When we were visiting family during Christmas week, Natalie’s sleep was…less than ideal. I suppose that’s to be expected, given the complete upheaval of her normal routine and things being so, so busy during the day. Her naps were ok –better than they’ve been at home, surprisingly enough– but her nighttime sleep left us stumbling around far too often in the wee hours of the morning, and clutching our coffee cups with a death grip during the actual hours of the morning.
And so Will and I made a pact: when we returned home, Natalie would sleep in her crib. Since my parents were staying with us for one final night before we brought them to the airport to go back to Tennessee, Natalie would have one night’s reprieve (we knew that she’d be waking up my parents enough as it was and didn’t want to put a crib transition on top of that delicious no-one-is-sleeping-anyway sundae).
My nerves were already pretty shredded from a stressful holiday week, and watching Natalie slumber in her co-sleeper beside the bed on the last night before being moved to her own room completely did me in. Tears slid down my face as I watched her quiet breathing as I thought about how this was the first big step towards my baby growing up.
But now I have a little distance between that night and today. Natalie has slept in her crib for all naps and overnight for the past four nights, and…wait, do you hear that? Is that…music?
Aw yeah. Let’s have a dance party up in here.
You guys. YOU GUYS. Moving Natalie into her crib in her own room is the best decision we’ve ever made.
She is suddenly and inexplicably capable of going to sleep on her own when we put her down drowsy but awake, just like all the sleep books talk about, the ones I was ready to tear in two with my bare hands and use as kindling in our fireplace.
She does not want to be rocked to sleep, instead preferring a little belly rub. Or nursing, which I am 100% ok with – that is far, far easier than clumsily sashaying around the room with a 20-lb baby in my arms while my back is saying, “maybe TODAY will be the day I decide to give out.”
SHE IS TAKING TWO HOUR NAPS.
I have no idea what things will look like in a couple weeks. Her nighttime sleep has only improved a little bit in length, but not spending twenty or thirty minutes getting her back to sleep when she does wake up has improved my quality of life immensely. Obviously the hope is we can now move towards longer stretches of sleep, but who knows. I’d settle for maintaining the status quo for now, because this new normal is AWESOME.
So, back when I was all, “this too shall pass“? I know that still applies. I know that she could decide tonight to turn all this on its head and stop sleeping completely.
But for now, I’m just happy with where we are and with the decisions we made.
Thank you for proving to your mom that it’s ok to let go, baby girl, just a little bit.