Before Bean was born, I never thought she'd be sleeping in my bed. I've heard horror stories where parents have their 7-year-olds in the bed with them, unable to wean their children of co-sleeping. And I had heard conflicting stories about co-sleeping and the risk of SIDS: some say co-sleeping increases the risk, some say it decreases the risk. So I got Bean a bassinet for our room, and we found a crib we liked for the nursery. I figured Bean would sleep in the bassinet for the first few months, taking naps in her crib (to get her used to it) and then we'd move her into her own room by the time I went back to work. No co-sleeping necessary.
The first night in the hospital my whole plan for Bean's sleep was thrown out the window. They had a little plastic bin that Bean was supposed to be sleeping in down at the end of my bed. She was so tiny in it, and so far away. The plastic bin was so sterile. And I had had a C-section, so I couldn't even get out of bed to stare at her lovingly. No way was she sleeping so far away from me in that stupid plastic bin. I rationalized it by saying that since I couldn't get out of bed to get her when she needed to eat (every 90 minutes or so) that it would force Husband to wake up too, and what was the point in that? So I got Husband to agree that Bean should spend those first two nights in the hospital in bed with me. And once I had had a taste of co-sleeping, I was sold.
Bean has spent at least some portion of every single night in our bed since she was born. As Bean started sleeping longer stretches, Husband talked me into putting her into the bassinet for at least the first stretch of sleep each night so that he and I can actually cuddle each other. That stretch of sleep has gotten longer and longer as she has gotten older, and so now she has been spending just a few hours in bed with us in the early morning. But nonetheless, we're still co-sleeping at least part of the night.
My plan for her to get used to the crib by taking all her naps in there never materialized either. When I was on maternity leave, it seemed just impossible to put her down for a nap in her crib and just walk away. So much nicer to just hold her and cuddle her while she slept. And she seemed to sleep better and longer in my arms than in the bassinet or on a cushion. So she never took a single nap in her crib. Whoops.
Well now it seems to be time to transition her to her crib. I want to do it before she's old enough to make it into a battle. So I decided to give the crib a try. Last Friday we put her down in her crib in the evening and let her sleep in there to start. But at 1:00 a.m. she woke and wanted to eat, so I brought her to bed and nurse, and then decided not to take her back to the crib... The next night I felt so anxious about putting her in the crib that I had her sleep in bed with us the entire night. And the night after that. Monday I was able to put her in the bassinet again.
And last night Bean had her first (almost) full night in the crib. She fell asleep nursing, and I put her in the crib. She slept there until 3:30 when I heard her making noises. I went in to see her and she had rolled over onto her belly and was presssed against the back of the crib. She's never done that at night before, but there's not exactly room in the bassinet. I picked her up and she gave me a gigantic moonlight grin. She was patient while I changed her diaper, and I brought her to bed with me to nurse. And there she stayed until morning. I guess she wasn't in the crib the entire night, but it was a big step nonetheless.
I'm sure this transition is way tougher on me than it is on her. I'm not willing to give up my morning sleep with her yet. She's only going to be tiny for a little while, and our co-sleeping is still really important to me. Especially now that I'm back at work. It's my favorite part of every single day.