Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Transitioning -- The Conclusion

I didn't think that I would be writing this post this quickly.  But the bed-to-crib transition was nothing short of a success!  Will there be bumps in the road from here on out?  Absolutely, but I feel like in the last three weeks that I was no longer pussy-footing about the transition and wholeheartedly moving her to her crib, it's all downhill from here.

Her first night was amazing.  She went down at 9pm, fussed for 15 minutes at 2am and I had to wake her up at 5:30am to feed her.  The second and third nights were even better -- down at 9pm and me waking her at 5am to feed her.  The fourth night, she woke up at 4am.  The fifth at 1am.  The sixth she woke up at midnight on her stomach and startled herself with her new position.  And the seventh at 11pm.  I felt like we were slipping backwards.  That maybe she wasn't quite ready for this transitioning thing.

But a week into the transition, when she woke up at 11pm, fussing -- E said that he was going to go in and give her her pacifier.  I watched him from the monitor.  He came back into the room, saying that she wasn't even really awake.  After he gave her the pacifier, she slept soundly until 2am.  A little before 2am, she woke up and started fussing.  Now my rule has been -- "only get her if she is crying".  She fussed for about 20 minutes.  I finally made a decision that maybe I'll regret.  I climbed out of bed and went into her room.  She was laying on her stomach, legs wrapped in her blanket and head on my baby pillow.  It was obvious that she couldn't get comfortable.  So I picked her up and we sat down and rocked for about 10 minutes.  As I picked her up out of her crib, I could tell that she was still really sleepy and not fully awake.  She was dead weight and when I cradled her to my chest, she snuggled in.  So, I sat down with her and rocked her back to a light sleep.  I placed her back in her crib and went to bed.  She didn't wake up until 4:30am.  At which point, I just brought her into bed with us since my alarm would be buzzing in 30 minutes.

That night proved to me without a doubt that she doesn't need us laying next to her to comfort her while she falls back asleep as I had thought previously.  I slept terribly that night, just listening to her fuss.  Finally, I made up my mind that neither she nor I was going to sleep any better just listening to her fuss.  So I got up, kept her in her room, and put her back down in her crib.  I felt like I had compromised with myself.  I waited 20 minutes of fussing before going in.  And I didn't bring her back into bed, but I did go to her when she obviously needed me to help her get comfortable.  She is new to this whole self-sleeping thing, too.  She is going to need to me to help her every once in a while.  That's my job as her mom.

But the part that I have the most trouble with?  She doesn't wake up crying.  She wakes up and whines or fusses.  E says that I need to let her work it out herself.  I've made a new rule of thumb for myself after the successful midnight rocking session -- "let her fuss for 15-20 minutes, if she hasn't fallen asleep at that point, then go in."  There's no need for me to lose precious sleep because I'm trying to be a hard ass.  I've given her ample opportunity to fall back asleep.  Personally, I think that 15-20 minutes is more than enough time.  How am I to know when she actually started fussing and I was sleeping?  And if she hasn't put herself to sleep after 20 minutes, I'm sure she either isn't going to or she isn't comfortable.  Either way -- I need to go figure out which it is.

We tried to lower the volume on her monitor to tune out the whining.  But the monitor is already at the lowest volume setting.  Click one more down tick and it's on mute.  I'm not sure who created the volume control on those monitors.  It's beyond me who would need the monitor as loud as the half volume, let allow full volume.  It would be enough to keep awake our whole neighborhood!  (The same goes for her sound soother.  Now I know that it is also an alarm clock, so I get the loud volume on that one.  But you could at least have a soft/softer/softest volume.  I have it one the lowest possible setting "1", clicking up to "2" and you can hear it two rooms away.  Exasperation.)

So for the last three nights, she has been sleeping with me as E is away at a conference.  I have slept like a log during E's absence, because I have a sweet little girl to snuggle up to.  And snuggle we do.  I put my two king-sized pillows on either side of us and form a "U" shape in the pillows.  The babe has only woken up once during the middle of the night and that was because she scratched herself in her sleep.  The last two mornings, she has woken up at 4:30am and went back to sleep around 6:15am -- so we'll see if that continues once she is sleeping in her own crib again.

I have to say that one of my most favoritest feelings of being a new mom is when I put her to sleep in our bed and have to move her over to her crib.  Picking her up from the bed sound asleep, limp dead weight and then have her snuggle into the crook of my neck and hear her emit a sleepy sigh as she settles on my chest.  Pure bliss.  I stand in her room for a long time, just swaying back and forth, snuggling my sleeping babe.  It's the only time that her 20 pounds doesn't feel like a heavy 20 pounds either.  It feels like the perfect weight in my arms, hugging my chest and shoulders.

Sometimes, it makes me sad that the most precious times in life have to happen when you usually aren't paying a whole lot of attention.  I get sad for those moms and dads who doesn't recognize the beauty of holding a sleeping baby with their chubby arms hanging limply along your sides, sleepy breathes tickling the crook of your neck.  They truly don't know what a beautiful thing they are missing.  My journey in being a mom means that I have to stop A LOT during mundane moments to just see the beauty in things that I normally would have flown through.  She is truly my best creation yet.

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