Wednesday, March 20, 2013

getting creative with reality

Recently I posted some photos on Instagram sharing that we are in the midst of trying to figure out our co-sleeping arrangements. 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 experiment with some changes in our sleeping arrangement. 

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!


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