Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Big Boy Bed
This was working out great for us for the last 22 months - but a few factors had us reassessing this system lately.
1. There is a baby coming in June. This is inevitably going to change everything up - and since this new addition will most likely affect my availability for bedtime AND the dynamic of our family bed, we don't want Leo to associate any jarring changes with the arrival of bug.
2. Pregnancy induced sensitivity. My body has been extra sensitive lately. I feel like the Princess in The Princess and the Pea - even a wrinkle in my pjs will make it impossible for me to fall asleep some nights, so you can imagine that nursing has become uncomfortable.
3. 2nd year molars. It seems that Leo is teething again - so in addition to moodiness and clingy-ness he has been wanting to nurse much more than usual - and has been less careful about his teeth. I'm pretty sure he's doing his best to hold back, he even says "be gentle, no teeth" before each nursing session - but still, it's been hard.
All these things combined prompted me to convert his never-used crib into a toddler bed. I wasn't convinced Leo was ready for the transition - but I figured we could give it a shot. I started with a nap - nursed him to sleep (he usually falls asleep quite quickly at naptime) and he slept in his new bed for the entire nap. He woke up a little disoriented and whimpering, but I came in and sang him his good-morning song and that was that.
Night time was a bit trickier. He still nurses a bit, but then after about 15 minutes I tell him that nursing is all done. The first few times he cried, but I suggested other comfort measures (cuddles, foot massage, singing songs) and now, as soon as I tell him nursing is done he requests, "massage, mama."
At first, if he would wake up he would cry until we came to comfort him - and sometimes he would go back to sleep, and sometimes he would need to back to our bed with us. The wake-up times have ranged from 1am-5am - usually around 4am. Now he is mostly sleeping through the night and getting up on his own and toddling over to our bed between 4am-7am - which usually leads to a little more snuggle/sleep time. Of course it's been two steps forward, one step back - but overall pretty smooth.
Considering this is a big transition AND he's teething, I am pleased as punch with how it's going. Of course, it's only been about a week, so I know we aren't out of the woods just yet. I will admit that I do miss him a bit, but it has been so nice to have the extra room and more jb cuddle opportunity. I can't believe what a big boy my little baby has become. It's bittersweet - which is why I'm so glad to hear the "thump, pat-pat-pat-pat-pat" of his feet right before he crawls into bed with us in the morning for some family cuddles. Even when it's 4 am.