I'm new here and this is my first post. I'm due in August and we are also undergoing a remodel of our little one bedroom house. When the remodel is complete, we will have a small master bedroom on the main level, and 1 (possibly 2 if we can afford it) bedrooms at the back of the house, on what will be the ground floor. This is an older soft-story house in San Francisco, so the main level is up a short flight of stairs above a street level garage, hence we are building back and down for additional space.
The baby will be in our room on the main level for a while, but eventually transition to his own room downstairs. Having him on a separate floor makes me nervous (my husband is totally fine with it), but with the layout of the house we can't see another option. Eventually I'd like my parents to move in if we get that 2nd downstairs room built, but that may not be for some time.
Can anyone comment on their experience with having their baby or child on a separate floor? I'm looking for comments from those who actually have done this. Thanks!
We've never had a baby on a separate floor but do have children on a separate floor. Our current house has an odd floor plan. It is a three story home, it would be similar to a "row house", long and skinny but it is built into a rock hillside. There is the bottom floor, the main living area on the second floor, two bedrooms on a third floor but the master suite is on a separate third floor in the very back of the house. It sounds huge but I can assure you it is anything but! We close on a another house next week so once again our bedroom situation will change.
I have four kids so the requirement for me is that they must be old enough to be safe at night in order to be on a separate floor. Nothing like night time wandering which we have had in one child. And old enough to be trained in how to get out of the house at night alone in case of an emergency. We have a meeting spot at the house across the street. We have four ways to exit this house which all routes you to different places so a central meeting place was essential.
Other families aren't so concerned. My old neighbor had a house very similar to mine and night time fire safety wasn't a concern for them. The kids all slept on the bottom floor, the master was on the third level and they kept all the kids locked on that bottom level with multiple doors and baby gates to prevent night time wandering.
If you do choose to put the baby on a separate floor, I think it's definitely a good idea to get a very high quality baby monitor. They make some that alert you to worrying breathing changes or if the baby starts breathing, that would be a good idea. It'll help you sleep easier.
I think this is something that you'll need to wait until you meet your baby to really decide. Some babies sleep wonderfully and easily in a crib without any real fuss, end up only needing to wake up once or twice throughout the night, and would be ideal candidates to sleep in a separate floor. Some babies are miserable sleepers and the only way you can get any rest is to be able to have the baby in bed with you so you can sleep and hold the baby at the same time. Our baby is an adventurer, sees baby-proofing as a challenge, he'd be climbing out of cribs as soon as he was big enough to figure out how. The only way I could put our baby in a separate room is if we could do a Montessori bed set up (which is an option for you guys when your baby is older!) and one of us would still be in there multiple times a night.
If you're the one who'll be dealing with most night wakings, make sure that the decision on when to transition the baby downstairs is yours. If your husband isn't the one who'll have to be tromping up and down stairs every time the baby wakes up, then he shouldn't be the one who decides when the baby moves.
Thanks sillysapling, that's a good point that we probably won't really know until we know what the baby is like. My husband and I hope to share the night duties, but who knows what will happen! This is our first, so we're clueless : )