Baby Steps to the Nursery…

Baby steps down the hall… baby steps to the nursery… baby steps to the crib… baby steps to sleeping through the night…

(Yes, that’s a

movie reference. My material’s a little light at 4:45 AM after fitfully sleeping on the floor of Sara’s nursery!)

As our Flickr.com

shows, Sara is a growing girl — not just in size, but also in abilities. She is holding her head up quite a bit now, and while she hasn’t mastered it, she can roll herself from her back to her side or from her belly to her side. These facts, coupled with the fact that she’s sleeping more and nursing less in the overnight hours, all have been on my thoughts the past several days.

I love the convenience and reassurance of having her literally right next to me in bed at night, and I love waking up to her sweet face next to mine, but the fact is she is growing and sleeping in bed with us is becoming more challenging and — for our comfort levels, at least — less safe. I feel more than a little sad (wistful might be a better word) to be contemplating “kicking Sara out” at just 2 months of age so she can graduate to sleeping in her own crib in her own room, but we’d never intended to have a “family bed” and this is one habit that is probably easier to break earlier than later. Primarily for safety reasons, but also to reclaim our “grown-up time”, Justin and I both welcome Sara graduating to sleeping either in her Pack & Play (which currently serves as our downstairs crib/playpen/changing table) or her crib (located in her nursery).

She is basically too long and too mobile to comfortably even nap in her bassinet, which currently still resides by my side of the bed, and up until quite recently she has not slept overnight or even napped anywhere reliably unless it was in someone’s arms or lying on her back, cozy, in between us on the King Size bed.

Still, I’m not sure why Wednesday night/this morning felt like the right time to take baby steps towards Sara sleeping in her own crib, in her own room, but it did.

I am writing this at 4:45 AM, seated on the floor of Sara’s nursery, where I slept myself this evening. Sara has slept quite well — better than I anticipated — in her crib since I put her down around midnight {Time is a blur.} I began the transition, myself, sleeping in bed with Justin with my ears perked up to listen for tell-tale cues from Sara via the baby monitor. Some aspect of having me in bed with him, but having Sara suddenly absent (after 2 months, 2 weeks and 1 day of co-sleeping with us), freaked/worried Justin and thus he and I woke up and had a parent-to-parent discussion at something like 1 AM. Those types of wee-morning-hours discussions are rarely a good idea, at least not when I’m a participant, because at least three quarters of my brain cells lie dormant after I have been sleeping for more than 15 minutes, and their POST (Power On, Self Test) procedures take a long, long time without the aid of caffeine. Both of our hearts are in the right place, but I’m sure feelings got stepped on on both sides. Sorry, babe. We’re both trying our best!

At some point, Justin was hovering over Sara in her crib and I was standing beside him, realizing either we could continue this sleepy, haze-addled discussion to the point where we woke Sara up, or we could just sleep it off (if Sara permitted, since this was afterall an experiment) and regroup later. So thus began one of the first nights Justin and I have slept in separate rooms for a reason other than not wanting to wake up our spouse due to illness or insomnia.

After the sleepy parental conference, I ended up as freaked and worried as Justin was, resulting in my grabbing a couple pillows and camping out in Sara’s nursery. Justin felt Sara was sleeping “too soundly” and breathing “really, really shallow” so she shouldn’t sleep away from us; of course, in my sleep lacking state, my brain exhaustedly sent an unfiltered retort, “WTF? She’s sleeping too soundly? I’m not sure that’s even possible… an infant sleeping too soundly!?) He did have a point; indeed, Sara was sleeping like a ROCK and that is precisely why I’d scooped her up out of her nest between us in bed and deposited her ever-so-carefully, still sleeping, in her crib. A mom knows when to seize an opportunity that might not come again anytime soon. She’d had a good, long, busy day and the sleep state she was in was perfectly normal, but once someone shares their worries with you sometimes it’s hard for them not to become your own. Anyway, I was so proud of myself for taking the initiative and moving Sara to her crib, even as

I knew it potentially meant a long, sleepless string of nights as we worked to make this transition. It was something Justin and I had both discussed, not the least of which because it meant we’d have our “grown up bed” back.

Sara has slept remarkably well, as I mentioned earlier, with very few episodes where she roused from sleep (and there’s been zero crying.) I suspect she knows I am in the room with her, and the night would have gone differently if Justin had not woken up and expressed his fears/concerns of her sleeping “too soundly” to be moved tonight… concerns that ended up becoming my own (since they prey upon innate Mommy Worry Hormones that seem to multiple exponentially with each passing day of one’s child’s life!) and caused me to sleep in the nursery with her. I swear Sara has radar that detects whether another human being she loves and trusts is within an acceptable proximity. If and when one is not, she fusses and refuses to settle or sleep… but this evening, for that brief moment before our worries caused us to wake her up, she seemed to “get it and was out like a light in her crib, with the nursery door shut and her mom and dad curled up in their bed like a couple again.

So, I won’t count this evening as a full-on success, but it does seem to bode well for being able to transition Sara into her nursery and crib sooner rather than later. Her Mommy and Daddy seem more wedded to the notion of having her sleeping snugly between them than Sara does!

Surprise, there. Hehe…

Gotta run, Sara’s ready for a feeding (its now 5:48 AM… I’ve been typing slowly, apparently!)

“Rooming in” with her tonight has helped in that I have a general sense for how often she rouses herself from sleep to get a breastfeeding session in. When she was co-sleeping with us, it was so easy to (pardon the lingo) just pop a boob in her mouth and drift back to sleep, so I really had no idea just how often she was really feeding once we went to bed.

But tonight, with her in the crib and me sleeping here on the floor? She’s only woken up three times for nursing, and none of those times were full-bore “Feed Me!” fits, just her peaceful, half-asleep, “Hey, Ma, got milk?” efforts I’m used to. She’s still a long ways off from sleeping through a whole night, but I can handle having to get out of bed just two or three times to nurse her, if that indeed holds true as she transitions fully to sleeping in her nursery every night.

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