We have had Maddie sleeping next to us in our room in her cradle since the day we brought her home. I liked it at first because I could hear/see her at any point during the night, so for my new-mom-anxiety, it meant that I didn't have to get out of bed to ensure she was still alive. Then I liked it because it was a hanging-style cradle, which meant I could rock her back to sleep with some 'shhh shhh-ing' quite easily - again without having to get out of bed.
She seemed to like being able to see me when she woke up, probably also that she could hear/smell me in the middle of the night as well. For several months she slept like a dream in that cradle - I would nurse her 2-3 times a night, put her back down and back to sleep she'd go like a little princess.
Then Valentine's Day came - we decided to try to 'transition' her to the crib. That night didn't go so well, and since then, her sleep habits have been atrocious. Resulting in her going to sleep in her cradle every night like usual, but then usually coming into our bed at some point during the night - sometimes as early as midnight, sometimes not until 4-ish. I think partly to do with her age (the "4 month sleep regression" is getting a lot of blame at this point), partly to do with her size (getting too big for that little cradle), and partly to do with her growing awareness of what's around her as well as cause and effect (hey, Mommy's up there, I want to be snuggled up there too - if I cry and fuss she'll eventually break down and bring me up there!)... regardless, we finally have gotten to the point that we realize she needs to move to her own room.
Yes I said "we" up there. It's not just been crazy Mommy that's been adamant about keeping Maddie in our room so long. Daddy really likes her being in there as well. It's a cozy little family room, he says. In hindsight, we should have made the move before she hit 3 months (and got a lot more aware of things around her) - it probably would have gone completely smoothly at that point. But we didn't, so now we have the task of moving a 5+ month old out of our room, out of her cozy cradle - into her big-girl crib. Fun.
At least Seth is off this week - which will hopefully make it a little less hard on us both, since we know there will be plenty of tears throughout the night. And to prepare for it all - Seth moved the cradle out of the room into the basement yesterday. Seeing that empty space beside my side of the bed made me well up a little. But it was a good thing, didn't want the cradle still there for a fall back.
So last night was the first night of crib-only sleeping. Well - she went down at 8pm, slept until 10:30 - up for a feed. Awake again at 2am for the mid-evening party that only she was attending (that means she wasn't crying, she wasn't hungry, she was just awake and ready to play play play!). After an hour of shushing and patting, I thought I had convinced her to go back to sleep, but the minute my head hit the pillow I heard rustling over the monitor. 30 minutes later the 'playing' had escalated to crying and I had now been awake for an hour + 45 minutes. Exhaustion and weakness of character saw me picking her up and taking her into bed with me, feeding her and sleeping for another blessed 3 hours.
Okay, so not a total success story - but a good start. Okay, an 'OK' start. We'll see how the naps go today - it's now 9am and someone's fussing, so it's time to get back on schedule.
Love to all - xxoo.S