Operation Take Back Our Bed Has Begun!- Phase 1: Get Both Parents on Board

In the past few months, Becca has been spending more and more time sleeping with us. Mr. O detests hearing her cry and figures she wants to sleep with us ‘so what’s the big deal?’. Before Becca could stand up in her crib, it really wasn’t a big deal. When I laid her down in her crib, she would usually cry for about 5-10 minutes and then she would fall asleep. If she went past the 5 minute mark, Mr. O would begin to get upset but she usually fell asleep before that happened. Once in awhile, she would wake-up in the middle of the night and I would either nurse her in the twin bed in her room or bring her into ours. Later in the night, I would transfer her back to her crib.

The ‘big deal’ began at about 10 months when Becca learned how to easily stand up in her crib. She quickly perfected the ability to move from laying flat on her back to standing, hanging on her crib rail, crying her little heart out, “mommy, mommy, mommy, m-o-m-m-y!” I would try to lay her back down but she would just pop back up again. I would try nursing her to sleep and then place her back in her bed but she would just pop up again. She would be dead asleep but when her little cheek would hit the crib mattress, her eyes would spring open and she would flip over and jump back up. It was actually quite an impressive move, if it wasn’t so frustrating.

My thought was that we needed to work through this aversion to sleeping in her bed. Mr. O’s thought was that she should just sleep with us, “She wants to be with us. What the big deal?” Well, the big deal for me was:

  • We have a really high bed and I worry that Becca will roll off it and really hurt herself. Now that she is more mobile, I worry that she will wake-up in the middle of the night and decide to ‘explore’ and discover that our bed is flat and tumble right off it.
  • We have a pillow top mattress which is a little more ‘cushiony’ then she should really be sleeping on. I also love sleeping with a ton of pillows which also can be a hazard.
  • When she sleeps with me, she wants to nurse all night long. It can be draining to have her attached to me all night. Plus I am trying to wean her so this only increases her nursing rather than decreasing it.
  • For such a little girl, she takes up a lot of room in our bed. Both Mr. O and I end up balanced on the edge of the mattress and she ends up spread-eagled in the middle.

For the past few months, the tension at bedtime has been increasing. Becca has continued to hang off her crib rail, sobbing uncontrollably , and Mr. O and I have been disagreeing over what to do. One particular night it came to a head when I spent four hours trying to get her to sleep and Mr. O was getting increasingly annoyed that I just didn’t let her sleep with us.

After dismissing the possibility of pushing him down the stairs, I realized that as long as Mr. O and I weren’t on the same page there was no way that Becca would be sleeping in her own crib. So I decided that I would try letting Becca sleep with us and see how that worked. Maybe, it wouldn’t be so bad after all?

Mr. O made it for about 3 days before he was begging for mercy. He discovered (as I had already figured out) that Becca is a royal pain to sleep with. She is a total bed hog, an indiscriminate kicker and a loud sleeper. He also worried about rolling over her and found he wasn’t sleeping very soundly. One night, he thought he had rolled onto her (it was actually my arm which was around her) and nearly had a heart attack. The final straw was the night that he went to the bathroom and returned to discover that Becca has flipped herself perpendicular to me and was now taking up his side of the bed. He was so concerned about disturbing Becca that he just laid laid down at the end of our bed and wrapped himself into a tight little ball (yeah, he’s not wrapped around her finger). The next morning, he woke up and was ready to discuss the idea of “taking back our bed”. I was so happy to hear this that I actually refrained from yelling, “I told you so!” at the top of my lungs (Although I was definitely screaming it in my head).

M. Kate

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