Last night Oliver slept in his montessori room and in his homemade big-boy montessori bed for the first time. He’s three months old, and many could—and will—argue that he’s too young, it’s too soon, too risky, too everything. But we decided to give it a try for two reasons: 1. I had a feeling his cot was too small, and noticed he wakes himself up by crashing against the walls, and 2. We decided for a Montessori bed, and there’s no space for a mattress on the floor in our room.
Last night felt like it was the right time.
Did I like it? Not at all — and that’s why this post was written at 4.37am.
Oliver was ready!
We had been thinking about it for a while, and decided that we would switch him to his room as soon as he told us he was ready (an important part of the Montessori philosophy is “Follow the Child”, and read his “signs”). Oliver has been waking up only once a night — and often because he crashes into the cot — for a few weeks now and to us that’s a sign that he’s ready to sleep in his room.
The apprehensive mum in me soon came out. A month ago, the official excuse was “We still don’t have the baby monitors, we can’t hear him”.
Then the monitors came. “We need to try them during the day”. Two days later—they worked perfectly fine—“I’m still not sure if we can hear him”. Three days later, “let’s try at the weekend”. After the weekend, “let’s try this weekend”. And so on.
Last night, Oliver was asleep in my arms and Alex suggested we put him in his montessori room. Lots of excuses crossed my mind but none was good enough.
It was not easy to leave him there!
Said, done. He was finally sleeping in his room. And that’s when the back and forth started. Before falling asleep myself, I went to his room at least seven times. Three times I asked Alex to go and whisper something in the monitor. One of these times, I couldn’t hear him. “Maybe we should try tomorrow”? “Tomorrow it’ll be exactly the same. You just have to get used to it,” he said patiently.
Alex was right. Oliver’s independence starts when my apprehension ends. I just have to get used to it. Because there will be many more separations in our life—the first day I’ll leave him with somebody else than Alex, the first day of school, his first night out, when he’ll move out, his first job abroad, his wedding.
An hour ago, I went to check on him again—to be fair I did see Alex go himself a few times as well 😉 A stinky poo smell welcomed me. So I took him up, hugged and eskimo kissed him, and put him on the changing table still semi-asleep. When he opened his eyes, he gave me the biggest smile ever and said “Uuuhhh”. It was the first time he smiled and spoke to me in the middle of the night. And maybe that was his way of telling me, “I’m fine here, mummy, I really like it. Now change my nappy and go get some rest”. I put him back to sleep, kissed him for a few minutes and left him in his big boy bed. This time, I felt happier.
Again, this is just the first of many separations. And it’s true, Oliver is there happily asleep in his room and I’m here wide awake, writing. But it’s worth it if it means that I’ll learn to be a non apprehensive mother who will raise an independent child.
Good night, my baby boy, sleep tight.
The following two nights, Oliver pulled two all-nighters! He slept from 9.30pm to 6.30am straight.
There we go! His Bednest crib was probably becoming too small for our little giant and he just needed more space to move around without waking up! Live and learn, right?