One of the most controversial topic about motherhood after breastfeed vs bottle-feed is co-sleeping vs crib-sleeping. And today I’m gonna share my journey on my boy sleeping journey. From the beginning, I chose crib-sleeping for 2 reasons: first, I want to be a husband and wife, not only a baby caretaker. second, I love my beauty sleep and I believe that one thing is the thing that will keep me healthy both physical and mental. Disclaimer: I am here NOT to judge anyone who are pro or against co-sleeping. Neither I have an intention to support mums who do crib-sleeping. I am acting as a story teller that would love to share her journey with all of others woman out there that might facing the same struggles as I do. Once again I wanna tell you, that you’re NOT alone. Once you realised this tiny yet huge fact, you’ll never see motherhood as a task anymore, rather than you’ll see this as a privileged.
I decided to share this story with you guys cause I was so thrilled that finally after 3 long months, J finally slept through the night on HIS TODDLER BED IN HIS OWN ROOM. Another milestones: that HE IS A REAL INDEPENDENT TODDLER NOW. I am so proud of him and of myself too. We made such a great team together. ha! Sorry for being so bias and exaggerating. Still in awe moment. Trust me that this is the moment you’re all gonna waiting for. hey mumma…. 😉
Well, here’s the journey…
BASSINET – newborn to 4 months I placed J on bassinet next to my bed. Every time and always within my sight. During that time: sleep deprived was so real and tangible. Waking up every hour was specially made for me and still NOT used to with it.
CRIB SLEEPING – exactly at 4 months old, I transitioned him from bassinet to a crib at his own room. And almost every night was kind a rough night, cause I have to check on him more than twice a night, soothing and weaning him. It’s getting tougher when it came to teething stage. By 12 months, J’s still not sleep through the night, and listening to other mom’s stories of how his bub having a good sleep through the night, to be honest, it made me envy MUCH not little. I miss my beauty sleep. T T Not until J’s turning 20 months, I finally decided to do a sleep training. I read some articles and books guidleines before I did my own sleep training and expected some long cries, and I thought I was ready for it. But, on the D-night. OH MY GOODNESS. I found myself sitting down under the table and cried my heart out too as I was listening to my son’s hysteric cries. But, I told myself to toughen up, it’ll get better. And it continued for the next 3 nights. 4th night appeared and we were so relieved to find NO CRIES from his room, he slept soundly till morning. We were so over the moon, I was able to reconnect with my husband. And so happy to be able to awaken J every morning and saw his pillow face.
TODDLER BED – Right after J turned 24 months, few days after his birthday, I heard him crying for a bit then stopped. Few minutes later, he went in to our bedroom and joined us on bed through the night. For God sake. He just jumped out of his crib, how could you even do that?! my brain was still in loading mode. Since then, I took off one side of his crib for safety. And from that day onwards, he kept waking up at night and continue his sleep on our bed. This is seriously annoying, J was a “kicker sleeper” (basically he kicks anyone who block his way during the sleep) and I’d miss my husband and wife time too. We had less sleep again from that moment. And most of the time it ruined our mood for the day too. It’s just NOT healthy for me and my husband, that’s how we feel. Well, we MUST find a new way to make him sleep through the night at his own room. We can’t do sleep training cause now he has the free access to get in and out of his crib. We have no locks at any bedroom door since we live in an apartment. We tried to bribe him with toys, egg surprises, and stickers. Still failed. Duh. Last chance, we thought by giving him a new room to leave in will eventually give him a sense of belonging there.
- Started by renovating his crib into toddler bed – we change one side of with a bed guard. Putting stairs on the side of the crib to channel his adventurous spirit. Change his cute circus bed sheets to grid monochrome style. Lastly, we decorate the bed with some monochrome bulbs. This is NOT only a bed to sleep for him, this can also be a nook for him to lay down and read some book during the day.
- Organise all his toys at his room – we want to make sure that he’ll get used to with his new room from day to night. The reason we put all his toys into this room is for him to stay in his room as much as possible and be comfortable and secure in it. Whatever he needs are in this particular room. Except the TV and other gadgets though.
- Change a little furniture placement at his room – give him a fresh look of his “new” room (which is not new cause I am still NOT finish with my toddler bedroom project, still working on my new bedhead) but at least I would do what I could do first by changing a some placement to some furnitures. And proven! it birthed new excitement and curiosity for him on where to find & collect stuffs.
I would say, J was so excited the moment he stepped in to his “new/old” room. ha! Just because it looked different than his baby room. But the transition does not go well till last night. It took us 3 months to get to this point of victory. During that 3 months, we let J to have a free choice where to sleep. But, once in a while I made the decision for him to sleep at his own room, and to jump on to his bed in the middle at the night whenever he awakens from his sleep or nightmares.. Then, 3 days ago, I realised that maybe he needs brighter lights on his room, so he won’t feel scared, at least he can see things surrounds him and could get back to sleep by himself then. The first day, he woke up at 6.30am and jumped into our bed to continue his sleep. This morning, he woke up exactly at his 8.30am with so much smiles. BIG YES!! the light worked. OH, I can’t believe this. 1 night down. forever more to go.
This is my dear boy sleeping journey – from birth to toddler. There’s lot of ups and downs, smooth nights and hiccups, trials and errors. But, one thing I learned that we can’t really predict the timing of our baby to get ready for a transition in life. It all come naturally as they grow. Our role as a parent is NOT forcing them but to guide, support and facilitate them with all the best resources we have physically, mentally and spiritually. For those of you who are in ANY KIND of transitioning stage, it is tough and blurry but always have full faith in your child that they will pass through this transitioning season well. Good night for now. I’d better enjoy my rare beauty sleep, no one knows what might coming next.