As John Patrick turned 11 weeks old, my husband and I came to the realization that the co-sleeper really wasn’t working out for us. John Patrick would spend the majority of the night staring at me and making what can only be described as the most annoying sounds in the world, in order to be put in our bed. I admit, I often gave in quickly in hopes to get some sleep myself. We had no schedule and each night was, well, sort of a nightmare.
I knew the time would come and here it was….. the big transition to the crib and his own room.
First, I should preface this by saying that I spent last week putting John Patrick in his crib for afternoon naps in an effort to help him get used to a “new” space.
Here’s how our first night went:
7:00pm – For the first time we started a real bedtime routine:
- Massage with lotion
- A little bit of “naked time”
- Fresh clean diaper and pajamas
- A last feeding
- Put him down while playing lullabies by Mozart CD
I also plan on adding a book to the routine. He actually went down pretty well with not much fussiness.
8:00pm – Awake and crying. This is one of the many times that my husband saves the day. Of course my natural reaction is to go in and pick him up. But Jim, my husband, kept telling me he’d take care of it, which meant he would go in and rub his back and soothe him back to sleep. I won’t lie, he had to do this about a dozen times. He cried pretty much till 8:30, when he decided that he was hungry again.
8:30pm – another feeding in his room with lights dim. He’s back in bed and asleep by 9:00
9:30pm – and back up and crying again. More gentle soothing by Jim
10:00pm – another feeding. Is he manipulating me or what?
10:30pm – 11:30pm – on and off crying. This was a dance between my son and my husband. Jim was so patient and lovingly willful that John Patrick was NOT getting into our bed. (spoiler – Jim won.)
11:30pm – another feeding, this time by formula given by dad. John Patrick is back in bed and asleep by 12.
2:30am – up for a feeding (which is his normal time). After eating and a diaper change, he easily falls back asleep in his crib.
4:15am – up for another feeding? I can’t tell if he’s really hungry or just wants me to hold him. I try to feed him. Because he was a preemie I think I’ll always have this huge fear of not feeding him when he’s hungry. Weight gain was our life for a long time. He just snacks (probably wasn’t even hungry) and is back asleep by 4:30.
5:30am – hungry again? Trick me once, shame on you….. Ah, who am I kidding? I was tricked again. Snacked for a few minutes and then back to sleep in the crib.
7:00am – up and very vocal and ready to really eat. At this point we’re up for the day. He eats and gets put into “day” clothes.
So here’s the lessons I learned in the first night:
- It can be done – you just have to make yourself do it.
- Husbands are the best and another reminder that I couldn’t do any of this without him.
- Just because he wakes up doesn’t mean he needs to be fed.
- He didn’t wake up this morning and hate me so that fear is conquered.
And honestly, I slept better (ok, yes, shorter intervals) but better than I’ve slept in a long time. It’s nice to have our bed back. Plus – this is New York!!! Do you know what we pay for his bedroom? You better believe he’s going to use it. 🙂
One day down…..