Saturday, September 1, 2007

Hush Little Baby.....

Well, I want to start out with some big news in this household! Mara has slept through the night, and I mean she has slept completely through the night! She fell asleep around 9 pm and woke up around 7:30 this morning!
I should back up a bit and announce that we have begun the process of moving Mara into her own bed at night. She has been sleeping in her crib for naps, and has been showing us signs that she's just getting too big for the cosleeper attached to our the fact that she gave me a heart-attack a few weeks ago by diving out of her cosleeper (I think she got confused and was trying to crawl into our bed). So a few weeks ago I began putting her in her crib at night, and when she woke up to nurse, she slept the rest of the night in the cosleeper. A few nights ago, she became pretty restless after nursing, rolling and kicking around in the cosleeper, until I finally asked her if she wanted to go into her crib. To my surprise, she blurts out a "yeah!" So into the crib we go....she's asleep in 5 minutes!
I am just so proud of her, and to be honest, I am so proud of us as well. Mara set her own pace and I am so proud of us for respecting this and just following her lead. I guess I have gained some motherly wisdom this second time around!
I just find the whole topic of sleep can be a perplexing topic among parents of young children. It is THE question most asked to new parents "So how does he/she sleep?" (and usually followed by some tips on what they did to create these incredible, deep-sleeping comatose children). Open any parenting magazine out there and there is sure to be at least one article on how to get your child to a) sleep through the night, or b) take really long naps. We Moms do it to each other, comparing notes on what works, what doesn't-and let the worry set in when it seems that everyone else's children are sleeping peacefully but your own.
With Analese, I will admit I bought a couple books on sleep because, well-that's what you do when your a new mom and wonder if your doing it right. There is always the fear that you are messing things up, and will surely pay the price for it later! Analese was a great sleeper at night-sleeping through the night by 6 weeks old. But naps were a different story....oh, how she fought them! I did learn some important tips on to identify her sleep cues, which began surprisingly a lot earlier then I had suspected, so she was so overtired when I did try to put her down that she just couldn't get settled. She also did not like her crib for the first 6-7 months, which makes sense when she slept with us at night. So naps in our bed for awhile worked perfectly, eventually moving to the cosleeper and then to her crib. For some, this may seem like a slow and tedious process, but is there really a need to rush?
Years ago, if you were to tell me that my child would sleep in my room for over 19 months, I would have laughed and wondered what I had done wrong. I would have stressed how important it was for the child to learn to sleep on their own. But becoming a parent certainly changes you and your expectations of parenthood. I have since realized that every child is different and unique, with their own rhythm in life. The most important thing we can do is respect that. We are so often judged on silly things, like how well your child sleeps at night, that we often put pressure on ourselves and our children to speed things up. But why rush it? They are only so small for such a short amount of time, and once it's gone, well, it's gone. I know that I will always treasure the nights I have had with both girls-the nighttime cuddles, watching my little one fall into a deep and peaceful sleep. And waking to see a smiling face beaming at you is completely priceless.
I guess I am feeling a bit sentimental tonight. I feel like this is the beginning of the end for our nighttimes with Mara. While I do feel like we are all ready to move forward, I will admit to feeling a bit sad. My baby is growing up....all on her own terms.


Peace is every step said...

Congrats!! What a huge step for little Mara. I think it is so great for you to follow her lead-she's lucky to have you for a mama.

It is hilarious how our lives can be so similar at the same time. Little Nevie has started sleeping in her own crib for about a month now. We just put her in her "room", AKA my office, last week and she's been doing great. Most nights she falls asleep at around 9PM and sleeps until about 7PM---some nights she wakes to nurse, but takes a quick sip and actually lets me put her down. I've been in shock for weeks-I never would have thought it would be this easy.

But, like you said, if you follow their lead it is easy. So, this weekend we tore up the house to create her own room & find spots for all my scrapbooking/sewing/jewelry/stain glass/school/photos/etc.... Needless to say, it wasn't easy and we are TIRED. Her room is adorable--I'll post some pics soon.

Julie B said...

Yeah for Nevie as well!! That is too funny that it is both happening at the same time :)
Yes-post some pictures of her new room! I would love to see it. I am STILL working on Mara's room, just a few things left to do to make it complete. I was hoping to finish it before school starts, but it doesn't look like that will happen. Oh well, I just hope to be finished before she gets too big to enjoy it :)

Chris said...

I'm so proud of you two Mammas!! You're children are very lucky. They must feel so secure and so proud of themselves. Isn't it funny/sad how they just know when they're ready to move on? This is such a big step for you as parents as well as for them.
Can't wait to see pictures of the rooms!