"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad


Sleeping Woes, Sleepless Nights

Here is our lovely bedroom in our Heidelberg apartment. Two twin beds and a crib all nestled together. We're just one big, happy family at night--or NOT!

While some might consider it a luxury to be able to stick your hand through the crib bars while still laying down in bed to give your baby a reassuring pat during the night, I find it down-right annoying. Even with a noise machine, we continue to wake each other up throughout the night, and once Penelope is awake, it's a LONG time before she goes back to sleep. [insert crying and wailing noises]

And then there is the problem of the crib. The tiny crib that is really more like a longer version of a bassinet. Apparently German babies are able to lay perfectly motionless on their backs during the whole night, and therefore they can make do with tiny cribs. Penelope has been somewhat mobile (rolling, turning circles on her belly) for several weeks now, and that mobility has led to more problems. Her limbs continually get stuck between the crib bars during the night, causing the whole family to lose sleep. [insert crying and wailing noises]

Usually the reason Penelope gets her body stuck in the crib bars is because she wakes up, sees me laying in bed beside her, and decides to turn her body around and inch as close to me as possible. Because that way the crying will be even louder in my ears and surely then I will come to her rescue! [insert excrutiatingly loud crying and wailing noises]

Oh, and the pacifier problem. She rejected thumbsucking after a few months, so now she needs her pacifier to fall asleep. But the mobile baby coupled with the smallness of the crib makes for many a pacifier to fall through the bars and drop onto the floor in the middle of the night. I often find her gazing down at her pacifier with one arm outstreched through the crib bars in desperation. [insert more crying and wailing noises]

After much contemplation, we arrived at a solution to our sleeping problems. Put a bumper pad around the crib bars! Surely this will prevent the pacifiers from falling to the floor and may even prevent a limb or two from getting stuck at night. And more importantly it will create a bit of a barrier between the child and her sleeping parents. Now you see us, now you don't!

If I were in the U.S. I would have simply jumped into my car and headed straight for the nearest Babies 'R' Us megastore and bought one. But this is Germany. And I have no car.

After inquiring into several (tiny) baby boutiques around Heidelberg with no luck, we happened upon an American mom who told me that I should go to the store BabyOne. I learned that this is their equivalent to Babies 'R' Us and the only place that sells basic baby items in this area. Armed with that piece of information, I went home and researched the store and used Google Maps to locate it. From my estimation, all I would need to do is to cross over the bridge by our apartment and walk down along the river away from the town center until I reached the street. It didn't look like too bad of a walk.

So I bundled Penelope up, plopped her in the stroller and headed for the store. We walked. And we walked. And we walked. When I saw signs saying that we had left Heidelberg and were now in another town I got worried. But I kept walking. And walking. An hour and 30 minutes and a few rain showers later I finally arrived at BabyOne. [insert huge sigh of relief]

After wandering around the store for a while like a dumb American, I found what I was looking for, and walked home (another 1 1/2 hours) triumphantly.

Here is the new view of the crib from my vantage point in bed.

And here is the happier baby who now sleeps in a comfier, holeless, crib.

But like any good escape artist, she is beginning to find the holes in the system...

No comments:

Post a Comment