Hey there! Long time no see. I have had one of my customary two week time periods of no posting. I do have excuses, which include Big Love, Modern Family and a recent obsession with British television (Skins and Being Human, to be specific) … I’ve also been working on a short story in the evenings, and I’ve been pumping around 10PM every night. These things help my sanity, my creative energy and my freezer supply, but alas, my blog has been neglected. And here I was thinking that February would finally be the month I hit twenty posts. ALAS, it is not so.
What should I talk about this evening?
SLEEP. We all want it, we all want more of it, and we all want our babies to do it (those of us who have babies, anyway).
It seems like years ago that I posted on my Facebook page a query that went something like this:
Co-sleeping moms — tell me, how did you move your baby to the crib? When did you do it?
It might have been more colorful than that, since I was at that time getting FAR LESS SLEEP than I do today, but yeah, I was way to lazy to find it right now and reprint it word for word. Lots of moms answered — there were different methods suggested (from parent’s bed, to car seat, to crib or from parent’s bed, to co-sleeper, to co-sleeper in the hallway). I asked lots of people when to do it — and those suggestions varied even more wildly. My supervisor said 8 or 9 months, a friend with three kids said 4-6 months, another suggested that any old time was fine. Like everything in parenting, there proved to be no one right answer.
There was one thing I was sure of, though — Sam had to move out of our bed, and yes, out of our room.
Don’t get me wrong, here. I’m a mom who goes against the grain in many ways. Yes, hell yes, I do believe that the crib industry is RIDICULOUS in this country. I LOATHE Babies R Rape Your Wallet. I think that the corporations are at least somewhat behind the stigma against co-sleeping in our society. And omigosh yes, I love cuddling with my baby. And no — lordy my gosh no — I do NOT believe co-sleeping is NEARLY as dangerous as folks make it out to be. (At least not for my twenty pound kicking, clawing monster baby.) And yes, I did enjoy co-sleeping at times.
But just like I don’t buy that co-sleeping is dangerous — I don’t buy that it helps all moms who do it get more sleep. I just don’t buy it. Because you know what? That is some BULL. I get way more sleep with Sam in his crib, and guess what? He does too.
I said I’d do it by six months, and here it is approaching Sam’s six month birthday (March 13, everyone!), and he’s 100% in his crib all night long. Every night. From 7PM to 7AM. And these days, he wakes up only once between 2 and 4AM.
I’m not bragging — I’m just telling you that you can do it. I know you’re out there, moms who find my blog. You are the mom who wanted to love co-sleeping, or heck, you are the mom who ended up doing it because it’s the only way your child would sleep. And now you don’t sleep because you have a snorfling four month old clawing at your arm and kicking you in the ribs at 3AM. He wakes himself up, the dog wakes up, you wake up, and then your bedmate wakes up. And everyone is awake. Good heavens.
It wasn’t super easy, but in retrospect, it could have been easier.
This is how I did it.
First, I set an earlier bed time. Sam had been going to bed with us. This seemed to make sense. He would be weird and fussy from about 7-10 and sometimes take a nap in that time, but meh, it was fine. Around the new year, I thought I’d give an earlier bed time a try. I started with 9PM. That worked! Without us in the room! I nursed him, put him in his co-sleeper, and he was out. Then I moved to 8PM, and then 7PM. There were nights it didn’t work at first. But I kept with it, and now Sam is lights out by 7PM (sometimes 6:30) or he’s a monster to deal with. He is zonked out, down and out, done at that time. It is such a blessing to have my night time time back!
Second, I de-co-sleepered his co-sleeper. I took off the risers, pulled up the bassinet rail, and moved that thing to the foot of the bed. I will say that this didn’t work super well. After he woke up at night, he didn’t want to go back to the co-sleeper. Instead, he was in bed with us. BUT still, at least part of the night, he was at the foot of the bed, not seeing us.
Third, I just went for it. I nursed him until he was totally zonked, and I put him in the crib. He slept there until 1AM the first night, and then I took him into the bed. I kept this routine up until I got up the energy to try out nursing in the nursery.
Fourth, I nursed in the glider in the nursery for the wake ups. This was the hardest part. Oh lordy, it is hard not to take the cuddly little baby back to bed and nurse him there. But it is so worth it. I would nurse him, and then I would put him back in the crib — whether he seemed tired or not! Inevitably, in five minutes, he is back asleep. A miracle!
At this time, he seems to be adjusted. He enjoys his crib. He doesn’t cry when he wakes up — he talks and wiggles and eats his feet.
And that, as they say, is that.
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I’m a liberal feminist that believes that liberal, feminist ideals should gel with embracing your gender and motherhood (if that’s what you feel like doing). I support all kinds of moms and dads and parents. Oh and, although I totally love that natural vibe and not harming the environment, I supplement my organic milk and fresh fruits and veggies with the occasional Twix, the frequent Oreo, and the daily Coke Zero. I’m opinionated, not easily offended, and a loudmouth in person and on the internet. I am what I am. Welcome.