You know how babies will sometimes just go and go and go and then, suddenly drop off to sleep without warning. That pretty much sums up bedtime tonight. Dora hasn’t been sleeping all that well and basically, that means that I’ve not been sleeping all that well. At first I thought she was teething (and maybe she was). Then I was sure she wasn’t getting enough to eat during the day (toddlers often don’t) and that she was compensating at night (and maybe she was). Now I am camping on a completely different theory: she’s lonely. Even though her crib is in the same room with Will and I, this highly social creature wakes up and in her groggy, disoriented state perceives the dark around her as vast and empty. And really who could go back to sleep with that thought in her head? She is only just now one year old and thinking back to when Brother was that age I realize that I did not expect him to sleep alone. In fact, we had a rather large family bed until he was almost 3. I’ve only been trying to push her toward crib sleep because of the new baby’s impending arrival. But it’s not right. She’s not ready and I know only too well the sleep problems that arise from pushing a child too soon.
So, all of that leads to tonight. We are fortunate to have a master bedroom with a rather large sitting area to one side. This sitting area has been functioning as the “nursery” But tonight we rearranged the our bedroom furniture from a very cute and ordered “master bedroom with a nursery” to a messy hodgepodge of “sleeping space and everything else”. First Will removed the up/down side of the crib, then we jammed it up against the side of our bed. Everything else was rearranged around that. It may not be traditional but it’s necessary and I know in the long run we will all be better sleepers because of it. All this change got Dora pretty wound up so even though she was extremely tired it took a good 45 minutes for her to get to sleep but she did it eventually (and suddenly) and I think it is a good beginning.
*Side Note #1: If you think that at one year old Dora should be sleeping all the way through the night every night then you either A) don’t have children B) got darn lucky with your own children or C) are lying to yourself about what your little one is doing at night all alone in that room way down the hall.
Side Note #2: Some people buy those co-sleeper contraptions that fit on the side of a bed but unless space is an issue I suggest saving your money because first of all those little beds cost an arm and a leg and second they are so little that past 9 or 10 months they are completely unusable. A regular crib works fine and lasts much longer. In our case, the crib we have converts to toddler bed so it was easy to take the side off but with Brother we used a regular crib and fastened it to the frame of our bed and it worked well too.