Until she was about five months old, Nora slept in a Pack and Play in our bedroom. But when she was old enough to be woken up prematurely by my husband's alarm clock, we decided to move her to her own room (where she was already used to taking naps in her crib).
Luckily for us, that move went pretty well. Nora got used to sleeping in there by herself within just a night or two, and mom and dad, after a somewhat longer adjustment period, began to trust the baby monitor and sleep peacefully in our reclaimed room.
And so it has been for more than two years. But every now and then, when we travel, we're back to sharing a room, which has its challenges.
We spent Thanksgiving in a lovely one-bedroom condo by the beach. As we packed for that trip, we hauled the Pack and Play out of the closet (and bought a fold-up cushy mattress for it, because I wouldn't wish that cardboard thingy it comes with on anyone, let alone my own kid) and planned to set it up in the bedroom, next to the bed where we would be sleeping.
The setup went well -- there was plenty of room on one side of the bed, not too close to a window or a vent, and the lamps in the room were even arranged so we could light the room to approximate our dimmer at home. Sweet.
But we underestimated just how light a sleeper Nora is. We were able to sneak into bed successfully each night we were on vacation, but the real fun started in the middle of the night. If one of us coughed, or rolled over abruptly, or just breathed too loudly, Nora was ready to investigate. I can't even count how many times I rolled over (gently!) in bed to find her standing straight up in her Pack and Play, staring at me creepily, lit by the eerie blue bulb in her nightlight. Gah!
Most times, I could gently say "lie down, kiddo, and go to sleep" and she would. But with the next sniffle or snore, she was back with the creepy staring.
At least once in each night, eye contact was made, which meant I had to get up, change a diaper, sing a song, and resettle her. And then resettle me with as little coughing, rolling over, moving, or, um, breathing as possible. Not exactly a relaxing way to drift off to sleep, ocean waves in the background or no.
But come morning (by which I mean actual wake-up time), it was pretty fun to lift her out of the Pack and Play and put her between us in the giant king-size bed and snuggle a little before she woke up all the way and was ready to party.
That said, it was really nice to get home and sleep in our own beds. In our own rooms. With no one (that I know of ) creepily staring at me in the dim blue light.