From the time Noah was just a few weeks old, we've bedshared. It was what got us all sleep at first and then it became something we loved, getting to snuggle with our boy and have him next to us as we all slept. We all slept better that way. He'd wake a few times in the night and with a few swift moves I'd have him latched and asleep again in minutes.
Our sweet boy turned ten months old a week ago while we were in Virginia visiting family. When we got back home, something just told me this was the time to try to transition him to his crib in his room. First, he has gotten more and more active in his sleep as he's grown. Secondly, he had been out of his routine for the past few weeks during our trip and it seemed like a good time to start a new one.
There's no huge pressure for him to stay in his crib all night. I know we'll get there eventually, and he has ended up with me in bed sometime in the early morning around the time Michael goes to work. He will always be welcome there when he needs it. We also don't believe in letting him cry-it-out, so we are there with him until he falls asleep and are responsive whenever he needs us.
Some of the harder things about it have been the middle of the night wakings. I don't expect him to sleep through the night (as this isn't really normal for babies until they're older). Noah is up almost every two hours, with a few three hour stretches randomly placed, but has normally nursed and stayed asleep when I place him back in his crib. But wow, there have been a couple of times during the day before nap time and the first night or two where I got in a workout trying to get him to fall asleep.I fully mean it when I say workout, too, because I was actually sore in places!
This specific workout looks something like this....
1. Glutes & Hamstrings
Bend your body in half at the waist over the railing of the crib. Rest your elbows on either side of baby until your hamstrings are fully stretched and you are on your tiptoes. Now hold that position while he holds on to your hair, feeling the comfort of your presence so he can fall asleep. And hold. and hold. You get the gist?
2. Outer Thigh and Hips
While holding your 15-20lb baby with his legs wrapped almost around to your back, and with a firm latch in place, plant your feet shoulder width apart and sway back and forth. Do this until you feel the burn, check and see if his eyes are closed, and repeat.
This is a modification of #2. Start out in the same position, but rather than side-to-side, twist your body left to right and back again. Slowly place your sleeping baby into his crib three feet below, careful not to wake him. Feel the core burn.
4. Triceps & Biceps
Start by lowering your sleeping baby into the crib. Once you've got him down, he may stir and realize he's not in your arms. Now curl the baby upwards back into the cradle position and begin #2 or #3.
5. Vocal Chords
Start with gentle humming and something simple like Twinkle, Twinkle. Then when you feel warmed up, start "Hush Little Baby" and add in as many words as you can think of that rhyme when you forget what comes after "and if that looking glass should break...". Add in some "shh...shh...shh" and "mommy's right here..".
Alright, I hope you sense by now the sarcasm. But I'm totally not kidding when I say it can be a workout. I had to have Michael massage my hamstrings because they were all cramped from the cirque du soleil I had to do. I know, I know...you're thinking, That sounds like a nightmare! Why don't you just do something different? Gee, she's really making motherhood sound fun.
Well, let me assure you motherhood is amazing. And these "workouts", thankfully, have only happened a couple of times so far. I also recognize that the way we're choosing to do this is a little bit more work, and I'm okay with that. I'm doing it the way I feel is right and that works for our family. I just like to poke a little fun at some of the not-so-fun moments along the way.
I'm linking up today with the Five on Friday gals - Natasha, Darci, April, and Christina! Happy Weekend!