Thursday, March 21, 2013

One Mom's Sleep Journey

When I was pregnant, there was literally one thing I said I would never do.

"Penelope will never sleep in our bed"

Fast forward to our first night home from the hospital, and right away, I ate my words. Actually, the nurses had her sleeping in my hospital bed with me, so I didn't even make it home! I was a mess from labor and delivery, and working on getting a good milk supply. Plus, my tiny baby was so sweet and snuggly and attched to me that she didn't want to be put down and I didn't want to put her down! Just typing that sentence, and I swear I can smell her tiny newborn smell. So, for the first 8 weeks, I slept sitting up in bed either holding her in my arms, or with her laying on my chest. I wasn't ready for her to lay next to me yet...she was just too fragile to me!!

Then, one fateful day, my good friend Heather passed along a baby sleep miracle. The Fisher-Price Rock N Play Sleeper. That first night, we swaddled her and put her into the Rock N Play after she fell asleep nursing. She slept for 7 hours strait!! It was glorious and I was a new woman. For a while, we had some great nights sleep with her in the RnP next to our bed. She would sleep for hours at a time, and when she needed to nurse, I could put her down again and she would stay sleeping! I loved it, and she did, too.

Then, we hit the 4 month sleep regression. She did not want to sleep, or be put down. It took HOURS to get her to sleep, and then as soon as we put her down, she would wake up. She also began arching her back and sitting up around this time. So, moved from the RnP to the Pack N Play with a bassinet level next to our bed. At this point, she would sleep until midnight or one in there, and then would come to bed with me to nurse (while laying down so I could continue to was the ONLY way).

Unfortunately, my snuggle monster decided she wanted to sleep with Mommy all night somewhere around 6 months. So, I began nursing her to sleep on our bed and then leaving to watch TV with Nick and get some baby free time. I would slide her over, and usually nurse her again since she would likely wake up in the moving process, and we would sleep. During the night, she was free to nurse whenever she needed and I hardly even woke up!

This brings us to now. She is nearly 11 months old, and getting bigger everyday. She likes to sleep with an arm or her legs up on me at all times and she gets super hot at night. While I love having her next to me in many ways, it is wearing on me. I have had to sleep on my right side nearly all night for 6 months. I am constantly monitoring Nick's snoring and movement so he doesn't wake her up, and I am getting less and less space in the bed. Plus, I am the only one that can do bedtimes, and I have to be home with her all night. So, for these reasons, we are switching Penny to the crib in her room. The goal is to get her to fall asleep and stay asleep on her own. Oh, and to sleep in our bed for as little of the night as possible.

We started last night, and I fully plan on writing another blog post all about our sleep training adventures. As for now, I am laying on my left side and sprawling out while Penny is in her crib! Did you sleep train? Did you ever co-bed with your baby?

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