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Moving to bigger places (for sleeping)

Written by: Christopher Spicer June 05 2012 After five months, we decided it was time for Everett to move out. We love him very much, but there is just a time when your child needs to face the world alone. Or in Everett’s case, sleep in his own bed room. He probably isn’t quite ready...

Written by: Christopher Spicer

After five months, we decided it was time for Everett to move out. We love him very much, but there is just a time when your child needs to face the world alone. Or in Everett’s case, sleep in his own bed room. He probably isn’t quite ready to rent an apartment and get a job, so we’ll wait a few more years before we ship him out of the house.

After Everett slept through the night for me, Emily instantly wanted to try to come up with strategies that would encourage him to do the same for her. There is also the problem that Everett has this nasty habit of growing, and it won’t be much longer before he won’t fit in his bassinet. I won’t be dragging the crib into the bedroom or buying yet another item so that Everett can continue to sleep with us. I like having Everett sleep in the same room as us, but we reasoned that if he no longer needs to wake up in the middle of the night for feedings then it was probably time to move him.

When I’m writing this, Everett has been sleeping in the crib for about a week and a half. We still haven’t been able to get through the night without him waking up (okay, okay, Emily hasn’t). The crib sleeping experience has improved drastically since the first few evenings we moved him over. Everett was a little less than thrilled about his new night time sleeping place and wanted to make sure the neighbours even knew his opinion on it. His disdain has probably come from a combination of being accustomed to sleeping in the same room as us and also sleeping in a confined space.

The bassinet is a very different sleeping place than the crib. I can understand how he has needed some time to adjust to it. In the last few months Everett covered most of the space in the bassinet, and this means his arms would often rub against the side. In the crib, Everett is like a little rabbit in a massive field, and now his arms are hitting nothing but air. Emily’s theory is that Everett’s arms and feet occasionally fling out to his side and in the bassinet he’d hit the wall, but in the crib, his limb flinging isn’t stopped by anything, which leads to him being shocked awake. Of course, this would only account for him waking up after an hour of sleep and not explain why the first few nights a very tired baby preferred to scream his lungs out rather than sleep.

When Everett slept in the bassinet, he almost always fell asleep within minutes of being laid down. We went through the routine of feeding him, changing his diaper, reading a story, washing his face and hands, and then laying him down in the bassinet. He usually was tired enough that he drifted off without any fuss, and we had got pretty used to this night time ritual. Moving Everett over to the crib meant we were now adding about a half hour or more of trying to calm him to sleep. Even then, he was ready for his next round of cries about an hour after that. It wasn’t the most relaxing of evening activities. I must concede that we even gave in a little on the first night, and moved Everett into his bassinet (but kept him in his bedroom).

It has definitely gotten a lot better, and we now have nights where he doesn’t feel the need to perform an entire Tony award winning musical before going to sleep. He still hasn’t slept through the night since I looked after him alone, and this may get a few people to argue that he really didn’t sleep through the night but I just slept through his cries. My argument is that I didn’t wake up to a tear-soaked baby and I did wake up a few times during the night expecting for him to cry but was always greeted by his heavy breathing. I blame the crib. Everett has decided it isn’t something worth eight hours of his sleep and so he wakes up out of protest and then demands a snack for his trouble. He isn’t moving back and the crib is his new place of sleep, or at least, the place he rests for a few hours before releasing his latest hit single.

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