Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Transition: crib

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.


flojera_tremenda said...

I came upon this while doing a google search for transition from bassinet to crib. Only I was lying really because my situation is a whole lot like yours: some bassinet sleeping, lots of cosleeping. I haven't read your blog further... how'd the rest of the transition go? My daughter is 4 months old and I'm starting to feel like it's time for her to sleep in her big fancy expensive crib (gift from her grandparents) but I LOVE sleeping with her and I love getting sleep.

nobbit said...

I also came across this post in searching about transitioning to a crib. I'm so glad to read about your experience as it is so similar to mine. I love sleeping with my baby, it's my favorite part of the day when we are snuggled together and she wakes up to smile at me. We're working on naps in the crib, but at 4 months she still sleeps the night with us. I've been doing research to counter all the "you'll be sorry/you'll never get her out of your bed" talk from family members. Thanks for sharing your story!

Anonymous said...

Any updates? I'm in same boat at 4 months..She's getting restless at night & starting to keep me up. I wanted to transition her before returning to work but that hadn't happened yet. I also worry about transitioning her with the holidays ( different schedules & going out of town means different beds). Should I wait another month till the holidays ate over?

Danielle said...

Thank you for your post. I was doing a search to put my 5 month old from the bassinet to the crib. But it is more like from the bassinet (for part of the night) and my bed (most of the night) to the crib the whole night. Fingers crossed. She would start the first part of the night in the bassinet and after the first or second feeding I'd fall asleep with her in my bed and never return her to the bassinet.
I figured that first feeding would get longer and longer until she just slept through the night, and just stay in her bassinet.
Well, that never happened because she still not sleeping through the night and now she's too big for the bassinet.
So, I tried to put her in her crib for the first time tonight and it just didn't work. She woke up after 7 minutes whining and had her eyes open by the time I ran upstairs to comfort her. So, I breastfed her back to sleep and tried to put her back again. Same outcome, only this time 3 minutes.
Finally, I fed her again (or let her suck) and now she's in my bed sleeping soundly next to my husband.
Naps in the crib won't work because she wakes up whenever I take her off of me and put her anywhere else. And I need her to takes naps so she is happier when she wakes up.
So, I am going to continue to work on this and we'll see how it goes.
I too have been told about the 7 year old child in the bed and I certainly don't want that. I actually would like to return to a normal sex life at some point.

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HollyAdele said...

Nice search engine optimization...

Anyway, I was chatting with my mom about this. She says that the first night baby sleeps in her crib is just like the first day of kindergarten and the first day of college... just a life transition. It's my purpose to raise children who can live on their own. Which means it's my job to put myself out of a job.

I had the same problem, and my baby was driving me bonkers. She sleeps great with me or in her bassinet. But not in the crib. I tried the swaddle thing, to create the illusion of snuggling, but it was too warm and she was sweating.

So yesterday I watched her while she napped in the crib, and I noticed that she woke herself by kicking when she was startled. She couldn't do that in bassinet, and so she wasn't used to it. So today I've been swaddling just her legs. And now she's currently... sleeping like a baby.

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