Dog in the bed…enough said.
I have to admit, I was a little worried about transitioning Miss Cadence from a crib to a big girl bed. After the incident that prompted us to invest in a crib tent to keep her safely confined over night, our bedtime routine has been pretty cut and dry–drink some milk, brush teeth, read a book, sing a few songs, hugs, kisses, two blankets, favorite song cued up on the ipod.
Some nights Cadence would spend over an hour chattering away, acting out scenes from her favorite cartoons or movies, singing her favorite songs over and over. Other nights, she’d be sleeping almost as soon as I walked out and closed the door behind me.
Either way, we knew she was safely snuggled in for the night. And in spite of all the teasing we endured from friends and family, we both agreed that crib tent was one of the best investments we ever made for our fiesty little girl.
Knowing we might be in for a complete sleep revolt the moment we tried to put Cadence in a regular bed that she would be able to hop out of whenever she pleased, I made sure I started talking to her about her “big girl bed” several weeks before we planned to actually make the transition. By the time the big day (today) rolled around, she was absolutely beside herself with excitement.
At first, she didn’t want to leave her room, and spent hours lying on her new bed, reading books and playing.
After finally coaxing her away long enough to eat a little dinner, it was time to test out our first big girl bedtime routine. We brushed our teeth, drank our milk, read a book, sang a few songs. Then we talked about how it was okay to feel a little scared the first night in a new bed. I told Cadence that the bathroom light would be on in case she needed it in the night, and that the gate on the stairs would be closed so she would be safe and not fall down. I told her that Mommy and Daddy would be sleeping in our room if she needed us. She asked me to stay, but I told her no, it was time for night-night, just like always. I gave her a few extra kisses, and turned on Castle on a Cloud per her request.
Through the monitor, I could hear her singing along half-heartedly. I went downstairs and started doing a few dishes. As soon as the song ended, she started to cry. I waited a few minutes to see if she would calm down, then headed back up to her room.
She looked so small in that great big bed.
I sat down beside her and dried her tears. I told her it was okay to feel scared because it was her first night and the big girl bed was different, but that she was safe in her room and that when the sun came up and she woke in the morning, she would wake up in her big bed and be able to get up and play and come see Mommy and Daddy. I asked if she wanted me to put on another song, and she requested Please Read the Letter. A few more hugs and kisses, and then I tucked her in and said good night.
This time, I listened to her sing along, and then chatter away. A few rounds of Old McDonald, Castle on a Cloud, and the Animaniacs theme song later and all was suddenly quiet.
I couldn’t help myself. I had to sneak a peek. I eased the door open and smiled at the heavenly sight…
My big (baby) girl, snuggled in, sound asleep.
So, if you’re not a regular follower of this blog, you may have missed the Prologue of this post. If so, click HERE for the full backstory.
Long story short, at 21 months, Cadence climbed up high enough to fall headfirst out of her crib and we were faced with a very difficult decision. Do we transition her to a toddler bed, and give up any hope of getting a good night’s sleep ever again? Or do we try to find a way to keep her in her crib long enough for her to get over her climbing obsession and not end up in the Emergency Room with a busted skull?
As soon as we found the crib tent, the decision was easy.
I had my doubts though, whether Cadence would embrace the addition of the crib tent without a fuss, or if she would freak out and try to claw her way out of it like a wild animal caught in a trap.
Luckily, Cadence seems to love her new sleeping arrangement. Now, when it’s time to put her to bed, she doesn’t fuss or whine or try weasel me into rocking her until she falls asleep. Instead, she finishes her milk, gives me a hug, says “Nigh nigh,” and points at the crib, and then smiles at me through the mesh as I zip the flap closed. She also thinks it’s hilarious to give a few last kisses through the mesh before I leave and close the door.
Afterward, I usually hear her spending a few minutes jumping in bed. It’s either that or she’s having a cage match with her baby doll, her sock monkey and her stuffed Rango. I can’t be sure, because I don’t want to disturb her to open the door and find out. One of these days, I’m going to have to set up the video camera to find out just exactly what goes on in there in the moments she slowly winds herself down to sleep.
Even better, when she wakes, she is usually content to play for a bit before demanding that we come get her. And upon entering the room we are greeted with smiles and stories of her bedtime adventures, and sometimes even silliness like this…
All hail the crib tent. One of the best inventions ever.