My Baby's Journey To Sleeping Flat
This last week was a BIG one in our little house, like I’m talking life changing and mind altering big! Okay, maybe not that big… But seriously I did a happy dance and felt like THE supermom all week. You wanna know why? Because I got Lil to sleep flat…
I know, I know. I should have done this SO long ago and to some it might not be that big of a deal. But to me this was an incredibly daunting task that scared the heck out of me. When baby girl was an infant she just could not hang with the sleeping flat thing, so we bought the Fisher Price New Born Rock ‘N Play which was fantastically amazing and we got her to sleep for 6-7 hours a night in that thing. Now when you have an infant who had been sleeping only two hour stretches for months (long after the newborn stage) 6-7 hours might as well be the best night of sleep you’ve ever had. So we did what any sleep deprived parent would do… we just let her sleep in that for totally selfish reasons. Bad mommy… even after we told ourselves that we were going to start sleeping her flat we always found an excuse not to. “She has a bad runny nose and can’t breathe”, “she has a cough”, “let’s just start in the Rock ‘N Play then move her to the crib”. Literally every reason not to imaginable and we did it. Before we knew it it she was 5 months and still hated sleeping flat. She screamed bloody-freaking-murder every time her head hit the mattress, even if she was dead asleep in my arms.
I spent an unimaginable time on Pinterest reading other blog posts about sleeping flat, how to make it happen, everything I could find. When I came across this three-part post by Rachel at Can Do Kiddo. This post was INCREDIBLY insightful to me and got my butt in gear to get babe sleeping flat. I learned that the Rock ‘N Play not only keeps her from learning to sleep flat, it also isn’t healthy for babies to sleep in these! After scouring this amazing blog, that same night I packed up the Rock ‘N Play and just went full force on the crib.
I would absolutely LOVE to tell you that this went smoothly and that she immediately took to it, but if I did I would be a huge liar. It looked a little something like this: bedtime at 7:30, slept till 11:30 (woot!), woke up screaming (blood curdling someone-is-killing-me screams), back to sleep at 12:30, screaming at 1, asleep till 2, at this point I was exhausted, frustrated and on the verge of tears. Baby was exhausted, I was delusional and I broke down. Yes I know, I put her back in her Rock ‘N Play. She slept for 3 whole hours after that! Woohoo!
Needless to say the first night was AWFUL, just plain miserable (I told you I would always be honest!) So I got back on Pinterest and in my delusional and exhausted state I found this amazingly hilarious and relatable post from Incredible Infant. I laughed my way through this whole post. I could relate to all of it; Like ALL OF IT
“You freeze. One leg in the air in an absurd pirouette. Ever. So. CAREFULLY you set the tiny package into the crib, take a deep breath, and prepare to high five your mime-cheerleading spouse.” - Incredible Infant
So after all my rigorous pinning I went back at it with determination. They say it only takes 3-4 nights. You. Have. To. Be. Strong. So bedtime routine started, we laid our adorable bundle into her bed, did a little dance to the sleep gods and tiptoed backwards out of the room.
She screamed, and wailed, she tossed her little legs in the air and threw them down onto the mattress with the force of Thor’s hammer, then something magical happened… she found her finger and started to self soothe then (yes it totally happened) she dozed off! SHE FELL ASLEEP ON HER OWN LAYING FLAT IN HER CRIB! I think I hit Hubs five times to make him look at the monitor screen with me and rejoice in my success. She woke up a few times through the night that night but nothing compared to the previous night. So I kept at it and now my wonderfully amazing daughter is sleeping flat and in fact sleeping longer through the night than she EVER has before!
So to all you mommies and daddies who are afraid of the elusive crib sleeping, you can do it. I swear that it will happen. I was completely overwhelmed by the thought of it and now that the hard part of it is over I am so happy that I bit the bullet and went for it. Just know that it won’t be easy. You’ll probably want to give up a few times. You’ll hear a lot of screams. But your little one can do it! It just takes time, and patience… maybe a glass of wine too.