Happy apocalypse! I better have 20x the normal number of hits on this post, because we are all at home not spreading the viral plague around, right??
Ha. Seriously though. I know we need things like groceries (if there are any left), but aside from that, I genuinely hope people are finding other ways to get out of the house (ie. going for a walk or a hike or something else outdoors rocking that whole “social distancing” thing we’ve been hearing so much about). Whether you believe in it or not, viruses are real, it’s still cold and flu season, elderly and immunocompromised people are a real, at-risk thing, and, well, just f*cking do it, okay? The quicker we fall in line with this self-quarantine, the quicker we kill the shit out of covid19 and the quicker we all can go back to sitting inside binge watching Netflix by choice. Couple weeks now, or several months later.
ANYWHO. Heed the sage advice, do your time, and let’s move forward, shall we?
In other news, I had a baby eight months ago, so I’m an expert now. And as such, I am here to educate anyone who’s interested on how to properly move your little tyke out of your room when the time comes.
This is the opposite of true. I am the expert of nothing except complaining and botching recipes. There is an endless list of things I am better at than moving a baby out of my bedroom forever and into his crib.
BUT I DID DO IT.
So let me tell you how. Because, if you’re anything like me, this sloppy-ass approach may work better for you than the typical, structured methods you’ll find on The Google.
Before Lincoln came along, I thought the idea of co-sleeping was no bueno. All I could see was the safety risk or a future of a six year old still unable to sleep on his own.
After he was born and I began eating my words for a living, he slept in our room and would occasionally sleep in our bed on my chest when he was having trouble settling down in his bassinet. Well, as it turns out, sleeping with a baby on your chest, while not recommended, is one of the most precious things this earth has to offer, and you feel as though you could just lay there forever. Or at least until the peaceful angel morphs into a shrieking banshee and the tranquil moment shatters like glass. 😬
Unfortunately, it’s really easy to get used to having your little bedroom bubble, and really hard envisioning your innocent little baby being the one forced out to have his own room while you, the adult, gets to share with a spouse.
01. Wait until you’re ready.
This may be the most important step. Because if you’re not, you’re going to make excuses, have trouble committing to the new routine and most likely confuse your baby who is already going through an eviction, so don’t make it worse for the little bean.
Originally I said I was going to try for 8 weeks. Our pediatrician started laying the pressure on for that goal as well (I’ve since switched Peds). Once 8 weeks rolled around I said 4 months. At 4 months I said 6 and at 6 I still wasn’t quite there yet. It wasn’t until Lincoln was a few days shy of the 7-month mark that he spent his first full night in the crib.
02. Start with a nap.
When Lincoln hit 4 months old, I started trying to get him to nap in his crib. He’d been having trouble staying asleep* at night, and while he was no longer having middle of the night feedings, he still woke up 5-6 times for his pacifier. So rather than going balls deep for an overnight, we started with once a day or so during his fleeting naps during the week. Nothing concrete, nothing even resembling a routine nor schedule. Just enough for him to get a little taste of his crib and to get comfortable with sleeping flat (his bassinet had a little bit of a curve & kind of cradled him).
This went alright, and some days he even took more than one nap in there. He was getting better at sleeping flat, finally not waking as often
*There is a well-documented four month sleep regression that occurs anywhere from 3.5-5 months, and it sucks actual ass. It may not be the right time to implement a new routine, especially if you work or have any other obligations (such as a baby) that require you to get up early. Baby’s sleep is developing and they take a little bit longer to fall into that deep REM sleep, so in short, it blows and good luck getting them to nap or sleep for long stretches at this point. 😣*
03. Invest in a sleep sack
I had i s s u e s with the idea of Anthony & I sleeping all warm in our bed with ample covers, while tiny baby Lincoln slept in another room, with nothing but his cotton onesie. There have been plenty of times where I rip the covers off because I’m hot, but pretty quickly put them back on because I’m cold with just my pajamas. As a grown adult. Why is that cool for a baby? Newsflash, it’s not. But you know what else isn’t cool? Me contemplating if it’s worth the risk and overwhelming worry of giving him a light blanket, just for comfort and security. So after some light research, I landed on the Nested Bean Sleep Sack and went with it simply because of the little pouch of weighted beans on baby’s chest that mimics the feeling of mom’s hand.
Did the description make me tear up? Duh. Hormones.
Did you have a swaddler? A friend of mine swore by this little number, the Zipadee-Zip, as her baby had slept swaddled, and she was in need of a transitional sleeper, once he started rolling.
Lincoln was worming his way out of swaddles since day zero, so we actually never needed anything transitional. Straight to the weighted sack for us! I’m pretty big on cutting out the middle man and not spending twice where I could spend only once, so I’m sure if you’re willing to risk losing a few Zzz’s, you can jump right to the bean as well, and kill two birds with one stone.
04. Just do it.
Lastly, don’t plan it. Don’t set a date. You’ll dread bedtime and spend the day finding reasons to push it off. For me personally, I was clinging to this security thing where, if I had an evening where I was feeling uncomfortable or creeped out or something dumb, I could just lock our bedroom door and know that everything I cared about was in that little bubble. That weird little peace of mind helped me sleep better. Even if I wasn’t sleeping better because he was still in our room.
I shrugged it off when everyone would say “everyone sleeps better when baby is in his/her own room!” I didn’t believe it, and didn’t see how that was possible since I’d obviously be up all night worrying anyway.
And I was. The first night I didn’t sleep too much. I either had trouble falling asleep, tossing and turning. Or I was checking the monitor. I’d look over and see him FLAT ON HIS FACE. Turns out that’s a totally normal thing babies do to terrify their parents and with breathable mattresses in cribs, it’s somehow fine.
But, once he got through that first night okay (he did need his pacifier every so often), it certainly helped my peace of mind. I was still having a little trouble falling asleep but… SHIT MAN, once I was asleep, it was Q U A L I T Y sleep. Like even if I only got 3 hours in, the sleep was so deep and sound, that I didn’t wake up feeling tired, and I didn’t crash throughout the day.
In fact, I got sick two nights later, and I swear Lincoln knew it, because he slept 100% through the night for the first time, allowing me to die a slow death in the next room without worrying about him waking up or needing me for something. Thanks, L. 😘
Anyway, there are over a billion babies in the world, so there are over a billion “right” ways to do something. The way that works for you is the right way, and whenever you feel comfortable doing it is the right time. You know you and you know your baby better than the doctor who sees them a couple times a year, or the random bystander giving you unsolicited advice. Good luck, & sweet dreams!
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