Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Operation: Max Sleeps Solo (Day One)

Status Of Mission: Not good at all

Max has slept in our bed with us for almost his entire existence. He likes it. It offers him immediate comfort, warmth, and space to stretch out. We have always liked it, too. Despite the obvious disadvantages (occasional baby pee in the bed, significantly less space to stretch out, not a lot of privacy, and etc.), sleeping with Max has been a nice way to bond and to end the day together, and I like that being snuggled by his mom and dad is always his last memory of the day. However, as Speck and I have grown larger, I have noticed that my sleep quality and quantity have decreased in direct proportion. It is hard for me to get comfortable, and it is hard to change positions without waking Max. (I wake Ian, too, but he can usually put himself back to sleep with minimal intervention.) With this in mind, we have decided to begin transitioning Max into the crib. We have tried this before, have met with resistance, and have caved to Max's demands, being the parents of a much-loved and somewhat indulged only child. In addition to the issue of my comfort, however, we now have the looming reality of a new player entering the bedtime drama, and I can't really imagine fitting all of us into our queen-sized bed (especially if Speck continues to grow at his/her current alarming rate.) Faced with a deadline, we put the crib up in our room, determined to make the little bed and Max make friends. Our first night was not what I would call a rousing success.

Max laughed when he was first placed in the crib, and enjoyed crawling around in there and exploring for awhile. When he realized, however, with slowly awakening horror, that I actually intended to leave him there, he began to yell and attempt to escape, pointing indignantly to the big bed. When I encouraged him to lay down in the crib, he began to cry hysterically. Even after I took him out of the crib and back into our bed (oh, come on, you knew I would cave), it took him over an hour to calm down and go to sleep, and he kept a tight, baby-monkey-like grip on my shirt throughout the entire night. Ian and I are going to reevaluate our strategy and try again tonight. In the meantime, I am wide open to suggestions. I am not going to leave him by himself to cry and get used to it, but other than that, offer up any ideas that occur to you.


Anonymous said...

"I am not going to leave him by himself to cry and get used to it"

What is the worst thing that can happen here? I'm guessing he screams a bunch and you don't get much sleep for a couple nights while he learns that Max has his own bed and will for the rest of his life.

I doubt there are long-term effects and everyone involved will soon be over the trauma of the ordeal.

Took me a couple nights I guess... or so my mother told us when we were talking about the crib the other night.

Chelsa said...

I'm not saying that lives would be lost if Max was left to cry, it just doesn't feel like the right answer to Ian or I. We are trying to create a system where Max learns to get used to the crib with as little trauma as possible. I don't mind him waking up a bunch, but the hysterical crying just doesn't work for me.

Anonymous said...

no doubt... didn't work for me either from 4-6pm there for a while (seems to be getting better now) but when you've gone around the block, filled him full of milk tried the mirror... various types of music or soothing comfy situations and he still just wants something that he can't have (mom from 4-6pm) then it was time to let him have the alternative... which was lots of hysterical crying

some very odd and loud sounds would come out that gave my ears a ringing but nothing any book or other source said was working

I can't say I wouldn't have just chosen the easy "stop crying" solution if it had presented itself though... but Merritt is a bit younger :)

My point I guess is that I know it hurts your heart quite a bit. It hurts mine as much as a daddy heart can hurt... but both Merritt and I get over it.

stina said...

You could take the side off the crib (the drop down side), slide it up against your bed and let Max sleep there for awhile. Maybe you'll get enough space that the issue won't be a problem anymore. Or you can encourage him to sleep in his crib AND next to you. In time, he may get comfy with the whole crib thing and you'll be able to put the side back on and move it away. We have Ethan's crib in this exact arrangement. Did the same with Amara. She was older when we switched her to her own bed/room, but it was pretty painless at that point. Also, you may want to read The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantly. She has some ideas for transitioning baby from cosleeper to solo sleeper.

Chelsa said...

Thanks, Stina! We do have the crib right up against our bed, but I didn't think about taking the side off. That might make things easier.