Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Into the Crib, Part 1

The subject of getting Zoe out of our bed and into her own crib will be an ongoing saga. This is part one.

Zoe currently sleeps with us, either on top of us or pressed up against us. Before I say too much on the subject of getting her out of our bed let me just state for the record that it really is sweet to have her by our side. But there are a lot of reasons to get her out, and the sooner the better. One reason is that if we prolong her exile she may just decide to stay forever, or at least a couple of years. And of course there are those certain “adult activities” that I prefer not to have my young daughter witness. It’s bad enough that the cats like to watch.

A friend who had a child around the same time we did said that they put their child in the crib from day one. They may not have experienced the joy and bonding we have shared with our daughter, but I bet they have slept better. And seven weeks down the road they are not strategizing on the many conditions necessary to get the child to sleep alone. So problem one, we didn’t start early enough. To give you an idea of what we are up against, let me provide you with this analogy. You’ve parked your car at the top of a hill. You walk a dozen steps away when you notice that your car has begun to roll. You can run after it but really there is nothing you can do. It will continue to gain speed until bam! That is Zoe ten minutes after we put her down alone. She starts off motionless like she’s parked for the night. Then there’s a twitch or a startled movement, then a whimper. Followed by a stretch. Followed by more stretching, and twisting, squeaking, and moaning until bam!

Because it’s early in the process we have a dozen theories and plans for how to get her to sleep alone. Do we use her own crib in her own room or do we put her in the little travel crib that sits next to our bed? Do we rest a hand on her to help calm her and reassure her that we are still there or do we keep our hands off so as not to startle her? How about sounds? Do we use white noise, soft music or lullabies or just golden silence? So far the answer to all these questions is a resounding yes and a definitive no. Maybe we just need to choose the one we think will work the best and stick with it. For now we’re going down the list and claiming success for every ten minutes she is asleep away from us. Stay tuned for part 2.

See photos of Zoe at ""

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