When I was pregnant with Little K, I had big dreams about her sleep. I had a cute bassinet in the master bedroom and a sweet white crib with pink sheets in the nursery. She would sleep in the bassinet for the first few weeks and then *whoosh* off to her crib until we were ready for a toddler bed.
Yeah, umm, no.
She never slept in her crib. Not once, not ever. She never slept in the bassinet, either. Instead, we ended up co-sleeping until she was one year old and then slowly began the transition from our bed to a twin in our room with the hope of one day being able to put that bed in her room. She didn't sleep through the night without getting in bed with me until she was almost four. It was... trying. And tiring.
I wanted things to be different this time.
The plan was to have Little Buddy sleep in the bassinet portion of a pack n' play in our room for the first six months, then slowly transition to his crib during the next six months. I bought a playard mattress, protectors, and sheets, setting up everything right next to my nightstand for easy access to the baby. I tried putting him down in the playard a few times those first two weeks and he would have none of it. Then I purchased a wedge to place under the mattress in order to cut down on spitting up. But he still refused to hangout in the playard.
Then I visited Troublesome Tots. It was there that I realized that this could actually work. Sleep-training was going to be a long, two steps forward one step back, process but we could do it. I didn't want to settle for the same sleep journey we had with Little K.
One night, I put Little Buddy in the pack n' play while I washed my face before bed. When I came out, he was happily kicking and cooing on the mattress. Since he was happy, I decided to let him hang out there as long as he wanted. And, eventually, he fell asleep. Cue disbelief! And sweet relief!
It's been touch and go the past two weeks. The first night, he slept almost four hours in the pack n' play. The second night, three hours. Since then, it's been one to two hours in the pack n' play. I've tried putting him back in the pack n' play after his middle of the night nursing and it's a complete no-go. So, once he wakes up, he's back in our bed for the rest of the night.
The good news is: it's a start. Little K never slept consistently outside of our bed. At least Little Buddy begins his nights on a separate surface!
We start our evening routine with a bath around 7:00 PM (anytime from 7-8pm is okay for bath, depending on our evening activities). Then diaper, pj's, and nursing. After nursing, we sit on the yoga ball in the dark master bedroom to bounce and sing three rounds of "Take My Life and Let It Be." By then, Little Buddy is getting sleepy. He gets placed in the pack n' play with the white noise machine set to "rain" and a sing some nonsense syllables to Take My Life while rubbing his belly. He's usually out by 8:30, just in time for me to run out of the master bedroom and put Little K to bed.
Our routine isn't perfect. We don't read him a bedtime story. He sleeps with a pacifier and wakes up when it falls out. He sleeps with a blanket (I know, I know). He breathes loud. I'm still so used to him being in bed with me that I have a hard time
falling asleep when he's in the pack n' play. (Stupid irony.)
But it's okay. Because he sleeps, for even a short time, out of my bed.
Thank you, Lord!