Friday, May 28, 2010

From Bed to Crib and Back Again (And Again)

All the recent talk about finally putting together the Pidge's nursery and buying nursery furniture (did I mention I'm finally getting my Eames shell rocker reproduction oh em gee!) has got me to thinking about sleep... specifically baby sleep. Erin of Whole Soul Mumma also asked if I ever wrote a post about transitioning from co-sleeping to babby sleeping in her crib, and the answer was no, unless you count a post about my blubbering because I was so afraid Paloma would be scared or lonely. Which, I'd like to point out right here, right now, she wasn't. I was! Scared that she'd be ridiculously distraught about not being as close to us as she'd always been, scared that she'd be cold, etc. But again, I'd like to stress that I have no reason to believe that she was. Plus, remember that her crib was about six inches from the edge of the bed so she was still pretty close.

My baby is home!
This is a very wee Paloma sleeping in the killer bassinet. Yes, we had a recalled Simplicity bassinet sold under the Graco label. Before you get all OH EM GEE YOU HORRIBLE PEOPLE on us, we she slept in it for a week or two when she was about negative four weeks old adjusted and entirely incapable of moving over even an inch. We didn't use it as a c0-sleeper. Once I read about the recall, I rigged it up so there was no way to remove the sides (which would turn it into the co-sleeper that strangled babies), but by then she was mostly in the bed anyway. And not that I think any piece of baby gear should be dangerous, but most of the infants who died were quite a bit older than the 3 months recommended as the max age on pretty much all bassinets. That irked me.

Post-bassinet, when she was still super tiny, the Babby slept in a First Years Close & Secure sleeper, which was awesome and especially reassuring considering we were co-sleeping with an infant weighing less than 5 pounds. Once she got too long for that, we just took it out of the bed and Babby slept between us and napped on the bed until she was about four months old.

Adventures in co-sleeping

So why did we stop co-sleeping? I think there were a number of reasons (and actually, she came into the bed with us almost every night when she woke up to nurse at around 2 a.m. or 5 a.m. anyway for months after that). She stared to creep under the covers and I was afraid she as going to smother under there. And she started to creep toward the end of the bed while napping sometime after that, which meant unsupervised naps on the bed were right out. I know some people put their beds away and keep the mattress on the floor, but that's just not my thing. If I had my way, my bed would be ridiculously high up.

So how did we start putting her to bed in her crib? Just by doing it, I guess. Like I said above, the crib was right by the bed, so she didn't have to change rooms and could still see us if she woke up in the night. That made me comfortable, though it may or may have not been a comfort to her. After a while, when Babby started waking up more and more frequently during the night, we realized that my nursing her when she woke up was just encouraging nighttime waking. Yes, I could have nursed and put her back in the crib, but my brain is not exactly on at 3 a.m. so any time she woke to nurse I'd just bring her in the bed.

We nipped that in the bud by soothing her back to sleep instead of nursing her back to sleep with the caveat that if she woke up any time after 4:40 a.m. I'd take her in bed and nurse her. That worked well for months, until she started pushing back waking times again. And did I mention that nursing meant latching on for about three minutes? Yeah, not hungry. If you haven't already guessed, we started soothing her back to sleep at 4-5 a.m., too.

Somewhere in all that, I started having some crazy days where I was working until one in the morning and waking up to work at five in the morning, so I started sleeping upstairs. And then the BabbyDaddy got some major dental work done and was taking happy pills, so he joined me upstairs. Our not sharing a room with Paloma happened pretty organically, which was nice. Not having us in the room with her didn't seem to bother her, and since she was sleeping through the night in her crib, there was no problems re: having to go in and comfort her a zillion times. The only problem was that our bed was still in her room - a room that was once ours but was intended for her for a while anyway. The final step in the bassinet to bed to crib to bed to crib odyssey was our moving our bed into her office and bringing her nursery furniture up from the basement (and painting her room, of course).

Okay, I guess this wasn't terribly helpful as a guide to transitioning any baby from mama and papa's bed to a crib because our situation was pretty specific, but I figured I'd post it anyway. Good luck, parents transitioning to cribs!


  1. This gives me hope that one day Marlie will sleep through the night. She was almost there about 2 weeks ago (going to bed around 8/8:30 pm, waking once around midnight but her daddy would pat her back until she went back to sleep, then she'd sleep until 4/4:30 am when it was time to nurse). Now that she has another tooth coming in and all bets are off. She wakes every 1-2 hours. After the 3rd time, I'm just a wreck and bring her to our bed where I nurse her back to sleep because I am a monster when I don't get at least 6 hours. *sigh*

  2. Hang in there, Teresha! It's taken a long time for us to get where we are - and we also have 12 teeth in, so no more are supposed to come in until around 2 years of age, or so I've heard. The worst part of the whole sleeping thing? As soon as you think you've got them figured out, they go and switch things up on you!


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