September 7, 2011
Big Baby Bed

We've had a crib strapped to our bed for more than two years.  Recently we realized that we couldn't remember the last time Elizabeth actually used it. The crib converts to a toddler bed, but she normally sleeps on a thermarest on the floor of her bedroom. When she was littler, she'd wake up in the middle of the night to pee and/or nurse.  If she wanted to nurse, I'd often bring her to our bed so that I could sleep while she did so, and when she was done she'd climb into the crib and sleep until morning.  Now she sleeps until about six o'clock or so. She still climbs in to nurse most of the time (after which she'll often sleep an extra couple of hours), but since I'm awake by that point I stopped insisting that she sleep in the crib.


Thinking it would be nice to have extra space in our room, we started a discussion with Elizabeth about whether she might like to have a "big girl" bed in her room. When Mommy asked, Elizabeth wasn't keen at all. "I want my tib to stay wight where it is", she insisted.  Daddy was surprised when I dutifully reported back my opinion that we were in for a power struggle.  "I asked her earlier and she was looking forward to moving her bed", he said.  Apparently calling it a "big BABY bed" made all the difference.


We tucked her in, moved the thermarest into a strategic position beside the bed and turned out the light.  Elizabeth has been nursing to sleep most nights, but I'd been gradually reducing night nursing over the last six months (our rule is that if Mr. Sun is sleeping, it's not time to nurse. She can nurse again when Mr. Sun wakes up!).  I decided that I couldn't nurse her in her toddler bed and since winter is coming the sun has obligingly been in bed sooner and sooner.  Just like that she is night weaned and no longer nursing to sleep.


Thankfulness for her liddle baby bed featured prominently in that night's prayers. The first night, Mommy hardly slept.  Every creak of the house and I was leaping out of bed to check whether the noise meant she had fallen out of bed.  When I was three I fell out of bed and broke my collarbone, so I'm quite concerned that history NOT repeat itself.  And Elizabeth is a very wiggly sleeper. Sure enough, she has fallen out several times, but mostly she wiggles slowly out of the blankets onto the mattress next to the bed.


One morning she apparently wiggled out of bed looking to nurse and couldn't find Mommy. So she crawled right under her bed before waking up and calling for parental assistance.  When Daddy came to get her he was a bit distressed to find the bed and room seemingly empty. She was fine and not terribly concerned about it all, but Daddy may need therapy!

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