The Evolution of Sleep

When Little Miss was a wee one, she pretty much slept anywhere.  At night, she slept next to our bed in a co-sleeper:

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(Remember when we had to sleep downstairs temporarily while the air conditioning was broken?) During the day, she slept in my arms or her swing, but mainly in her bouncy chair:

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Last fall, around 6 or 7 months, we transitioned her to her crib in her own room:

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That worked well for a while.  She continued to sleep in her crib through the move and was pretty successful.  Then we hit a major sleep regression and Little Miss required lots of ‘visits’ in the middle of the night.  Unfortunately, instead of taking 5-10 mins to put her back down, she was falling asleep on us in the chair and then waking up every time we transferred her back to her crib.  It could sometimes take up to 2 hours to get her back down.  Clearly we needed a different approach, and sleep training wasn’t our answer. I asked my mama friends and one of them had this brilliant solution.  Take the mattress out of the crib.  When Butterbean wakes up, lay next to her and comfort her and then roll away once she’s asleep.  We tried it and it’s worked out really nicely.  Sometimes she just wants to touch our face or put her hand in our hair and then she goes back to sleep pretty quickly.  We can then get up and go back to bed.  Sometimes, she’s a bit harder to get back down.  More than once, hubs and I have fallen asleep cuddled up with her on her little crib mattress and woken up with her asleep beside us.  Then we can roll away and go back to bed.  Either way, we’re not sitting in a chair and then praying that she won’t wake up at the transfer.  It makes everyone happier.  At night, she’s pretty good about just crying for us and doesn’t crawl off the mattress.  She actually wants help going back to sleep.  During the day it’s a breeze to nurse her down and then lay her on the mattress.  It’s actually a lot easier on my back now that I don’t have to bend over the crib rail to lay her down.  Here she is snuggled up during a nap:

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We’ve been doing this for a few months now and we’re happy with it.  We’ve considered getting a twin mattress just so it’ll be more comfortable for us, but we’re still just toying with the idea.  We’re at 1-2 wakeups a night, which we’re pretty comfortable with (although we know molars are around the corner and there will be more).  I’m not sure when we’ll actually decide to convert her crib to a toddler bed and have her sleep in there, or if we’ll go straight to a big girl bed, but that will probably be our next step.  In the meantime I’ve realized that one can never have too many photos of a sleeping baby.

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