Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Solo Sleep for LLC

It’s exciting every time we have a new addition to LLC’s list of firsts. (You know I love my lists – plus, I’m spurred on by my baby book and baby calendar which encourage me to chart LLC’s developments).

We had forged a fairly successful bedtime routine – bath with daddy; change; feed & story with mommy; bed in moses basket) but since everyone tells us once you establish one pattern it is likely to change, we decided to pre-empt that ourselves by moving LLC into her own room for bed last night. So much for the old adage that “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” – we figure we should start to sew her seeds of nighttime independence as she’s going on for 10 weeks and getting more attentive and no doubt astute by the day.

LLC’s room is not a fully kitted out baby themed nursery as it’s also our office and guest room rolled into one. This suits our space, our budget and our purposes but we’re still keen to have the room reflect her as best it can. The bookshelves hold her books, on the wall hangs her awesome name banner sewn by the hand of Aunt D, her dresser dons her music box and ABC picture and the changing table hangs over her until now “naked” cot bed. Yesterday I finally “dressed” the cot bed and it’s proved a crowning glory in helping the little lady’s room look more complete.

So the room looks good and LLC’s crib is a cozy sanctuary for sleep, guarded by a small brigade of stuffed animals. But how did bedtime in this new environment go?

I nursed LLC on the futon in her room rather than our bed. I read her story. I shushed her into that seven mile stare state between consciousness and sleep and slowly lowered her into her crib. I retracted my hand, slowly, gently and then “Waa, waa, waa” - small sounds but on the brink of a crescendo. Her small eyes darted left and right, frantically taking in her new surrounds.

I braced myself that this nighttime transition may not be easy and that tonight might be the start of a tiring journey for awhile. I scooped up LLC, rocked and shushed again for about a minute and then placed her back in her crib once she fell quiet. She looked up at me with big full moon eyes. Such a huge searching stare from such a little person. I explained that this was her new big girl bed and that mommy would be back to feed her in the night and then in the morning like usual. She stayed quiet, so I gave her a goodnight kiss, switched on her monitor and left the room.

She woke once in the night to be fed and went down again fairly easily afterwards. She then woke up a little after 6am, a bit earlier than normal but we’ll take it!

So her first night sleeping solo went surprising well. I’m not getting too excited as it’s only been one night, but I’m hoping this auspicious start will be a sign of bedtimes to come. A mama can only hope.
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