Friday, October 22, 2010

Big boy in a big bed

When we found out we were pregnant with a second child, one of the things we started thinking about was sleeping arrangements.  We knew we'd only be in our current house for the baby's first 6-8 weeks, so we didn't mind keeping him in our room until we moved.  We also made it a priority to have a room solely for guests, since we tend to have a lot and we love hosting friends and family.  So our plan was to have the boys share a room once we moved to the new house and Jude was sleeping through the night.  And we did this, for about three nights, and then I changed my mind. :)

The nights were fine, even if Jude was being noisy, Jack rarely woke up and if he did he went right back to sleep.  The problem was in the morning.  When Jude wakes up the first thing he wants to do is nurse, understandably, the boy is hungry!  And when Jack wakes up the first thing he wants to do is snuggle with mom ... all by himself.  So when the boys were sharing a room whoever was up first ended up waking the other boy up and then both boys wanted mommy and the morning went downhill from there.

Our plan was also for Jack to move to a toddler bed and Jude to move into his crib.  We bought the bed and set it up in Jack's room where he spent several months jumping on it and checking things out.  Eventually we realized that Jack would probably not be ready to move to the "big boy bed" by the time the baby arrived.  And the week that Jude was due we started to think that he wouldn't be ready for it even after Jude needed the crib.  We didn't want to put undue pressure on any of us, so we made a last minute purchase on Craigslist and got Jude his own crib.

And so, for the past few months Jude has been sleeping in his crib in the guest room, or the pack 'n play in our room when we have guests, and Jack has been sleeping in his crib in his room and jumping on the toddler bed in his freetime.  Until recently. 

A few days after we returned from our weekend trip to Connecticut Jack decided he wanted to sleep in his big boy bed.  I put him in his jammies, he grabbed his binkies and monkey, and headed straight for the bed.  Now, this wasn't too surprising.  He's done this before.  One time he laid awake for an hour and a half, not moving a muscle except for the occasional blink.  We figured he was scared, so we put him back in the crib.  Another night weeks later he wanted to try it again.  We kissed him goodnight, and then spent the next 20 minutes listenintg to him saying "uh oh, uh oh" over and over again.   We then moved him back to his crib.  He worked up the courage yet again a few weeks after that.  When we went to check on him later that night he was barely in the bed and to avoid any middle-of-the-night incidents Jon moved him back to the crib.  But this night was different.  I could tell my boy was serious.

All things considered, it went pretty well.  For Jack.  I on the other hand, did not get the best night of sleep.  I was constantly getting up to check on him, make sure he was warm and covered, make sure he was still in the bed.  He only cried once, and I ran into his room to find him lying on the floor.  But he wanted to go right back into his big boy bed.  And he stayed there until morning.  He didn't even get out when he woke up.  The second night was even better.  Slept all the way through without falling out.  And I slept a little better too.  The third night I woke up at 3am, checked on him in the monitor, and realized I couldn't see him on the screen.  I grabbed the flashlight, the trusty little thing I keep next to my bed with the dim bulb that's only good for two things:  (1) reading in bed while the hubby is trying to sleep and (2) checking on little boys in the night without disturbing their slumber.  I frantically ran into his room.  He wasn't in the bed, he wasn't under the bed.  He wasn't in the corner.  I couldn't find him anymore.  I was starting to panic.  That was when I tripped over a large object on the floor.  There he was, sound asleep, peacefully unaware of his mother's anxiety.

Nights have been going well since.  Naps are a different story.  Jack went from taking one 2.5-3 (sometimesw 4!!) hour nap to only napping for 1.5 hours.  This was not good.  Not good for Jack and not good for Mommy.  I decided we'd keep at it for one week, and if naps didn't improve he was going back to the crib.  Within 5 days he was back to his regular nap routine. 

And that was it.  Since then it's been smooth sailing.  Too smooth.  I would say it seems that he hasn't learned he can get out of the bed himself yet, but that's not true since he's perfectly capable of bounding out of bed as soon as I open the door.  But he hasn't done it before then ... yet.  And I keep a close eye on him.  Have I mentioned how much I love our video monitor?  Especially now.

Pre-big boy bed.  Upside down in the crib.
There was one time when he reached over the edge of the bed and grabbed a book.  I heard him up there reciting names of farm animals and wondered what on earth was going on?

Jack has never been still in his sleep.  He's always turning, flipping, twisting ...  and he continued in that manner after moving to the big boy bed.  Two things that seem to have helped are a pillow (which we constantly reinforce is where his head is supposed to go) and sheets, which we tuck in as tightly as we can all the way around.  I actually ended up buying a twin sheet on clearance at Target and just cutting it in half and hemming the edges.  Works perfectly.  Well, it would work perfectly.  Jack still manages to wiggle out most of the time.  And when he does, and is awake, you can usually hear him kicking the wall.

The big boy bed is also great for reading bedtime stories.  Jude things he's hot stuff when mommy lets him lay in there with his big brother.  And Jack gets a kick out of sharing his bed.  We've started this little everyone-together-to-read-a-book-before-naptime routine and now Jack refuses to go to sleep calmly until he's received a kiss from Jude.  In other words, Mommy lifts Jude up and smashes his mouth up against Jack's cheek for "kisses."  What a lover!

So now we've got a free crib in the house.  What to do, what to do?

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