I’m feeling a bit teary and sentimental.
Elanor is asleep in her “big girl” bed for the very first time. Granted, the journey tonight was NOT easy and the solution is most likely not tenable, but it happened.
Although our crib can convert to a toddler bed, we made the decision not to go that route with Elanor. As we’re expecting to get pregnant next year, Elanor would be asked to move into a big bed by the time I got pregnant regardless, and all the books about siblings say that asking a toddler to give “their” bed to a baby is one of the easiest routes to hardcore sibling resentment (not that Ravi or I, as only children, know a damn thing about sibling anything).
Moving E to a big bed also didn’t cost us anything. I had bought a fairly nice new bed about a year before Ravi and I moved into together, and we’ve always had a storage option or an office/guest room to put it into, so we never got rid of it. It seems a bit silly to give a not quite 2 year old a full sized mattress, but it seemed sillier to buy a new bed just for her before we moved.
Elanor is a climber. She also isn’t really good with sleeping in the pack n play anymore when we were on vacation recently (or when it was all we had in the serviced apartment and here until our stuff arrived). She can and has climbed out of the pack n play. She’s starting to put her foot over the rail of the crib and I think she’s not far at all from being able to climb out of the crib as well. We’ll be going to the US for a month in November. With those three things at the back of my mind, I decided the time was now to move in the direction of sleeping independently in a big bed. I figured if we start now, within the 8-9 weeks until we go, we’ll either have things up and running or know that it’s not going to happen and work on the back-up plan.
So today B and I moved all the random crap out of her room, along with anything I felt she might be able to hurt herself on (bookcases, bins of outgrown/larger sized/ winter clothing, etc) and flipped her bureau around so that the drawers face the wall. We pushed the crib into a corner. We brought just the top part of the bed into her room and lay it on the floor, and made it up with sheets, pillows, her toys, etc.
And then I took her into her room to show her this NEW WONDERFUL THING…
There would be a youtube video here, but the uploader isn’t working…I’ll share it as soon as it’s up….imagine her jumping on the bed and being really happy.
As you can see, she was so happy to see it and to have a big bed of her very own. Tonight, when it was time for bed, I explained that she could sleep in her crib or the big girl bed. She was emphatic that she wanted the big girl bed. She crawled in, asked for her milk and did her normal night time stuff (said night night to her “babies”-3 favorite dolls). It seemed like a hit until we turned off the light and shut the door.
We let her cry for 15 minutes, but she seemed to be getting more hysterical, not less. I went in and comforted her, putting her back to bed. Only to have her spring out and sprint for me before I was out of the door. It killed me to shut it in her tear stained, sobbing face. I lasted about 3 minutes before going to get her.
She was pretty hysterical by this point, so we pulled her into our bed and watched an episode on dvd of “Big Bang Theory,” letting her chill out.
I asked her if she was ready to go back to bed and she said yes. I took her into her room and again asked if she’d prefer her crib, stressing that it was okay. She insisted on the bed. I turned off the light, she started to cry, and I shut the door.
Five minutes later, I decided (in part because R was trying desperately to go to sleep and it was killing us both) to upload some tv onto my iPhone and to go in and lay down with her. Not to pay attention, but just to physically be there.
I went in and she calmed right now. I got into bed and she crawled in with me. She didn’t snuggle me or cuddle me, or even pay attention to me (as Sesame Street was playing-as it always is at bedtime-on the iPod across the room). I lay back and started watching my iPhone (with headphones to block the Sesame Street cuteness). Less than 15 minutes later she was totally out. I waited until about 20 minutes, just to be sure she was out.
I leaned over, turned off her color cube (stupid plastic cube that changes color-best $2SGD I’ve ever spent and big thanks to my friend Paula for showing me them), turned off Sesame Street and closed the door. She didn’t stir.
I’m nervous about setting a bad precedent with the whole “laying down with her” thing. But on the other hand, her bedroom must feel like a giant scary cave. I’m considering a night light, but on the other hand, I don’t know that spending 15-20 minutes laying in bed next to my daughter for the short time she’ll need me is all that bad a thing. I’m always unnerved when we first move into a new apartment and I have her dad in bed with me. That I can calm her just by being near is an indicator of how close we are, and in 10 years she’ll hate me and I won’t understand her……
We’ll see, but in the meantime, you’ll all excuse me while I dab a tissue at the idea of my baby leaving her crib behind.