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She can sleep in my bed anytime

Why I’ll take my baby in my bed these days.

She can sleep in my bed anytime

“Mom? I love you, because you are my mommy. But also. I like


you – we have fun together!” So said my Grace not too long ago, seemingly out

of nowhere.

My Gracie girl wakes me in the morning with a head on my

shoulder, rubbing my cheeks and singing “Mommy, mommy, mommy. You are my mommy.

I love my mommy.”

She coordinates outfits so we can match as much as possible.

I walk out of my closet wearing pink shoes, she goes to her shoe basket and

nonchalantly announces “That’s so funny, Mom! I was going to wear pink shoes

too!”

Alas. Miss Grace is only three and a half. These moments

won’t be here forever.

I already know it. Some day she will storm out my door and

tell me how stupid I am—how I just don’t understand what it’s like to be her.

And I won’t. I won’t know exactly what it feels like to be

her. But I will have the experience of being a woman who was once a teenager

who was once a small child. I will know what it feels like to figure out my

place in the world, what it feels like to grow and expand and try to become

whatever it is in my heart that needs to become.

My hope is that she sees me, as I hope to see her. My hope is that we are close enough that our conversations remain open, that we have a womanly understanding that respects one another’s values and deepens our relationship.

I hope.

I lie to myself and pretend we will never be the family with

teenagers squealing out of the driveway, trying to get as far away as they can.  I can hope we are doing it “right,” so as to

avoid that, but truthfully, I have no idea. None of us do. We have to let go of our expectations of who we want our children to be, of how we want our

relationship to look. There is an awful lot of time between now and then. Many

things can happen to change the course of our vision.

But, time that is already flying by. And I do know that each

day with my little one does matter.

While I give up expectation of outcome, I hold the prayer deep within my

heart that our moments together are for the highest healing good. And then I

let go.

Grace is currently asleep in my bed. It happens often. I

used to fight it. I used to try to take her back downstairs to her room ten

times a night. But when I actually thought about it, I realized I didn’t care

all that much. There will come a day, probably all too soon, when she wants

nothing to do with me. When she doesn’t ask me to tea, when she doesn’t cup my

face in her hands and exclaim “Hey Mom! It’s me! It’s Grace! I love you!” I’m

happy to snuggle with her tonight. Half the time she falls asleep easily in her

own bed, half the time she gets scared and ends up in mine.

The nights she comes into my bed, I must admit, I enjoy it. She’s so warm and sweet and soft and snuggly, and I know how quickly it all goes by. If she needs extra cuddles to sleep soundly, so be it.

I hope she will want to be my best buddy for always. But the only certainty I can have is in the right now.

So right now, I’m basking in the glow of my “Mommy? You are

the best mommy.” I’ll radiate in the pure love of that tiny hand massaging my

face. I’ll take it. It won’t be here forever.

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After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.

$200

Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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A few years ago, while my wife's baby bump got bigger and my daddy reading list grew longer, I felt cautiously optimistic that this parenthood thing would, somehow, suddenly click one day. The baby would come, instincts would kick in, and the transition from established couple to a new family would be tiring but not baffling.

Boy was I wrong.

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