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The Problem With The Crib…
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First off, my kid is an excellent sleeper. Has been since she was born, actually. Even though she’d wake up every two hours to eat in the middle of the night, she would almost always fall asleep quickly again. While her night feedings tapered off, she would snooze until the morning with rarely a peep. If she does wake up, it’s usually short-lived. She plays in her crib, talks to her stuffed animals, and then drifts back to sleep without crying to be tended to. She’s self-sufficient and a pro at self soothing. I’ll share how I got her out of the family bed and into her own crib, without the use of the cry-it-out method another time. I have another issue on my hands.
For those of you who have babies and toddlers who refuse to sleep through the night still, I know you want to stab me with a fork (or worse) for that last paragraph. I’m sorry I hope you up all night mammas get some rest soon. I realize I am lucky that sleep isn’t an issue in my house.
Anyways, my dilemma is the fact the my kid will not sleep anywhere BUT her crib now. I know, sounds like a dumb thing to be worried about. The thing is, it’s posing a number of problems.
Problem one, and the main issue: Daycare. At my daughter’s daycare center, they switch the kids from the “baby room” to the “preschool room” at 2 years old. Mainly to keep the bigger – more active kids away from the younger babies. I have my own opinions about “preschool” for two-year olds, but that’s not my main concern. The deal is, there are no cribs in the toddler room. And the owner of the facility was a little surprised that my two-year old was still sleeping in a crib.
Are two-year olds supposed to be in a toddler bed? I don’t know what everyone else does, but my two-year old will be in that crib until she’s too big for it. Or until I know she won’t leave her room in the middle of the night. We have a ways to go.
Anyways, she refuses to sleep on the mats they have. No matter what favorite toy, blanket, snuggly, soothie or comfort item I bring, it doesn’t matter. She won’t do it. She sees the other kids sleeping, but still won’t lay down. The result? One tired, bratty, grumpy, gnarly kid at 5:30 when I pick her up. It’s the crib. She won’t sleep anywhere but in her crib. And it must be HER CRIB. Not the neighbor kids crib, not the daycare crib, not a fancy new crib. HER crib.
I’m very happy that she’s found a comfort zone in her crib, but you can see how it’s a bit of a problem for us. Day after day of ruined evenings because of no naps at daycare really wear on me. Some days I dread coming home because I know how unmanageable it’s going to be. I feel bad for saying that – I dread picking my kid up after work – but it’s a fact. I’m sure you all can relate to the fact that an over tired two-year old is nearly impossible to manage.
And, no. I can’t let her nap after I get home from picking her up. She needs to eat dinner, and her usual bed time is 7. Where’s the time for a nap?
Problem number two, which is a lesser concern, but still real: out-of-town trips and camping. We went camping last summer. I was so excited. However, I did not sleep for more than a grand total of 3 hours the entire 3 day trip. Needless to say, I did not have fun. Which was an enormous bummer for me! I love camping and look forward to it every year. How could this happen? Oh, I know. WE DIDN’T BRING THE HUGE ASS CRIB!
That kid would not sleep in her pack and play, or with me. Or on the tent floor. Or in a sleeping bag. Or on the air mattress. Instead she screamed her face right off her head. All. Night. I tried rocking. Holding. Singing. Shushing. Crying. You name it. Nothing got her to sleep. She finally passed out from exhaustion at like 4:30 a.m. Just in time to be woken up by the sun rise and birds chirping.
One thing I have noticed about my child, is that she’s ridiculously routine oriented. To the point of being almost OCD about it. Things need to happen in a specific order for her to be happy. I think the crib is included in that. She also takes cues very seriously. For example, if we are leaving the house and I want to put shoes on her. If I put them on a half hour before we leave, I will have a half hour of crying to deal with. I have to put them on her, and then immediately walk out the door. Her crib needs to be set up a certain way for her to feel comfortable.
The other night, I took out the two blankets she’d been using in the crib because it was hot. I figured she didn’t need two thick blankets in the summer. I also took out a couple of stuffed toys because it was starting to look like baby hoarders lived in her crib.
Talk about melt down. She sat in her crib absolutely sobbing, with a genuinely heart-broken look on her face because I took out her beloved possessions! Maybe those things bring comfort to her. But only when they are IN HER CRIB! I gave her stuff back. I couldn’t take how sad she was. It was awful.
So, now I need to figure out how to convince her that it’s ok to sleep in places besides the crib. Like on the mat a daycare. Or the car seat if she’s tired. The pack and play when we’re camping. Or maybe she’ll grow out of it?