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Post-transition to a "big-girl bed" families; was self-settling "the beginning of the end"? ...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

First of all:  bawling.gif



Little Miss has slept with me from night one.  She made it clear that would be the arrangement.  I'm not 100% crunchy, 100% modern-AP (What IS that, anyway?), the only thing I've been dedicated to is letting Little Miss tell us what she needs, and then giving it to her. 


So we've entered the toddler years, and we're experimenting with "No!" and boundaries and limits and consequences and all kinds of fun stuff.  I love her.  She makes the "Ah ah!" noise as she does the naughty thing.  Oh yeah.  My little darlin'.

It's been a big, and sudden transition.  She's markedly more brave with other humans, markedly more brave physically, and still very fond of and attached to me, for now.


She's been less interested than usual in nursing, and she was never a big nurser.  She nurses at bedtime, and nurses herself to sleep at naptime.  She can go to bed or down for nap without nursing.  Mama is not quite ready to be done.  (Please note:  Mama alternates between really, really done and not done, never ready to be done, it can't end, no my baby, nooo!)


Our usual nighttime routine starts with a bath, followed by some sleepy-time stories, followed by nursing, lots of cuddles, some monkey-business, and then Papa would rub and pat her off to dreamland in our big bed.  But a little while ago, the off-to-sleep portion started taking loooonger and loooooooooooonger and longer and finally it was taking 40 minutes to an hour every night and Mama said to just put the little munchkin into her co-sleeper, which is set to the low level and next to the big bed and let her alone and see what happens.  So that was a couple weeks ago, and she's not cried, not once, and simply chats with her snuggly doll a while, then gets comfortable, pulls her quilt up into her face and goes to sleep.  And she stays asleep until the wee hours, when she wakes up, wakes me up and joins me in bed, having an obligatory 3-second nurse before drifting back off.  (No, really, I've tried not offering the boob, and she really wakes up and yells then, but there are many nights when I get it out and she's asleep before she latches.  She wants the boob out, apparently.)


So I'm wondering...  does all this signify that we might start introducing the big-girl bed, in her own big-girl room?  (Obviously this would be a very safe toddler bed, not an adult kit.) 


Anyone else had a child start self-settling and then transition?


I'm not eager to be rid of her.  True confession:  I occasionally rub her legs to wake her up just enough to justify bringing her in bed with me right when I am ready to sleep, instead of sleeping on my own until she wakes me.

But I'm really dedicated to letting her tell me, somehow, when she's ready for "the next step", whatever that may be, and all this, to me, seems like maybe she's ready to plunge into sleeping in the next room. 


Yikes.  And I'm so proud.  She's such a brave little thing, sleeping all by herself.  joy.gif

post #2 of 11
That's great and I'm very jealous lol.
My DD (6 months older than yours) is not at that stage yet; not by a long shot. One way to test the waters would be to set up the toddler bed in your room and transition her into it in the familiar setting. You can always move the bed and kiddo at a later stage.
Seriously I'm very jealous lol. DD screams bloody murder unless I nurse her till she's in deep sleep and then move her. I'd LOVE to give you BTDT advice but we are still sleeping in a recliner half the time. Good luck!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

I was pretty sure we'd be patting her to sleep until she was 12, which is why I was so late to notice she might be ready to self-settle (We were keeping her up!) and why I'm so keen on not stopping the momentum if that's what it is. 


Don't be too jealous.  Guess what happens when they sleep through the night?  More energy for day-time naughtiness.  I found an entire pack of makeup sponges in the potty yesterday...  she makes the "naughty" noise at the potty, so I know she knows.  (OK, I kid, she's 1, she doesn't know.)

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Anyone else?  Will I lose "momentum" if I'm not on the look-out for signs that she's ready to move into her room?


She plays in there, she knows that space is "hers", she naps in there... 

post #5 of 11

I would just go with it honestly. Alot of times AP kids (even PT ones if thats what you do) get to be quite independent when we're not looking, and maybe even quicker than non AP babies (not sure just guessing here). My 1st son, I tried to co-sleep with. For the 1st 3 mths of his life he wouldn't let me put him down.  Then at 5 mths old he wanted nothing to do with sleeping with in our bed. I laid him down one night in his cradle next to the bed instead and it was the 1st time he slept all night. By 6 mths he was sleeping through the night in his crib in his own room, he just did not want to be in our bed.


My 2nd son however, was in my bed until 1 yr when I tried transitioning him into his crib in another room. It didn't go as smoothly as it did with my 1st son. He just turned 2 and is finally sleeping for most of the night in his toddler bed, but does come into my bed around 4-5 in the morning.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

I really kind of resent the side effect of real, and early independence from AP parenting.  I appreciate how many people tell me that Little Miss is super-chill and very calm and confident and so forth...  although she's very likely to be clinging to me to avoid being eaten by bears... but I really dread how quickly the day she will just not need me is coming.  It's coming too fast for me, but I do, personally, think I will be doing her a massive disservice as a parent if I attempt to thwart her budding autonomy.


In any case, she still wakes at the wee hours and wants to nurse for .5 seconds before drifting back off, so I wonder if night-weaning isn't our first step.  Which she doesn't seem 100% ready for.  Perhaps I'll see if she wouldn't rather get back in her bed after nursing instead of just dragging her into bed next to me and falling asleep again with my nunnies out. 


Thanks for the encouragement.  She's still so tiny!  dizzy.gif

post #7 of 11

i think she's too little and you have too many doubts. don't push it. she will get there on her own, to the point that you can't stop her. no need to push -- even the night weaning. IDK though. it's different for everyone, everyone has their own dynamics. my first was in bed with me until 3.5 when her brother was born. i basically kicked her out but in a nice way... she was old enough to sleep in a toddler bed next to me, it was no problem for either of us. then when she was 5 she got a super nice canopy bed in a close by bedroom of her own. now she's 6 and it's all good, as it has been all this time.


her brother is now 3 and still with me, but starts the night in his (her old) toddler bed next to me. IDK how i will kick him out (or when), since there isn't another baby to motivate the change. but i'm confident that the right time will reveal itself when it's the right time. 

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi tropicana!  Yeah - she tries to climb into her co-sleeper now after stories and nunnie... but with her, the first  time or two, we had to set her in there, she didn't give any hints she was ready other than to just stop going to sleep with us snuggling her.  She's always been like that, we've got to nudge her, and then she either takes off and makes it her new favorite thing, or she lets us know it's not gonna work.  We try to respect her decision either way. 

post #9 of 11

Our DD is just over three. 

She is now in her own room, in her own bed. But she started out co-sleeping with us and transitioned herself.


How it happened with us was that we eventually side carred a crib to our bed, as she is all over the place while sleeping and we needed to sleep without being kicked in the face. That was at about 1.5 yrs old. At just about 2.5 yrs old she said she wanted her own room after being at my sisters and her seeing her cousins room with toys in it. Instead, we detached the crib from our bed and made it a toddler bed and put it across our room. Then we moved into a twin bed for her, because we still laid with her and rubbed her back until she went to sleep. 


Then, like your DD, it seemed that the laying with her was distracting her. So we told her we would "start her off" but then go downstairs and let her fall asleep with her bear. She asked why, and we told her that me laying there was distracting her and making it hard for her to sleep so she may have an easier time with out. But I told her I would come and check on her. However, she was about 3 yrs old when this conversation took place so she understood it alot more and idn't fight it. 

She was proud of herself, and so each night I would then just start her off. She would dictate this!


She then started talking about her own room again. So we let her pick out paint colours and talk about how she would have a room, how she would decorate it, etc. We were having guests and were using the room as a guest room, so there was a couple of weeks of her knowing it would be her room but her still being in ours. 


Now she is in her room. It has gone very smooth. Except, now I have to lay with her until she goes asleep again, as she is afraid of the dark in her own room. (Although the other room was dark too). It has only been a few weeks, so I am hoping it is just a stage and she will go back to going to sleep herself. 


We find that our DD transitions best when she is directing the pace. She can dig her feet in and fight with all her might when she isn't ready. 

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

colsxjack, that was a really gradual transition.  I like it - let's admit it, this will be as hard on me as it can be on Little Miss.  Right now she's suddenly clingier and wanting me much more for the past few days, and I'm not sure if it's because our routine has gone to crap (Thanks holidays!), or if it's related to the milestones she's been reaching, or if it's because she's been putting herself to sleep for the last month or so.  So we're in a holding pattern on everything.  I guess our next step will be to put her back in her bed when she wakes up in the middle of the night, instead of just moving her into our bed at that point.  Little Miss is the same as your sweetness in that it'll only go smoothly if it's somehow her idea.  Thanks for the insights! 

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Update:  Last night was the first night this week she came into bed with me and enjoyed it.  There may have been a night where I forced it, because it was cold!  She might have frozen to death!  But last night when she woke up and I lifted her and put her in bed, she didn't fuss and scramble for her own bed again after her nunnie, she just snuggled right in.


So, leaving for college must be just over the horizon.  gloomy.gif

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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › Post-transition to a "big-girl bed" families; was self-settling "the beginning of the end"? Come share your experience please!