Monday, February 10, 2014

The Empty Space in My Bed

This past weekend was one of transformation for Baby.  Some times I look at her cherub little face and still see a baby but I can no longer deny the signs she is starting to complete the evolution from toddler to kid.
Even though we didn't become one until Baby was nearly 18 months old (at the time many parents are working on getting their toddler's out of their room) we are a bed sharing family.  We started because I accepted my current position and the hours were drastically different than my previous one and the only way I could get Baby to sleep was in our bed, she just physically needed to be near me since it was such a jarring transition of having such little mommy time unlike before.
The early days of cosleeping (or sleeping and snacking).
I actually haven't minded and there is nothing sweeter than when she wakes up in the middle of the night and asks me to cuddle her and tells me that she loves me.  I have started to become concerned though, for when #2 arrives and how that will work so I have started to contemplate how we would get her back into her own bed.
We started out telling her big girls sleep in their own room, she tells us she doesn't want to.  When asked why she told me, "I like to cuddle.  You like to cuddle Daddy and don't have to sleep alone."  Well dang kid, you have me there.
I really wouldn't push it until she wanted to (I have no worries she would willingly sleep in our bed for even another year, even if left to her preference) but with a newborn who will be in our room for at least a couple of months, I want to make sure everyone is getting the best sleep possible-except for mom, breastfeeding moms get the worst sleep.
Randomly Baby told me she wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese and I decided to capitalize and tell her that if she slept in her room for a week straight, she would be rewarded with a trip to the house of that other mouse.  We purchased a calendar and some star stickers for her to mark each night she sleeps in her bed.  We told her she is welcome to sleep in our bed, but she only gets a star if she sleeps the whole night in her bed. 

 We only started Friday night, but she has done better than expected.  On Friday night, I fell asleep with her but went to my bed after about an hour.  Around 5:00 Saturday morning, I had a whimpering Baby in my face.  I asked her if she wanted to cuddle and praised her for sleeping so long in her bed.  She said it wasn't light outside yet so she wanted to go back to her room so she could get a star, I brought her back to her room, cuddled for a few moments and she came back in at a much more respectable hour, 9:00 a.m.  

I already miss her at night.  She really is the best cuddler (sorry Boyfriend) and it just feels empty without her in our bed but I know this is the right move, at the right time.  If she decides she no longer wants to work towards her goal then that is ok with me.  But I have a feeling we have officially started to wean our bedsharing, but just for a few months until #2 arrives.

Since Friday, Boyfriend and I have traded off bed time and letting her fall asleep before we leave.  We will work on her falling asleep on her own but for now I am incredibly encouraged by the progress we have made, especially since she is so adamant that she wants to wait until it is officially morning before coming to bed.  I'm less excited about our upcoming trip to Chuck E. Cheese, but if a calendar with stickers and some bad pizza make it a relatively painless process, I am in. 
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