So, did everyone have a chance to get their comments in? Hmm? Everyone?
(See, how I cleverly pretended I was waiting on you when in actuality you've been waiting on me? I know. How sneaky. Do you ever do that to your husband? Come downstairs where he's been passing the time waiting for you by watching TV, and sigh all annoyed and ask "Well, are we going to go or what?"? ...No? Yeah, me neither. That would be mean.)
Moving on. How to get the little people into their very own little beds.
When it came to deciding where Savannah would sleep, it appeared to be an easy decision.
All it took was ONE co-worker telling Chris that his 7-year-old still slept in their marital bed and a comment on the "ix-nay on the ex-say ever since" to send Chris into a panic. I seem to recall that he came racing in the door from work breathless and wild-eyed panting out the words "The...baby...has...to...sleep...in...its...own...room". Then he collapsed on the floor in a pool of his own tears wailing "I knew this wasn't a good idea!".
Or something very similar. I'm not kidding.
Chris is extremely easy-going and my pregnancy was no exception. But, co-sleeping was literally the one thing on which he had a very strong opinion.
If you think I'm overstating his conviction, this should bring you around.
Chris slept in a chair with Savannah propped on his chest for four months because it was the only way she would sleep for more than an hour at a time outside of our bed. As a matter of fact, they would probably still be sleeping like that were it not for the fact that Chris started to have trouble breathing after she hit 20 pounds.**
So, the traditional methods we did not use, I admit.
Once it came time for Savannah to transition from her daddy's chest to a big spacious crib in her own room all alone in the dark, you can imagine how that went. Which goes to show you, if we can do it, you can do it.
When it was apparent that it was time to transition her, I read all the books on all the methods. Then I selected aspects of each that seemed to fit our family (translation: that seemed least likely to make me cry).
Here's what we did in order. You will see that it was not a direct line.
- First Week: I started putting Savannah in her crib to play during the afternoons. That way she could get familiar with it in the daylight.
- Second Week: I started putting her down for naps in her crib. Up until this point, she was taking her naps in the living room with me, which was making Oprah tons of fun to watch muted. Not.
- Third Week: We started to backslide. She became clingy and not too happy about her crib. I had to rock her to sleep.
- Fourth Week: She started to scream if we walked past her room and clawed at my neck if I went near her crib. This is when I began rocking her in front of running water for up to an hour to get her to sleep. Even more fun than muted Oprah.
- Fifth Week: I started putting her in her crib when she was tired, but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NOT OVERTIRED, and I would sit in the chair next to her crib while she cried and reached out for me. I wouldn't look at her and would stare at the floor (I would not recommend this). I would lay her back down every time she stood up, which would make her angrier than a jar of bees (I don't recommend this either). This was an all around awesome time. I think this was the week I locked myself in my closet and screamed "SHUT THE F*CK UP!" into a pillow. I have tears in my eyes remembering this time. It seemed like a year.
- Sixth Week: I would lay her in her crib and come in and out of the room, cooing to her and talking softly while staying busy and out of arm's reach. This sort of created the illusion that I was just...about...to...pick...her...up...any...minnnn...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Off she would go for a three hour power nap. Victory!
- Seventh Week: Evenings. Yeah. NOT. HAVING. IT. There was jumping and crying and chanting "MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA". I tried the same trick that worked with daytime naps - going in and out of the room. Except this time, since it was dark, I would sometimes sit in the chair in her room. I would sit in it on and off, coming in and out of her room, acting busy. She would cry and reach out to me, but it was less intense every night. And every night -THIS IS THE KEY- I would MOVE the chair toward the door. By the end of the week, the chair was in the hallway and I was hardly sitting in it. She was crying less and was less expectant, but was ultimately still crying herself to sleep. Until...
- Eighth Week: I bought one of these. The best twenty bucks I ever done spent. She would konk out despite herself, her will no match for The Whale Songs.
Now, five years later, I only wish I could get her to get up in the morning.
I don't know if this helps you, I know that every kid is different, but it is a testament to the fact that it can be done. I would also recommend skipping right to #8. And kicking off the night with a stiff drink.
I'll post the next topic Wednesday! (I swear on my Costco box of 100 Calorie Snack Packs that I will. Now you know I mean it.)
*If you know where my title comes from, you are invited to be my best friend.
**What I'm leaving unsaid is that yes, I, a brand new mommy, was able to sleep BY MYSELF IN MY BED ALL NIGHT for the first four months with Chris only bringing her in for feedings. *ducks to avoid your swing*