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Big Girl Bed

I forgot to write out our whole bedtime routine yesterday, so here it is:
6:30 - dinner, which often last between 30 - 60 minutes (she's a slow eater)
7:30 - head upstairs for potty and then bath
8:00 - diaper, PJs, brush hair and brush teeth
8:10 - three or so books, if she wants them (she usually does, but lately she's been running around the room, climbing on the twin bed and throwing socks out of her drawers instead of wanting books)
8:20ish - bottle and rocking, then pacing and rocking and pacing and rocking
9:00 - 10:00 - actually get her asleep and in her crib

We start early-ish, but she just takes forever to get her to sleep. She truly fights it the whole way, fidgeting like crazy and trying to get down and play. Also, we've tried skipping some things or making them quicker to get her to bed earlier, and that makes it worse. She still sometimes won't fall asleep until 10, and we just spend hours trying to rock her. Totally not worth it.

Some of you have it really tough also, some have it easy and I'm jealous. Some worked hard to get to where they are and I respect that. Londo and I are not going to do CIO because our little one is a tension increaser (the Ask Moxie term Charisse mentioned) and for other personal reasons, which does not mean I condemn anyone who uses that method (every child and family is different, YMMV, do what works for you, etc.). We have just decided to struggling with other methods.

Speaking of other methods, I also didn't mention yesterday the big change we've made in the Pumpkin's sleeping environment because I wanted it to be it's own post (today's post). Hmmmm. Actually, it might not be such a big change, but it will sound that way.

You see, Saturday night we decided to heck with it, let's just put the Pumpkin to sleep in the twin bed in her nursery. The reason it's not such a big change is because she's probably spent more time in that bed than her crib lately! About a month ago, she was sleeping through the night in her crib every other night. But then, she got sick and even her 50/50 sleeping went out the window. We were back to getting her every night and cosleeping in that twin bed in the nursery, sometimes starting as early as 10:30.

We had debated moving her to the twin bed for the whole night for over a month, but when she was sleeping through the night in her crib half the time, it didn't make sense. But now, oh now it was time.

She's always been able to handle things physically that you would think are too advanced for her age. Like her climbing, which she is way more capable than anyone would believe unless you see her (freaks my parents and in laws out!). And she's never really liked her crib. There were maybe two, possibly three, short time periods where she would wake up in her crib and play a bit, but normally, she wants out immediately.

When we cosleep in her room (we take turns every night), the person who isn't cosleeping will wake up the cosleeper between 6 and 7 so that person can get up and get ready. And in the last two months, when the cosleeper gets out of bed, we have been leaving the Pumpkin in bed (because heaven forbid we try to transfer her to her crib!) with a pillow next to her. She would wake up later, call out for me (because I'm the morning duty parent), climb out of bed and be at the door by the time I opened it. We lined the floor next to the bed with pillows just to be safe, but she had no issues.

So, we just felt that she was ready and that it might help her get through the night on her own. I mean, nothing else seems to be working except us sleeping with her! And when we sleep with her in that twin bed, she usually sleeps through the rest of the night no problem. Maybe it was the bed?

However, we had to baby-proof the room in case she does get up and wander around the room getting into stuff in the middle of the night. Londo took the mattresses off the frame and put them on the floor so we would be less worried about her falling off the bed in the night. We covered all the plugs, took out the nightlight that plugs into the wall (we are using the clock as the nightlight because it is really very bright), and put the humidifier up on the dresser so that she won't be able to knock it over again. Most importantly, we moved the video monitor so it shows the bed not the crib (that way we can check if she is just doing a little fussing and falling back asleep, or really crying for us and getting out of bed). Prego! The room was ready!

Saturday night, I put her to bed in the twin bed. As always, I had to rock her/walk her until she was completely asleep and then carefully put her down in bed. That night, she slept through the night!!!

The next night, I put her down again, which again went fine because I got her completely asleep. Unfortunately, she woke up at 10:30 calling for me. So it wasn't a magic fix, but we didn't expect it to be. I went in and was able to lie down with her without rocking and we both fell back asleep. She did cry and kind of wake up again about 20 minutes later, but I just pulled her back onto my shoulder and we fell back asleep.

Then, at 2:45, I woke up and was about to roll over when I realized that she was pretty deep asleep next to me and not on me. So I slipped out of the bed and went back to my very own bed!!! And the Pumpkin? Kept sleeping until 7:45!

Last night did not go so well for Londo, but the Pumpkin was not feeling right. It was one of those nights that would have been bad no matter where she was or what we tried. Once he went in to sleep with her, she was so clingy he couldn't come back to our bed.

I still have high hopes for the big girl bed though. I think that she might start getting used to sleeping on her own in her own bed. If she needs us to lie with her to get her to sleep (or back to sleep), we can do that, and then we can slip back into our own bed. And hopefully she will get more and more used to falling asleep in that bed and waking up without us. Time will tell.


BisBink said…
I am keeping my fingers crossed that this helps alleviate most of her night waking. It sounds like it has already started to help.
I'm Not Skippy said…
Wow, our whole bedtime routine of food, bath, books and bed at most only takes 45 minutes. I can't imagine taking almost 2 hours. And then another hour or more to actually get him to sleep.

That really sucks.
culiex said…
Sounds ideal! Alex, at 3 is still in his crib and would probably sleep there until college if it were possible. No thoughts of moving, no thoughts of climbing. But we are lucky with the sleep - he runs around the room waving at everybody telling them he's going to bed, and is really excited to go. Like me. Hee hee.

I think it is time to move him soon though - because he is waking up EARLY and wanting to play. If he could get out of bed in the morning by himself and play in his room, maybe I'd get to sleep later than 5:30 on Saturdays and Sundays. We'll see. Everything is on hold until we move.
When mine were little, we used to start very early too - as early as 6pm - because they did take forever to actually fall asleep. Now they're 7 and 9 - we basically send them upstairs where they do everything by themselves. We just kiss them goodnight. As easier as things are now, I often miss those younger days.
julie said…
Sorry, posted as Culiex above, when I no longer even use that blog.
Ashramama said…
I meant to post on Monday, but ran out of time, so here's what we do:

We sleep in the same room and have all our mattresses on the floor (because the prince HATED the crib - he's a real traveller in his sleep). The prince has a double mattress (to accommodate the travel!) and we have a queen size. We always put him to bed on his own mattress and go to bed in ours later, but this way he has the option to stay on his own if he prefers, or come and sleep with us if he wants. Just lately, since his molars and fangs are coming through (he's 18 mths), he's wanted one of us to sleep with him on his bed. It's a great system for us, since it seems to accommodate the needs of everyone and means all we have to do is sleepily help him into our bed if needed or sleepily shuffle onto his. Can't stop the early morning wakings tho... But having a totally baby-proofed room equipped with toys seems to minimise the frustration. Now all we need is an automatic cheerio dispenser, and we're away! ;-)
paola said…
I don't have any trouble with mine (3 years/9, 21.5 months), although both would stay up till all hours if I let them. My bed time routine takes about 30 seconds for each. I pop them in bedt and close the door and they fall asleep on their own. Zoe is still nursed down, but goes to bed completely awake. The only times she fusses is during devlopmental spurts where she screams blue murder for a couple of minutes and then drops off to sleep. This she does every single time, whether she is awake or asleep when I put her to bed, so I generally just leave her to settle herself even if it means screaming for a while.

Noah has been in a big boy bed since he was around 2 and would you beleive, he has never gotten out of bed by himslef unless he calls out and we say 'get up by yourself'. It can be annoying though, like in the middle of the night when he has to do a pee. He wakes us with his sobs, we go to him, and take him to the loo. Zoe will be goign to the big girl bed at around two, but I think she will be up and at her door as soon as she is awake, so I am hoping to put the transfer off as soon as possible.
HeatherY said…
Hopefully, you'll be able to ease yourself out this over time. There was a time when I had to lay down with Court for a while and sneak out. Then she would wake up in the middle of the night and take forever to go back to sleep. Ugh! I so know your frustration. It will get better! It just takes time.
Karen said…
Getting kids to sleep on their own all night long is one of the toughest parts of parenting. A dirty diaper you can change in .3 seconds flat when you're half asleep. But you can't regain lost sleep. Hang in there, it'll get better. I mean, what college kid still requires mom to sleep with him?

Wait, I probably don't want to know.
Trannyhead said…
Hooray for the big bed! I, for one, wouldn't like to sleep in a crib. I mean - who wants to sleep in a big cage? It's not very relaxing. Hooray for Cara!
Colleen said…
Yay for the big girl bed! We put Gavin in his around the same age and he did really well once he realized our threats to put him back in the crib for wandering all over weren't threats but promises. :)

I'm long does Pumpkin sleep during her nap during the day?

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