Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sleeping On Her Own!

Emily has never been a great sleeper and she never liked sleeping on her own. For her first year, she slept in a crib in our room. I was nervous about co-sleeping with a newborn but I wanted her nearby since she was waking up every couple hours to nurse.

We tried to get her into her own room after she was one, but it turned out to be a battle. When she did sleep in her room, I'd have to wait until she was completely asleep before I could make my exit. I would be waiting for hours and if I misjudged it, she would start crying and I'd have to start from the beginning.

I should mention at this point, that we weren't fans of the Cry It Out method. I tried it a few times but it proved to not work at all for Emily. I swear I spent the first couple years of her life in a haze because I was getting so little sleep.

I don't remember why we started co-sleeping, but for a while, Emily would sleep but she wanted to sleep with me. I would sleep on a blow up bed in her room, in order to get her used to sleeping in her room. Plus I didn't want my poor husband to have to sleep on the couch.

Finally the blow up bed died because we have cats with claws and we were using it everyday. Emily and I moved into Todd & I's bedroom briefly as I began to reason with her (as much as you can reason with a three year old). I stopped waiting for her to fall asleep before going out of the room. She got upset the first couple of times, but I explained that I was just going to be in the living room if she needed me. She quickly got used to the new routine.

Then I started taking up how she would be a big girl if she slept in her own room, then decided on a day to try out having her sleep in her own bed. Todd wasn't convinced that it would work, since we had tried and failed several time in the past.

But this time was different. We did the exact same bedtime routine except we were doing it in her room. I got her tucked into her bed and gave her hugs and kisses. She requested I sit in the chair that is in her room for five minutes. I did so, then got up and gave her more hugs and kisses. I told her I was going to be either in the living room or in mommy and daddy's room. She briefly said she wanted to go to mommy and daddy's room, but I gently said no.

I went out to the living room and then to bed a few hours later. I didn't hear a peep and neither did Todd when he got home from work. She was so excited when she woke up in the morning that she had slept in her own bed because that made her a big girl.

It's been a while since Emily started sleeping in her own room. It's been so nice to have her in her own room and not have to worry about bedtime drama. Now, she does wake up sometimes and comes out because of nightmares. But usually once I calm her down, she'll go back to sleep in her bed as long as me or Todd (if he's home) sits in the chair for five minutes.

I'm not sure what I would have done different as far as her sleeping. I don't think there is much I could have done when she was very small. If we were to have another baby, I'd probably push for a king sized bed so we could co-sleep. But since Emily is our only, it's a moot point.

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