Wednesday, March 20, 2013

getting creative with reality

Recently I posted some photos on Instagram sharing that we are in the midst of weaning Lucy from co-sleeping. I have received SO much feedback from moms out there in same situation asking about our sleeping arrangement and commenting on our bedroom set up that I thought I would dedicate a post to our current sleeping and decorating situation. A little more personal than I typically share but I know there are many of you dealing with the same issues so here we go...

If you would have told me when I was pregnant that I would still be breast feeding at 18 months AND co-sleeping I would have laughed in your face and probably replied "What, no way, not me!" From eating to sleeping, I had a picture in my head of how the whole baby thing was going to go. I read all the books, did my research, I browsed hundreds of pretty photos of nurseries and kids rooms online. I spent months preparing, nesting and decorating her room... I thought I would bring our baby home and lay her down in the crib in her perfectly decorated room and walk away while she slept.

And then Lucy arrived with a bad case of reflux which meant I couldn't just feed her and lay her down. Those early days weren't easy- feedings took SO much time, patience and attention. For the first 6 months I didn't care about where she slept but more about keeping her food down so she could sleep. Many of my days and nights were spent with a baby sleeping upright on my chest which eventually turned into a baby in our bed which brings us to today- Lucy, thankfully grew out of the reflux but she still sleeps in our bed. 



I am not going to share my opinions on bed sharing or co-sleeping (or even extended breastfeeding) except to say that it wasn't in our plan BUT it all ended up working well for us. And I am not going to say sleeping together helped her reflux but it was one of the ways I was able to make feeding/sleeping comfortable for the both of us. Now we have reached a point where we all are ready to make some changes in our sleeping arrangement. We are starting with baby steps- a mattress next to our bed which will eventually get moved into her room. 

We are about 3 weeks into our transition and it has worked wonderfully but my biggest dilemma has been decorating for our current sleeping arrangement (gotta have priorities). I love living in a colorful and creative decorated home and having an extra mattress on the floor in the master bedroom makes aesthetics kind of tricky. While there are millions of beautiful photos online of nurseries and kids rooms, I have yet to find stylish inspiration for co-sleeping. So I went to work trying get creative with our current reality! With just a few simple things I was able to set up a cozy and colorful space where we have some decor and beauty in our surroundings while we work through this transition together.

First up was getting a good mattress that could eventually be moved into her room and also be comfortable enough for me to sleep on if I need to get up with her in the night. We selected a full size memory foam mattress. Instead of going with kids bedding, I went for a mix of blankets and quilts that could be used by all of us in the years to come.

I love shopping for bedding from Urban Outfitters and Target. I shop for one of kind knitted blankets on Etsy.


Then I added pillows- lots and lots of pillows! I have a GIANT collection of pillows- they are one of the easiest ways to change up a room and add pattern, texture and pops of color to decor (and they are cheaper than other big ticket items). While we don't sleep with all these pillows, we do have them around (everywhere) all the time and they have become a big part of Lucy's play. Throughout the day she loves to rearrange her pillows, stack them, wrestle with them, jump in them and kick back and read on them.

I've collected pillows and pillow cases for years! My favorite place to shop for unique pillow cases is Etsy- My current favorites- Festive Home Decor  and animals from Sarah Young

I NEED art on the wall so we hung our collaborative painting over our bed. Above Lucy's bed (as much as I wanted to hang all kinds of art) I decided to keep it safe and simple with a very lightweight branch (remember my love branch?) and draped it with garland  and hung it out of reach.

The result is a colorful little nest for all of us! And so far the new sleeping arrangement is working out great. We are all sleeping well and Lucy loves her bed and even gets excited every time she climbs into it (which is what we were trying to achieve). The challenges are not over but we are getting there (and getting better sleep) and that is enough for me right now! The best part has been making a lovely and creative space that works for all of us during this time... who says transition can't look pretty!!!

p.s. don't be fooled by my pretty pictures, half the day our room is a hot mess!

51 comments:

  1. Whata sweet little princes Ü. And I think it will all go well, keep on taking the babysteos to her own room.
    Liefs, Melanie

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  2. LOL!Thanks for landing me to reality with the last photo!AriadnefromGreece!

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  3. such a refreshing moment spent with you all...and I think about people saying you must do this do that not do this not do that...you found the perfect answer:
    it worked well for us...
    that's what I always say, as long as people are happy it's ok...love you all for the sunshine you give me everyday...i

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  4. Glad to read we are not the only ones who's baby still sleeps in our bed;) My son is now 17 months and I still breastfeed him cause He still wants to ha,ha And to be honest I love the moments when he lays so close to me cause they grow up so fast....( I never thought I would breastfeed so long, cause with the other 2 it didn't last longer them 2 weeks) But we are also at a phase that I want him to learn to sleep in his own bed. Our problem is also that we have a downstairs bedroom and the kids sleep upstairs so we are really thinking how we'll get him there ha,ha. But I'm sure we'll get there.
    Love your bedding choice, I'm a fan of colour too.
    Love, from Holland

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  5. Oh my god I love your bedroom! I kinda wanna live there too...! It looks absolutely amazing.

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  6. Good for you!! Can you imagine how secure Lucy feels knowing both of you are so near. Mothers know what's best for their child! Everything you do now will pay in dividends when she's an adult. I can attest to that having an extremely close relationship with my daughter. Thanks for being so authentic! I guarantee you have helped a lot of doubtful young moms!!

    Your room is so cozy, the art, quilt and pillows beautiful!! What's not to love!!

    Hugs Giggles

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  7. Lidia1:19 AM

    Thank you for this great share!
    I`m in the same situation as you (breastfeeding my 18 months daughter and found of colours!!)
    You inspire me everyday!

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  8. I just LOVE that quilt you have on your bed... and the LOVE BRANCH and of course your collaboration painting...

    a very cozy room indeed!!!

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  9. ps and thank you for being honest and reassuring us that your rooms can be messy!!! makes me feel better!!! happy life!!!

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  10. Thank you for sharing! It's really nice to know that we all have trials to work through and to see how you do it creatively and with thought is interesting.
    I remember from my children that it all takes time.
    Love all the colors!

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  11. Thanks for this post. That last picture put me at ease :) We are co-sleeping too and Zoe easily takes up most of the bed. I guess the Mr and me will have to move into a different mattress on the floor.
    Also thanks for not being judgmental about still breast-feeding and co-sleeping. We do try to do the best we can, do we?

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  12. lOVE the post, and photos!

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  13. I agree with all - if it works for you it works! Our youngest had terrible asthma and slept on a mattress in our room until she was 10. Getting up with her to do breathing treatments several times a night just made this arrangement easier. She's 16 now, happily sleeping in her own bed and preparing to go away to college in a year.... enjoy your little blessing

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  14. Soak up these sweet moments! My youngest is 4 and I miss falling asleep together! You are a great mommy, Alisa.

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  15. Our kid spent one night in his crib, then in a car seat on the floor, in our bed, in his bed with one of us, in between us. I held him when he napped and hardly ever put him down. He's a thriving 12 year old now who still asks his daddy to snuggle him a little before bed and talk. They have the best talks at night right before bed. Make your own rules. It goes so fast. Snuggle up.

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  16. Vice a vida loca : )

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  17. LOVE everything about the "new" space! Our daughter spent 8 years of her 12 in our room. At 2 years old, she had a bad nightmare...and that was the end of that! She (and I) made a spot at the end of our bed (1/2 way under) the end, lots of bankets and pillows, and she slept there for many years! She felt safe in her little "fort" as she called it and that was enough for us! She was happy and SLEEPING and that was all my hubby and I cared about! We knew she would grow out of it, and we made it work. Kuddos to you both for doing what's best for all of you! We got a great deal of grief from friends and family but we just said we are doing what works for US! Bravo!

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  18. is there any better pictures than the ones where your little monsters are sleeping??? i mean really- can she be any sweeter with her little stuffed animal?!?!?! i loved watching my babies sleep!

    and don't we wish our beds looked like that?! lol

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  19. Anonymous7:36 AM

    I like your colorful room!
    And, I love your colaborative painting!
    ~Julia in MI

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  20. Great post! I love reading all your posts, this one was extra special. Thanks for giving insight to your parenting solutions. That's a fantastic quilt on your bed. Mind sharing where you got that? Or did you make it yourself? You have such a great eye for combining colors, of course, and it's so inspiring. Thanks for sharing your "reality" picture!

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  21. Once you can look back, this is à very short time and Will soon be forgotten. As long as you turn it into à positive time it will fade in time and you will only remember the feeling. As long as the sleeping don't become a fuss.

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  22. oh so beautiful. and sleep is the big word!! :) love the family bedroom and the gorgeous pop and all that you've created and nested..just beautiful. especially loved the "hot mess" comment! :P xoxoxomwhaaa!

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  23. Following your intuition is usually the best way.
    Our two daughters are college graduates -- very confident, competent and independent, and both nursed and slept in our bed for years.
    Your home is beautiful! Full of love and beautiful aesthetics.

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  24. You are so honest to talk about it and I really appreciate that you share with us.

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  25. beautiful,loving, sacred space. I adore how you have transitioned and esp love that you threw in that last photo! xoxo

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  26. Looks great and hang in there! You're the mom and Lucy's yours...do it your way. It'll all work out.

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  27. WOW, such a sweet bedroom (& playpen for Lucy :))!!. So much light & color. Wonderful to see the finished art collaboration there :). I think it's working for Lucy, she looks so happy & comforted for now:). All the best!!. HUGS.

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  28. I would love for my room to look like this! We have the same arrangement, though not as pretty :0) Our daughter had terrible nightmares when she was 3, but with her so close I could sooth her before they got out of hand. Now we just love being so close while we are sleeping.

    Great job going with your instincts. More people need to learn how to listen to themselves.

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  29. Happy to read "she loves her bed". I was lucky not to have to take my kids into our bed, but I always wanted them to enjoy their beds. I would put them down saying "time for your comfy, cozy bed" and I seriously think it worked. I also never used the crib/bed as a punishment place. Keep it positive and it won't belong before she'll be fine going into her own room with her own "comfy, cozy bed."

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  31. The photos and the room are beautiful and inspiring.

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  32. love the colours, love the room, love the pictures of lucy which you so generously share, and love the fact that you have come up with something that makes everyone happy and rested! my kids are now 15 and 17 and how i long for them to cuddle with me! they did the sleeping with me while having reflux... and stayed longer... and one day, told me they did not want to sleep with me anymore! enjoy every moment, it is such a short time in the scheme of things. xxx

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  33. i love that room!! your painting that you all did together looks awesome. the pillows! the nappy spot! i just want a room just like it!

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  34. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Thank you for sharing this sweet little one. Mine are teenagers now and I miss them being so young and sweet. She is precious. And you are a wonder woman to be able to do all that you do with her in tow. Thank you so much for sharing your time and talent with all of us who admire you.

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  35. Love the painting, the quilt, and all the pillows! Nice to see some honost commentary. These people that write the books are stating their opinions. Most of them are men, and what do men really know about breast feeding?!? Not much since they've never done it. As for co-sleeping - most animals in the world do it, so why not humans? In fact most humans did until the last 100 years or so - families used to all sleep together in one bed, and many still do around the world. So good for you! We coslept too. As for breast feeding - the longer you do it, the lower your future risk for breast cancer and the lower your baby's risk for autoimmune diseases. Two years is a good goal.

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  36. I am working on this as we speak. My little man is just about 12 months old and weaning him from co sleeping has been tricky. I don't mind too much but know if I don't start the slow transition now, it will be harder for me later.
    Glad to hear its not just me. :)

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  37. We did the same with our two, having them with us until they were 18 months and 2. They transitioned by going into their new room with my husband (I night weaned that way, overnight) and only had a few difficult nights. Eventually my husband got to come back! I love what you did with Lucy's bed. So perfect, with all of the pillows to use as she wishes. Beautiful.

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  38. This is pretty much how our family bed evolved. I nursed our children to age 5, and only the youngest used a crib. When she came along, the 2 older girls slept together, actually moving into a room of their own. When she turned 5, we moved her into bed with one of her sisters, and they all shared a room until we moved.

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  39. You are such a beautiful person!
    I'm impressed by your approach to life!
    Hugs! ❤❤❤❤

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  40. What a great idea using lots of colorful pillows to brighten up your room! But surely you need a place to put it when you're going to use the beds! Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  42. One day I think around 4 years of age,
    my son said * I want to sleep in my room * and he did.

    Relish it all Alisa, soon it will all
    be but sweet memories.

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  43. oh yeah...I adore your post, your bedroom and decoration...Lucy have a normal family and it makes me smile this morning...because I can remember that time when my 2 sons were in our bed...the first one exactly the same situation than Lucy and he went to his bedroom only few nights, came back all the time and i was working and decided to live him with us, easy for each one that way...the second baby arrived and we stayed all together in the same master bedroom...2 matress and babies happy...I don't remember when they go back in theire room but they did...slowly, slowly...they always have been curious, creative and secure...Now, they are men...sensible, open mind, creative, secure...and they are both doctors and that fact to sleep in the same bedroom during many years didn't transform them in strange or crazy person...everything is okay, till you feel confortable with...BRAVO...very happy for Lucy who looks so happy and creative...xxx

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  44. Wow, what a special warm and cozy nest you created.
    I can feel the warmth right through my screen.
    Great, great, great!!!
    Wish you love with your beautiful girl.
    Groetjes Gery

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  45. you are a great mother :)

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  46. LOVE this post! LOVE your honesty, including the last picture, which made me smile, thanks for sharing this!

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  47. Hi...l did the same with both my children...which why we have a six feet bed...! my children are now 35 and 36 and are secure, happy and amazing adults. In fact when they visit, they often have both children in bed with us reading the sunday papers!!!!!!
    xxxlynda

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  48. I have a question about the color block quilt from Urban Outfitters. I think it's beautiful, but the reviews on the website aren't very good. The complaint is that it looks cheaply made and poorly sewn. Are you pleased?

    Thanks!

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