Our co-sleeping “adventure” has been just that…an adventure. We’ve been co-sleeping with A since we brought her home from the hospital, and it was pretty clear from the first night that she was going to stick to us like glue. And that she has, up until about four months ago! For us, co-sleeping wasn’t really a choice, it was a way for two parents who had no family or help nearby to get some much-needed sleep. It worked for A and it worked for us…up until our bed got to be too small and the hubs made the couch his new bed (which I was totally jealous of because we have the most comfortable couch known to man). We tried everything to get her to sleep in her own bed, but nothing seemed to work. We didn’t push too hard because everyone was still getting a good nights sleep, but somewhere around the time she turned 2 1/2 we decided we wanted our bed back; and we were willing to try anything. So let me take you back to the beginning and explain how this journey began.
My aunt gave us this beautiful vintage cradle, and I’ll never forget laying A down to sleep the night we brought her home from the hospital. We just spent two nights without our newborn (NICU baby) and so our sleep hadn’t really been interrupted yet. So we all got ready for bed, put A down, and crawled into our queen bed ready to get a good nights sleep. About 20 minutes later A woke up walling, and we quickly ran to her side. I cradled her in my arms until she dosed off again, then gently laid her back down. 20 minutes later…she was up again. We did this dance for about two hours before we gave in and put her in bed with us. Thankfully someone had given us a little co-sleeper bassinet for the bed, which is what we used for a while. We had the co-sleeper until she was too big for it, and I kept her in bed with me.
Over the next two years we tried everything we could think of to get her in the crib. We gave her ‘lovies’ galore. We tried putting her in after she had fallen asleep. I think I got so desperate one night I fell asleep in there with her. Eventually we realized the problem was with the crib itself. She absolutely hated it. I think the bars petrified her. So we decided to remove the front bar, and create a day bed. I picked up a swing down bed rail from Babies r us so she wouldn’t fall out in the middle of the night. We had such high hopes for this transition, and truly believed it would work. As you can imagine, it didn’t. So after a few weeks of trying we gave up.
We usually spend our Sunday mornings perusing the sections of IKEA and eating their delicious food. On a recent trip there A seemed to be very interested in their little toddler beds. She climbed right up into one and pretended to go to sleep. Tyler and I both looked at each other at the same time with one of those ‘AAAHAAA’ looks. We immediately purchased the set she was happily laying in with hopes this would be our golden ticket. AND IT WAS!! She absolutely loves it. We made it her own, which I believe is what she likes the best. Once we brought her home our bedtime routine began…
The bed was a tremendous help, but it wasn’t the only thing to make this transition successful. I’ve listed some tips that I believe were crucial to make this happen.
The first thing you’ll lose when dealing with a Toddler (Am I right?!?!). I have had to ask the Lord above for an insane amount of patience during this process, because my toddler has learned how to play to our soft side; especially when it comes to her Father. And when it’s 8:30pm you just want to sit down with your husband to watch the shitty Netflix show you’ve been trying to get through, but giving in seems so TEMPTING. We would try our best to switch off tasks, because negotiating with a toddler is exhausting. So while my husband would give her a bath, I would get her room ready and eventually read to her that night.
We tried our best to keep the bedtime routine consistent. Some nights it worked out well for everyone, but other times she knew what to expect and would persist about halfway through. On the nights she didn’t seem tired, we would take her for a walk or have a dance party, to help tire her out. Now she can practically do the routine herself (besides the bath), and it’s hysterical to see her rushing us!
This isn’t going to happen overnight (even though you REALLY want it to). There were some nights this process would take over an hour, and a lot of our evening time went into transitioning her. And then some nights it just wasn’t working, so we had no choice but to put her in bed with us. Every night is going to be different and we tried our best not to make this a frustrating situation for everyone.
Not traveling is one of the best things we did during this transition. Since both our families live two hours from us, we’ve spent quite a bit of time traveling to see them over the past two years. What we didn’t realize was how much it was hurting A’s sleep. Whenever we traveled she slept in bed with us, her schedule was completely thrown off, and she became so overtired to the point where she would just lose it. As soon as we cut back on our traveling we had an easier time of getting her to stay put in her bed. She’s now on a schedule that works for everyone, but most importantly, she’s consistently sleeping in her own bed.
These are just a few tips that have helped us transition her. It can be frustrating at first, but making it a fun experience definitely helped everyone! I hope you guys find this helpful. I’d love to hear if you’ve been struggling with transitioning. Leave a comment below 🙂
Bed Frame: SNIGLAR
Mattress: VYSSA SLUMMER
Duvet Cover and Pillowcase: LATTJO
Fitted Sheet: LEN
Bed Tent: SUFFLETT