When I was pregnant with my second child, my husband and I made the decision that it was time to transition our daughter from co-sleeping with us into her “big girl” room. We wanted the transition to go smoothly, so we did it right.
We talked up the milestone for weeks in advance. How cool was it that she would get to have her very own big bed, just like Mommy and Daddy!
We took her with us shopping for furniture. Oh, how she loved getting to try out all the beds and strike up conversations with the sales people!
We kept things from her toddler room to make her feel comfortable. We were ready. Everything was in place.
Then came the big test.The first few nights of our daughter sleeping in her “big girl” bed were tough for all of us. Either my husband or I had to lay with her until she fell asleep. Once she finally fell asleep, we would use our agile, ninja-like moves to sneak out of her bed without waking her. Then, each night around 3:00 a.m. like clockwork, she would awaken crying for me to return. So, I did, and I would usually end up falling back to sleep in her bed until it was time to get up in the morning.
This routine continued for days, and then days turned into weeks. Exhaustion and frustration finally gave way to us allowing our daughter to sleep in our bed when she awoke each night in the early morning hours.
Trying to get our daughter to sleep in her own bed alone was not working. The process was stressful and emotional for all of us, and no one was getting adequate rest.
Something needed to change.
And something did. We allowed our daughter to go back to co-sleeping with us. It was the decision that worked best for our family.
We needed rest. Sleep was a non-negotiable for us and we needed to find a way for everyone to get it. This was our way.
And, honestly, I love co-sleeping with my daughter. I sleep so much better having her near me, even in spite of the occasional kick in the ribs or elbow in the eye. I know that she does, too, and that it brings us both a sense of calm. This is our arrangement for now, and I will enjoy it while we have this time together.
I’ve learned that when it comes to bedtime, like in all areas of parenting, you have to do what is best for your family.
This stage won’t last forever. We all know how fleeting time is when raising children. My daughter will make the transition when she is ready, and when she is, that beautiful “big girl” room will be waiting for her.