It had been a busy weekend; I had a swim meet, one of Kate's playmates had a birthday party and Husband had to do all the grocery and farmer's market shopping, which took me more time to write lists and instructions than it does for me to do the actual shopping. We were all really tired on Sunday night. Kate and I did our usual bedtime routine. While we were snuggling on the glider, she pointed to her bed and I kissed her good night and placed her in the crib. As I joined Husband in our room, we could hear her talking to her baby doll and stuffed animals as she was drifting off to sleep. Husband commented about how awesome she was and how we were so lucky to have a baby who went to bed so easily. Basically... he jinxed us.
I went into the kitchen to do my meal prep for the week. It was nearly ten o'clock and I heard her wake up. She'll occasionally wake herself up and then quickly go back to sleep. This was a more urgent cry and I had the feeling that she wasn't going to fall back asleep. I went into check on her and discovered her diaper had leaked and her shorts were soaked. (as it was really hot, we skipped putting her in the sleep sack that night) Fortunately, her sheets were still dry, so I didn't have to strip her bed. I changed her, cuddled on the glider for a few minutes and then tried to put her back in her crib. She stood up and started crying immediately. I kissed her good night and left her room, closing the door and preparing for a Cry-it-Out session. I returned to the kitchen and suddenly the crying became louder as did the noise from her sound machine. I was familiar with the sound machine becoming louder. Often it indicates that Tyler entered in her room. Yet, he wouldn't enter her room while she was crying, especially in a full on melt down. I knew what this meant.
My suspicion was confirmed when I went into the hallway and saw her walking into our room. Oh shit. The moment (one of many) that I've been dreading. She can't be contained by her crib. As it was hot and we were so tired, we decided just to let her sleep with us. Of course, no one sleeps well when she sleeps with us, and I think the last time she slept with us was when she had an ear infection just before New Year's Eve. At one point, she kicked me in the head and Husband eventually went to sleep in the guest room. As were comiserated in the morning, Husband and I hoped this was just a one-off and she would go back to sleeping in the crib like the little angel she has been.
Ha! Yeah right. The next night I went through our routine (I even ditched a department dinner meeting so keep her routine on track or at least help Husband with a toddler who won't go to sleep) but when I put her into the crib (using the sleep sack again) she stood up and cried. I left her room and went into mine. She joined me a few minutes later. In one of her blog posts Jamie Glowacki discussed the crib to bed transition and her super nanny recommendation is to keep bringing them back to bed [when they come into your room] without talking or engaging with them. She described the first night with her son, he popped up about 20 times, then next night only 3, and by the third night didn't wake up at all. Three nights? I could deal with that. So Husband and I took turns silently carrying Kate back to her crib. The only trouble was that she was getting out of it before we had even left her room. The sleep sack didn't slow her down at all. She was like an Olympic gymnast on the pommel horse; quickly swinging her legs over the side and sticking a graceful landing. We must have tried to put her back over 20 times in a 15 minute time period. It was absolutely futile. Husband decided to close our door, thinking it would at least delay her from getting in our room, although it wasn't locked, she couldn't open the door and cried outside our door for about 20 minutes before falling asleep.
Meanwhile, I texted my cousin and inquired if the crib converted to a toddler bed. She responded quickly and confirmed that it did, but I was contemplating taking a hacksaw to the front panel if it didn't. Earlier that weekend, I found an Allen wrench while sorting though Kate's drawers and at that time, I couldn't figure out was it was for. Now I knew. A few minutes later, I took off the front panel to her crib and we had a toddler bed. I picked Kate up off the floor and successfully transfered her to the bed, where she stayed the night.
Fortunately, I was off the next day, so Kate and I went to a baby supply store for a bed rail and gate for her door. I should mention that I was a bit rushed during this trip as I forgot the diaper bag. If she had an accident, the only thing I had for her was one of her sweatshirts to tie around her waist. I should have had more faith in her (she used the potty at the store twice and stayed dry) and should have been more careful with my purchases as I came home to discover that I had picked up the wrong size bed rail and the box for the gate had previously been opened and re-taped (indicated a returned item) and was missing the installation instructions and a few necessary pieces. [Face palm] #MomFail.
However, I remembered that when we visited one of Kate's school friends who has a twin bed with a bed rail, Kate was having quite a bit of fun diving over the rail, so maybe that rail wasn't such a good idea. I picked up a pool noodle during our shopping trip, so I decided to give that a try. I was particularily drawn to this idea as the noodle is one of my least favourite training tools, so maybe I can make some peace with the noodle. Or at least it was satisfying when I did used the saw to create a custom fit. We had an extra mattress, as my cousin gave it to us with the crib, but we decided to get a new one for Kate. The original one has been stored under her crib and I soon discovered that it easily slides in and out. The spare mattress could be pulled out to offer extra protection, should she roll over the noodle.
I was feeling pleased with this set up and was really hopeful that it would work. Maybe for 6 months, so we can defer the twin bed transition to the end of the year? I can keep my baby's room set up the way I arranged it for her just a little bit longer. Emotionally, I look in her room now and I still see the crib. She's still my baby. Logistically, I haven't figured out what we want to do with the glider. It's so comfortable, but we don't have room for it in the living room. The other functional piece of furnature is the changing table. Although we are only diapering at night now, it's still useful for getting her dressed an applying sun screen in the morning. Plus it contains her hamper and a few other storage drawers.
The first night I put her into the newly converted toddler bed, I laid down on the mattress next to her bed (after explaining that I would only be staying on the pull out mattress while she is getting use to her new bed) She fell asleep quickly and I was able to leave quietly. Then she woke up at 2:30 in the morning. We tried just putting her back in bed, but she kept getting up over and over agian. We both had busy days ahead and really didn't have the energy to keep going back and forth. Husband and I took turns lying on the toddler mattress while she fell asleep. It wasn't ideal, but we figured this way, she's sleeping in her bed and we're sleeping (sort of). There were three wake-ups on the first night, and one every night after that. Even if she goes to back to sleep quickly, I sometimes truggle to fall back into slumber as I'm waiting to see if she wakes up again. It hasn't helped that Tyler is still incessently meowing arount 4 AM. In fact, I'm writing this at 4:30 in the morning after I finally fell back to sleep after being woken up by Kate at 2:30 and then again at 4 AM by my FUCKING CAT! I can handle one of my children waking me up at night, but now both. I decided to put Tyler back on kitty Prozac and he's been quiet for the past two nights.
We picked up a gate (with all its pieces) over the weekend, so we can at least contain her in her room. She's still waking up once a night. I'm hoping she'll magically stop these once a night wake-ups and go back to sleeping though the night, or else I have to figure out how to get her to sleep without me (or Husband) laying down on the spare mattress. I have one idea I'm trying for tonight. The other transition we addressed last week was switching from whole milk to 2%. She really wasn't eating well last week and maybe was needed more calories at night. So I gave her a cup of whole milk before bed (even though she ate a decent dinner). We shall see.