You would think that after 4 kids I would have all of the workings of a child figured out. After all, I have two teens and two twadds. I have learned so much over the years that I can certainly fill a couple of volumes of books. Hey, maybe that will be my next business venture.
In the meantime I have a crisis on my hands and I am not sure how to handle it. So I will retort to my analytical side while pulling out volume II of the toddler manual that will lead me to the perfect solution to my problem:
HOW TO GO FROM CRIB TO BED IN LESS THAN 10 EASY STEPS!
Here is what I have come up with.
1. First, it is important to determine if your toddler is ready to go from crib to bed. How do you do that? I am not sure there is a quick answer to that question. I believe good communication from your toddler such as lots of screaming and crying at bedtime combined with a mother's intuition. Right now my intuition is screaming that it is time.
2. Make a really nice transition place for him/her to sleep. I have chosen to take his crib mattress and remove it from the crib and place it on the floor right next to his crib. My thinking is that not much has changed with his environment. His sheet is the same, blanket is the same, mattress is the same. This way he gets the affect that the only thing different is that prison-like feeling of being trapped in the crib.
3. Here is where I get a bit confused and had a tough time last night. I tried to get him to lay down on the mattress except all he wanted to do was sit up so I let him sit up as long as he stayed on the mattress. As soon as he wandered off I put him right back on. That was a bit tough but after some fussing he got the point and stayed on.
4. After success keeping him on the mattress he decided he wanted to chat with me. He started calling out for me and for daddy. He babbled a lot in his own cute language. He kept calling me expecting me to answer but I tried to remain silent so as not to encourage him (I learned that on the TV show Supernanny).
5. After an hour of him talking he finally stopped and then started to lay down to rest. Eventually he fell asleep but then I wondered if I should lay down on the floor with him in case he woke up in the middle of the night and could not figure this new process out. So I set up camp next to him and went to sleep with him.
6. Several times he woke up in the middle of the night which I expected but I quietly stroked his back to get him to fall back to sleep. He wrestled around a lot and it seemed like he would never go back to sleep but I guess he did because I was awakened in the morning by my cell phone alarm clock.
I am not sure if I can call the first night a success because of all the tossing and turning but I am trying not to hold the bar too high. I guess only time will tell and we shall see if tonight is the same as last night or an improvement.
My only concern is with sleeping next to him. I don't know if that is a good thing to do on the first few days but it just feels very strange to me to not be there during this transition.
What do you think? Any advice on how I can make this a better transition for us?