A huge thank you to DockATot for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own!
Co-Sleeping to Crib
If you’re reading this and in the same spot I was a month ago, I’m giving you a virtual hug (you need it.) Vivian (16 months) was still co-sleeping and I was at my wits end. I was getting less sleep then I did was she was a newborn. She was wanting to breastfeed throughout the night, the whole night. She would be sound asleep and I would pull my boob out of her mouth and she would instantly wake up. It was time to move her into her into her crib.
First of all, a few things to note about my parenting “methods:”
- We never planned on co-sleeping with either of our children, it just happened and its how we all got the most sleep.
- I am still breastfeeding Vivian. I thought I was going to have to quit to get her successfully to sleep through the night (and in her crib.) Happy to report, I am still nursing her.
- This is a realistic method. It’s not a how-to-get-your-baby-to-sleep-through-the-night-in-one-try kinda thing.
- I call Vivian a baby because she is my baby, but she is almost 18 months. Most would consider her a toddler (sad face! Where does time go?!)
- I also want to note, I’m not opposed to the CIO (crying it out) method in small amounts, it just didn’t work for us (Vivian puts her hands in her mouth within a few minutes of getting upset and can make herself vomit.) The CIO method was no longer a viable or clean option.
Key to Successfully Transition
Our biggest key to success was getting a bigger DockATot. We had the Deluxe and we used it for both kids when they were babies, but with Vivian sleeping in our bed we didn’t have room to upgrade to the Grand DockATot. We have her Deluxe DockATot right in her crib. It fits perfectly, it’s safe, and no more getting legs/arms stuck in the crib rails and waking up.
How to Start
I still nursed Vivian to sleep. I would rock her in her room until she was asleep. When laying her down if she woke up I would gently “SHHH” her and then rock her crib. Her crib is fairly light and by holding the crib by the rail and gently bouncing it (about 1cm) she would immediately lay back down (rock the crib for about 1 minute.) At the beginning I had a 50/50 chance that she would stay laying down once I stopped after rocking her crib, now its about 9/10. If she stands up and cries I pick her up and nurse her for 5 more minutes and lay her back down. The second time is almost always successful. The first week or so was rough. She was still getting up 3-5 times a night to nurse. It was so tempting to bring her back to bed to nurse her because I was tired too! I wanted to give up, I felt like I wasn’t seeing any improvement.
By week three something just “clicked.” She slept from 8pm to 7am. I woke up in the middle of the night and panicked, wondering if I didn’t hear her crying or if something was wrong. She was sound asleep. From the point on we were seeing about 50/50 sleeping through the night or getting up once to nurse. The next week was more like 80/20 and I’m happy to report we are about six weeks in and 90% of the time she sleeps through the night and only occasionally gets up to nurse once. YAY!
When laying Vivian down, if she wakes up, most of the time I no longer have to “rock” her crib. If she sees me standing there, she’ll just roll over and go back to dreaming. Also, she is napping better and longer then ever before! I’m seeing a 1-2 hour nap daily, for her this is a huge improvement!
Good luck to any parents out there trying to transition. I promise it’s worth it in the end! There’s a reason why sleep deprivation is used as a torture technique!