There are a lot of things that are frustrating about suddenly going on bed rest. I’m missing out on all sorts of activities. I have to depend on other people for practically everything. I have to keep myself occupied (and try to work) while laying completely flat in bed. Blah blah blah.
Hands down, one of the most frustrating things is that I went on bed rest right in the middle of redecorating the nursery. In the grand scheme of things, I shouldn’t even worry about this, but it is nails on a chalkboard for me that I didn’t get the room pulled together before I went down. The baby won’t even be sleeping in the nursery right away, but I just wanted that space. That place in the house that said, “Hey, there’s a new baby.”
I did get most of the big stuff in the nursery moved around, so I snuck in last week and took some unauthorized pictures during an unauthorized period of walking around my house. I got quite a few, but the last couple I took are a little blurry because my mom came back from picking Eva up at school and my kid ran in and yelled, “Mama! Back in bed!” and totally ratted me out. Fink.
Anyway, to refresh your memory, this is what the room looked like when it was just for Eva:
Here’s the state of the room right now:
As you can see, the room went through some big changes.
One change is that we got rid of the papasan. It took up a ton of space, was wildly uncomfortable, and only fit one parent + Eva at any given time. I wanted a place in the room to hold the baby that would let Eva cuddle up with us, so we picked up a Solsta sofa bed from IKEA for $100 in the As-Is section. It’s low and opens up into a twin-size bed but it’s surprisingly comfortable and all three (four) of us can fit on it. Eva has even napped on it a few times because it’s so cozy. The one downside is that stains show up pretty clearly, especially lotion and baby powder, so we need to wipe it down more often than you’d think.
Second, I pared down Eva’s toys once again and now she just has a few simple toys here and there. We’re trying to stay as close to the Montessori philosophy as possible, so the toys that are out aren’t things that turn on. Mostly it’s classic stuff like toy cars and blocks. They’re arranged in wicker baskets that I got from the local thrift store and I think getting rid of the fabric bins has actually opened up the shelves a little more. We do have a larger basket that holds toys that turn on and beep, etc., and we rotate them out every two weeks.
Eva also got a big girl bed. She had been sleeping in her toddler bed on her old crib mattress, but we needed to steal it for the new baby. We debated about buying a new crib mattress, but ultimately we decided it made more sense to spring for a new bed that Eva will use for a while instead of a crib mattress that will just lead to us having two little mattresses and no big kid beds.
We went with the IKEA Kura reversible bed and decided to make it a bunk so the baby could use the space underneath. I was worried about Eva moving into a bunk for a couple of reasons: (1) It’s obviously much taller than her old bed and (2) navigating the ladder would be impossible, especially in the middle of the night. The IKEA Kura was ok as far as the height because it’s lower than most bunk beds, but the ladder was a problem.
We fixed it by buying a Trofast storage system from IKEA and using it as stairs. There is a lip that she needs to step over and I was really worried about it, but she has it down. I also bought non-slip mats to cut and put on the stairs so she didn’t slip on the way down, but I went on bed rest before I could place them. However, she goes pretty slowly because we put her lowest “step” – an IKEA step stool – under the bed instead of in front of the stairs. She has to stop and change directions to get down. (The giraffe was also placed at the bottom of the stairs to force her to turn and to catch her if/when she tumbles down them.
It’s not the perfect solution and I’m still a little iffy about having our toddler up in that big bed, but she’s never had a problem with it. In fact, she loves it so much that she stopped sleeping regularly as soon as we got it. Apparently it’s so exciting she needs to stay awake to explore it and go up and down the stairs a million times. Great for her, not so great for us.
The space under the bed currently has baskets of toys and some clutter, but it’s supposed to be an area for the new baby. The drawers in the storage system hold clothes in larger sizes so they’re handy for when he sprouts up and I have a few extras in there as well. I stuck Eva’s dress-up trunk under the bed with the intention to make a little seating area for her, but I haven’t decided if it’s staying…it might be nicer to have the whole area just be for the baby.
I have a vision for this whole Montessori-esque baby play area. If we went full Montessori, the baby would only have a mat on the floor to sleep on, some mirrors for stimulation, and some low baskets holding simple toys, etc. I’ve never understood how people managed to create such sparse play areas for their kids (we got 200+ toys in Eva’s first year!) but I like the idea of having a simple, dedicated space.
I also have all sorts of little craft ideas that haven’t happened yet. Blah.
And lots of other unfinished thoughts…
Anyway, the nice thing is that this stuff only bugs me. Eva is thrilled with the changes in her room even though she actually has less to play with. Hopefully she doesn’t freak out when she realizes that we expect her to start sharing the space with a new baby…