Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sleep Tight. Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite.

Everybody who either knows Lee and me, or at least reads our blog, knows that we have struggled with Cora sleeping pretty much since she was born. Let me reiterate though. She is not the worst sleeper. Not even by a long shot. In fact, I think she is pretty average. I think a lot of people stretch the truth about how well their baby sleeps. According to "the sleep books", a 5 hour stretch is considered sleeping through the night. Oh PUH-LEASE! Do you know how many parents brag about their baby sleeping through the night because of this 5 hour rule? According to that rule, Cora has been sleeping through the night for well over a year. I just don't brag about that. But, I am bragging now. My 1.5 year old goes to bed around 8pm and gets up between 5:30am and 6am! She is a stellar sleeper (note the sarcasm). Why not 7am, Cora?? Ha! Actually, Lee and I have finally embraced Cora's "the early bird gets the worm" philosophy of life as of lately. And to be honest, I think our quality of life has improved. I think Cora is on to something. So here is the story of how we have gotten to where we are at today with her sleeping.

When she was a newborn, I nursed. I was horrible at pumping, so Lee was pretty much no help when it came to getting up with Cora at night. Besides, he was working and I was on mat leave. Anyways, we quickly (read: the first night with Cora. She was just over 1 day old) discovered how great co-sleeping was. As she got a few weeks older, we would start her in her crib and then move her to our bed when she woke up around 2am from hunger. This also worked fairly well for us and she seemed quite content with the set up. When she was closing in on 1 year old, she started sleeping through the night fairly well. Lee and I were in heaven. We hadn't slept in nearly a year. It was pure bliss. All good things eventually come to an end. Cora started the dreaded teething process again and her sleep habits went to hell. Words cannot describe how fast she went from a soundly sleeping baby to screaming her brains out. She would latch onto us in the middle of the night crying from pain. If you haven't figured it out, Cora has no pain tolerance. It was horrendous.

After her teeth came through, she had completely given up her crib with no intentions of ever returning. I even tried letting her cry it out. That did not work for any of us. We were all emotionally exhausted from it. So, Lee and I did the next best thing. We put her mattress on the floor next to our bed. This has to be one of the smartest things we have ever done. Cora has been sleeping on our floor since February or so. We have all been sleeping quite well, too. She rolls around a bit, but I rarely have to put her back on her mattress. She normally finds her own way back to her bed. Tonight, however, marks a huge milestone. We purchased Cora a new toddler bed this week, and tonight is her first night in it. AND, it is in her own room. Let the drum rolls begin! I'm sure there are bets out there for how long this will last. We'll see. I have faith in my little girl. I think she is ready for the transition.

What have Lee and I learned from all of this sleep craze? It doesn't matter how, where, or why you sleep the way you do, just as long as you sleep well. The pictures below are perfect examples!

Cora and Reggie have some very special moments together. This picture was taken during nap time. Reg doesn't normally let Cora cuddle up too close to him. He was being especially nice to her this day, so I let them sleep together on the couch for a while. It was just too sweet.

This is one of Cora's famous sleeping positions. Lee and I catch her in the position frequently. She seems to prefer it, so we don't often move her. This picture also shows just how long she is getting! I think she is going to have her Daddy's legs.

Cora fast asleep in her new bed. I liked this bed because it has two railings, her crib mattress fits, and it was really solid. The color isn't as white as it looks. It has more of a grey undertone, but it looks OK.

Our sleeping beauty! I just hope she stays this way. Keep your fingers crossed. I am actually looking forward to maybe sleeping. I mean really sleeping. This is a feat that hasn't been attained much in the last year and a half.

Update: Cora made it until around 3:30am or so. She started crying, so I went in to try to calm her down. I didn't know if she would be upset from waking up in a different room from what she was used to. I spent over an hour trying to get her to sleep. Can you believe I climbed into that little bed with her?! Nothing was working, so I picked her up and brought her to bed with Lee and me. She immediately jumped down. Within about 20 minutes, I didn't hear her playing anymore. I crept out to the hall and she was sound asleep on the floor. She slept until about 7. Lee and Cora are now at the bakery picking up rolls for breakfast. Yum! Oh, and it was snowing when we woke up. Go figure. :)

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