and it’s Christmas” present, the baby monitor, and a box full of night-time nappies. We’ve been using reusable nappies since N was five days old, and I’ve found it incredibly easy (which is not, of course, to say everyone would!). Buying second-hand and reassessing when necessary has meant that we’ve tried a lot of different things before finding the particular nappies that work for us: right now that is Tots Bots Easyfits and pocket nappies during the day (which allow N to be flexible and reach her toes), and Little Lamb fitteds with PUL wraps at night (which are super-absorbent). In fact, we’re going on holiday next week and can’t take our reusables and I’m scared!
One shot from adult height to show off the globe lampshade. On the wall is a map of the Antarctic – in case you couldn’t tell, the vague ‘theme’ for the nursery is “intrepid explorer”.
N is in her room for daytime naps, and for the first half of the night. Once she cries for a feed (around 1am), I move her into my bed and we co-sleep for the rest of the night. The only problem we’ve had is her rolling off the mattress and waking herself up, but we had the same problem in the cot – she would roll over and stick her limbs through the bars, and I was terrified she’d break something. At least there’s no real danger to her now.
I love sitting in N’s room during the day, playing and reading and lying peacefully with her, and find feeding her to sleep a lot more comfortable for us both. T has commented that it’s like walking into an early childhood classroom, which I think is a good atmosphere to recreate – after all, those classrooms are geared towards the people who populate them, both in terms of size and content.
*No it’s not.