Who knew sleeping could be so difficult?! I guess I always thought sleeping was ingrained in us as humans, but according to all my books, it is not. So the sleep trials begin.
A bit of background first. When we first came home from the hospital, Reese slept in a cradle by our bed. When she cried, J would get up, change her and bring her to me. I would nurse her or bottle feed her, let her fall asleep and put her back in the cradle. We would both go to sleep. We thought we had lucked out because she eas pretty good at sleeping!
Maybe a few weeks ago, Reese and I mastered sidelying breastfeeding. Great in that we both were more relaxed while we fed. Bad in that I could now fall asleep while she ate and then fell asleep. Thus the co-sleeping began and the sleeping in the cradle got rougher. She would go in the cradle initially, but not after her middle of the night feeding. Our co-sleeping was not intentional.
Now I know co-sleeping has its qualities...one being that its so comfortable and easy to sleep with this little girl snuggled up beside me. But there are dangers too. Many a child has been rolled over on or suffocated by a parent, grandparent or babysitter. I was acutely aware of this and thus didn't get as good of sleep because 1) I wasn't in my most comfortable position and 2) I woke up whenever she moved.
So we needed a change.
I went to the Facebook community for help. I have a multitude of women who are mothers and had experience. And boy did they respond!! All kinds of ideas came out.The ones that gave me pause were that we're creating bad habits and Reese will tell me when she is ready for her crib. Obviously Reese won't be talking for some time, but maybe this is how she was saying she was ready for her own room. So we decided to transition to the crib and stop the co-sleeping.
Any parent hopes that this transition will be seemless, as did I. However, not so much. The first night, I would get her to sleep, put her in the crib and she'd wake up within 30 minutes, if not sooner. So one of us would calm her down and we'd attempt again. Eventually, I think she finally went down about 11 pm, so I scurried off to bed exhausted. But she was up again about 2 am (a far cry from her usual 6-8 hour sleep that we'd grown accostomed to).
Now the true trial began. Change, feed, sleep. Put in crib. Awake in minutes, even seconds. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Finally, about 4 am, as we both were exhausted, she gave in.
So when J got up at 6:30 for work, followed by a Father's Day weekend camping trip (don't worry, he'll be back Sunday morning) he didn't go kiss her good-bye, fearful he'd wake her and thus, me. He left and she slept for a bit longer, but finally woke up but I am positive she was as sleepy as me.
We have a mini swing for her in our bathroom that she's content to be in while I'm in the shower or getting ready, so after her feeding, she went in there so I could shower and almost immediately fell asleep. I should have gone back to sleep too, but I was already in the shower with wet hair. Bummer. So I got ready and my Mom came over to help in the morning and while she was here, I opted for a pedicure. Left her with Reese and away I went for some down time, albeit an hour. Her nap was sufficient and when I got home she was a happy girl. Fed her again, fell asleep, and now time for the crib again. No dice. Same happening as the night before. A few more rounds of this and finally I gave up.
Six pm rolled around and now it was time to start the bedtime routine. Bath, change, bottle, crib. This time I opted to let her cry a bit. Mama K had said, "once you know she is clean, full and tired, put her in there and there's nothing more you can do. She will figure it out." So I did. And she cried. I texted Mama K and asked how long I let her cry and she called me back while I watched Reese fuss from the baby monitor. Mama K reminded me that I'm not cruel, this is natural. She distracted me. Reese was still not happy so I went in to change her again and feed her again. She fell asleep and I put her in the crib.
Again she cried, while I watched on the baby monitor. But eventually, she stopped and she fell asleep. Again, up mere hours later for change and a feeding. And another round of crying. But less severe. Then up again about 6:30 and after feeding her where she fell asleep, I put her in the swing next to the bed so we could both get some shut eye.
She's not there yet but we're making progress slowly.