Monday, November 28, 2011

So after just about 8 months of co-sleeping, we have made the executive decision to transfer Cheech to her crib. Although I figured she'd stay with us until she was about 12 months, she's started CRAWLING IN HER SLEEP (and sometimes sitting up too), and seeing as she's no stranger to falling off our bed, we think she'll be safest in her crib from now on. But, how exactly does one make this transition without a baby who ends up confused and a crying mess for two hours every night?

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.


  1. Oh I totally understand how much what you're going through sucks! We tried to do the same thing with the same results. I hated even trying CIO and my daughter just seemed to get worse not better the longer I left her in her crib crying.

    It finally occured to my sleep-deprived brain that if I could lie with her and get her to sleep in her own bed, I could then sneak out. So we sold the barely used crib and put a good firm, low double futon in her room.

    I did make sure her room was totally baby safe and used a baby-gate on her door - essentially turning her whole room into a crib/playpen just in case she woke up and for those other times we needed her out of the way and contained.

    It's worked brilliantly.

  2. We went with the cry/check-in approach while changing sleep associations--which I completely understand you don't want to do. The one thing that might help, however, from that approach is getting a really clear bedtime routine. Every night, we wind down with nursing and quiet music, dimmed lights, then quiet diaper change, swaddle, Goodnight Moon, and down in crib awake. Now when we start the book he yawns and makes little soothing razzy noises. He cried the first two nights, so you might not be able to go to the down awake part, but maybe establishing a really strong routine would still help?? Good luck.