Monday, November 29, 2010

Messing with a good thing

So we're shaking up our bedtime routine (if you can call it a routine).  Since the second night home, Lia has been sleeping in our bed in something like this:

I love it, absolutely love it.  While I still have to get up and go to the nursery to change her diaper in the middle of the night, night nursing is a breeze, and it could not be any easier for me to look over and check on her when she starts to make weird noises or conversely, she's been unusually quiet and I'm suddenly afraid that she's dead.  I have moderate hearing loss, so it's extra nice for me to know I'm not going to miss her cries in the middle of the night.

So, what's the problem?  Lia's getting too big for it!  She still fits now but we're getting to the point where we need to start transitioning to Plan B.  Problem is, we can't really come up with a good Plan B.  Lia's nursery is right next to our bedroom, so it seems the most practical to start getting all of us used to her sleeping in her crib at night.  I've considered all sorts of other options, from buying a co-sleeper (tough to fit in our already-cramped bedroom), to moving L and I to the guest room bed (would need to buy rails for the bed, plus then R and I are sleeping apart indefinitely) to buying a new mattress for our king bed (our pillowtop now is too soft and unsafe for L, but we love it), to me sleeping on the floor in the nursery (obviously not my favorite, and unsustainable).  I never thought I'd be one of those moms who wanted to sleep with their children, never in a million years, but it's been working for us - we all get more sleep this way - and I love it.  I love having L nearby and being able to look over and see her little face.  I love knowing that she's right there, safe with us, and we can respond immediately if something's wrong.  I love being able to check her hands and make sure she's not too hot or too cold (totally don't have the 'dressing a newborn in the winter' thing down yet).  Bottom line, I love having my whole little family cuddling together in bed.

But, we've got to find a sustainable option that results in everyone getting the maximum amount of sleep.  So, last night, I tried putting Lia down in her crib after her 1:30 am feeding.  She typically goes down really well after her middle-of-the-night feeding so it seemed like a good time to try out the crib thing, and she was pretty good.  She slept there until 4:30, when I think she woke up because she was cold (I botched the swaddling job) and decided she was hungry.  I gave up after that feeding and put her back in our bed for the rest of the night/morning.  When she was cribbing it, I put the baby monitor in bed between R and I, and we both heard it and responded, which was reassuring.  Unfortunately, I was not so cool - I was wired for awhile after I put her down, just listening to and watching the monitors and being sad because my baby wasn't in bed with me.  (Maybe I cried a little - what is going on?  This is so not me.)  Since she was tough to get down for the night earlier last night, I ended up getting only a few 1.5 hour stretches of sleep total.  I'm not sure whether to blame the crib transition or not - maybe it was just a rough night for us and would have been regardless.  And maybe, for the first night of working on a new sleep thing, it didn't go so poorly - she did go to sleep, easily, in her crib for a few hours.  But, I'm not sure this is the solution for us.  R and I both got less sleep because of Plan B than we would have normally.  We'll see.  For now, L and I are going to have a very low-key, quiet, stay-at-home day.  If we do go out of the house, it'll be for Starbucks.

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