We have been putting Sweet Pea to bed in her crib for naps and night-time for about eight months now. She spent the first nine to ten months of her life sleeping in our room, either in our bed or in the sidecar co-sleeper, then we slowly moved to putting her down in her crib in her own room. Right now, she starts out the night in there, then comes to bed with us (sometime between 1:00 and 5:00 AM) and nurses occasionally through the rest of the night. We aim for bedtime by 10:00 PM, and hang out in the living room with her, nursing, rocking, and listening to her bedtime mix CD, until she falls asleep. Lately, Average has been able to get her to sleep by simply laying down on the couch with and holding her. Sometimes he falls asleep this way too, which pushes back our bedtime to later than we'd prefer. I feel like we could have an easier bedtime routine if we had an actual bed for her to sleep in in her own room. That way, one of us could lay down in there with her until she fell asleep, then sneak out. And the rest of the house wouldn't necessarily have to be dark and quiet the way it is now. Currently, whoever is not holding her while she falls asleep is either sitting in the dark living room, or hiding out in the bedroom with just a bedside light on. If she was falling asleep in her own room, one of us could be doing the dishes at the same time! Or paying bills! Or watching TV!
Yes, we have tried laying her down in her crib awake and she does not fall asleep this way. We are not willing to let her cry herself to sleep at this point.
Today, August 31:
A couple of weeks ago we got Sweet Pea a twin bed (mattress and box springs). Actually, my mom got it -- thanks Mom! We do plan to eventually get a frame for the bed, or perhaps Average will make one, but this saved us a lot of hassle and money for now, and the bed is low enough that she can climb in and out on her own, which I think is nice.
- After dinner, husband Average gives toddler Sweet Pea a bath. They play and laugh together.
- Average gets Sweet Pea in an overnight diaper and footie pajamas, they might cuddle, read, or play for a few more minutes, then I take over.
- Sweet Pea picks out a few books. This is new! Up to a month ago, she didn't really enjoy books, but now she loves them! And I love that.
- We lay in her bed together and read books until I get tired of repeating the books or until she asks for milk. She now has both a hand sign and a verbal word.
- She nurses until she falls asleep, then I get up and put the pillow on the outside edge of the bed to help prevent her from rolling off, turn on the monitor, and quietly leave the room. Or, sometimes she finishes nursing and we cuddle until she falls asleep. Or, she is too wound up to fall asleep, and I have to call for a sub. Average comes in and does his thing (rocking and music) and she falls asleep.
- I go to bed in my own room, or go watch a movie, or finish cleaning up, or whatever.