Getting her to start napping in her crib (she used to nap in our bed too) was actually quite simple. She fussed and fought through one nap, but has been golden ever since. However, nighttime is a whole other exhausting story. When she would go to bed in our bed, I would lay next to her as I gave her her last bottle of the night and she would peacefully fall asleep. Sure, this took months to achieve, but it had become the norm around here and was VERY nice. Knowing that laying next to her in her crib was not an option, I decided to rock her to sleep for her first night in the crib. She fell asleep in my arms and I held her for a good 20 minutes before putting her down. Ten minutes later, she woke up screaming. After countless efforts to try and soothe her, I put her in our bed and she eventually fell asleep to both of us sobbing. It was horrible.
The next night, I rocked her again and she started to lose it the second she was put int the crib. Not wanting to endure what we had gone through the night before, I immediately put her in our bed. She started laughing and, I think, started to think we were playing a game. I spent the next hour trying to get her to fall asleep, but was totally unsuccessful. Out of frustration, I stuck her in her crib and she instantly passed out. I was shocked, but happy that it worked. At around midnight, she woke up and I put her in our bed where she quickly fell asleep again. Last night, the worst night, she woke up every half hour sobbing. Being exhausted from the two previous nights, I put her back in our bed and she, again, cried herself to sleep.
Honestly, I know myself and I am REALLY not cut out for letting her cry it out. I understand that there are different versions of this method that have worked for other families, so I'm not knocking anything here, I'm just well aware that it isn't for me. It may have something to do with the fact that five nights a week, I do bedtime by myself because Joe's at work. Who knows?
I'm hoping that we're just going to have a few tough nights around here, and the crib will eventually become her new normal, but am I dreaming? Have any of you gone through this process? Co-sleeping has been one of the best parts of being a parent for me, and I wouldn't take it back for anything in the world. In other words, I have no regrets, I just need a little help with breaking/reversing the habit (I hate calling it that). Once she's actually asleep, she's pretty good about staying asleep most, if not, the whole night. On the occasion that she does wake up for a bottle here or there, I definitely don't have an issue bringing her back into our bed. But for that initial bedtime, for her safety, I need her to go down in her crib.
Photo of The Ouef Sparrow Crib, which I was so bummed we couldn't afford. Seeing as we've had a virtually unused crib in our bedroom for about 10 months now, the thought of owning such an extravagant piece of furniture kind of makes me chuckle now.