Last night we did it. Not “IT”. Ain’t nobody got time or energy for that. But we did a big thing, we ended co-sleeping.
She turned 6 months old yesterday and we celebrated in many ways.
- Yay, we’ve kept a tiny human alive for 6 months
- Look how much our lives have changed since having her
- Look, she can sit up all by herself
- She is ready for food after a nursing session
- She is in the almost ready to crawl stages and constantly moving
- This child doesn’t sit still
We didn’t intentionally start co-sleeping, it just sort of happened when we got home from the hospital in January and I was so tired, I just wanted to lay down to nurse her. And from there, it evolved into co-sleeping, pretty much since day 5.
We were originally going to start this transition at 4 months old, we tried anyways. We attempted to have her sleep in the pack in play, in our room and it didn’t work so well. We gave up after a few hours. Last night though, we had worked ourselves upto this point.
We talked about it, for the past two months. “At 6 months old, she is sleeping in her crib for naps and bed time.” Don’t get me wrong, I love sleeping and cuddling with her, plus it makes night time feedings so easy. But I was also tired and just wanted a night, without being touched, nursed on constantly and sleeping on the edge of the bed. I also missed my husband. In that, I mean we all sleep together, as much as two adults can sleep with a crying, rolling and nursing baby all night. But I missed morning snuggles with him and laying in bed talking, instead of texting, so we don’t wake the baby. Of course other reasons, but that doesn’t need details.
So as we talked about it for the past couple months, last night was the night. I put her down for a nap in the crib yesterday, like I had all week. Some days were more successful than others, but 30 minutes alone to shower or finish a chore was great. We put had our routine set, dinner together, bath, pj’s, nursing and bed time.
Easy peasy, right?
Dinner was a success. Bath was a success. PJ’s…well that was new. Normally she would just sleep in a diaper, in our bed, since three to a bed means more body heat and we didn’t want her to overheat. We have several cute pj’s for her, we tried on a short sleeve one, didn’t fit. So we moved to the next one and she really wasn’t a fan. But we proceeded. Then nursing time. No problem, it’s like an instant mute button. She latched on and was out in a matter of minutes. BUT I needed to get her upstairs in her crib.
99% of the articles I read about “Sleep Training”, state to put the child down drowsy. We’ve done that during nap time, but this was going to be new at bed time. She was asleep, what do I do?
I gently put her in her crib, with me practically in it, so I didn’t disturb her too much. I slowly took my hand out from under her head and BOOM, her eyes were WIDE and staring at me. Then the tears started. (FUCK Kristi!! RUN!) I then patted her back, said a few things to try and calm her down then slowly shut her door and walked out. Upset. It’s heartbreaking to hear her cry. I went over to my oldest’s daughter’s room and told her “So it begins”. She knew we were starting this and said she would be quiet.
I walked downstairs, a little gloom and my husband and I started to watch the clock. 10 minutes we told ourselves. We will give her 10 minutes of crying then go console her. He poured me a glass of wine and we cringed and waited.
10 minutes went by, we went up and consoled her. Nursed her a bit and when that didn’t work, we offered a bottle. My husband held her for a bit, and then I did again. She was calming down enough to where I thought I could put her in the crib. I patted her back and we went down again, to start the clock.
Another glass of wine poured, our oldest joined us on the couch and we watched the clock for 10 minutes. Googled some more sleep training advice and talked about how we have to be consistent and how only one person should go in next time.
If you have never watched a clock while a baby is screaming, you have NO IDEA how painful this. It is pure torture. The most extreme torture there is I think. You know they are safe and you want them to sleep, it’s for her own good…right?! BUT it is a heartache, a pure fucking knife through your heart and then trampled on as you try to stay strong and not breakdown and give in.
10 minutes went by, I ran up there alone. I consoled her, rocked her, attempted to nurse her and offer the bottle. Finally I got her calm enough to lay down. I laid her down and rubbed her belly. Offered the bottle in the crib (eeek, I know…I said I wouldn’t do this with her) and proceeded to rub her belly and had her musical aquarium on for sound. The whole time telling myself, “It will be okay. She needs to sleep alone. You don’t want her rolling out your bed. You need your space. She needs her space. You will all sleep so much better”. She was almost into a trance, staring at this magical, musical aquarium. (Get yours here). I quietly escaped out of her room, with the door cracked. I took a moment, at the top of stairs, to breathe a sigh of relief. (We did it!)
Our oldest daughter proceeded back to her room to play video games while my husband and I enjoyed kid free TV in the living room and I enjoyed another glass of wine. It was…… nice.
My husband woke up with our little one once over night, then I woke up with her to nurse her. The feeling of sleeping on my back and then my stomach and not on the edge of the bed was CRAZY. My body actually is hurting a bit, I’m sure it just needs to get used to it. We checked on her a few times over night, but we actually slept. It is 8:30AM as I type this and she is STILL ASLEEP!! (Yes, I’ve checked on her)
So, we all needed this. She needed this mostly, her body needs to sleep without being woken by her parents every move or the need to nurse all night. I know it won’t always be easy to get her to sleep on her own, last night was sure a test on our strengths to withhold picking her up and caving in. I can’t say I won’t ever let her in our bed again, but I’m happy to say, we survived one night, apart.
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