First Attempt at Crib Sleep: EPIC FAIL

We decided that it might be time for Charlotte to start sleeping in her crib at night. I will put her down in it for naps during the day, but at night she’s still sleeping in the “newborn napper” attachment of her pack-n-play in our bedroom (her legs have gotten so long that when she kicks them straight out they hang over the edge). So we gave it a try. It did not go well. Here’s the play by play:

8:30pm – Chris lays Charlotte down in her crib after rocking her to sleep. She goes down without a peep. This makes me anxious, since she’s always protested at least a bit before, but I thought maybe this is just a sign of an easy night to come. Ha.

9:30pm – I ask Chris to make sure the monitor is turned on in the nursery. It is.

10:00pm – I tiptoe up to the crib to check on Baby Girl, and it’s too dark to see my hand in front of my face. I ask Chris to move our bathroom nightlight into the nursery.

10:15pm – As I’m getting into bed I hear a loud crack through the monitor, which I’ve positioned on my nightstand about three inches from my ear. My first thought is that the crib broke, and my precious child is laying at the bottom of a pile of splintered wood. Then logic returns, and I realize Chris is just plugging in the nightlight like I asked him too. Wow, these monitors are powerful. I turn it down.

10:18pm – Another loud noise through the monitor. This time my inner pragmatist insists that there is not a chainsaw murderer in our baby’s room, it’s just the air conditioner (the unit is right outside the nursery window) kicking on. I turn down the monitor again.

10:20-11:20pm – I doze on and off, waking each time the air conditioner clicks on, then again when it clicks off, straining to hear sounds of a whimpering, frightened baby. Nothing.

11:25pm – This time when the air conditioner shuts off I hear movement. I think she’s sliding her legs back and forth across the mattress. Either that or she’s learned how to slither around her crib like a snake, since she’s swaddled.

11:26pm – A few whimpers blast through the monitor. I jolt out of bed and am halfway to the nursery before I realize what I’m doing. I tiptoe up to her crib and feel around for her paci, intending just to replace it. I can’t find the paci. The nightlight has illuminated the far wall, but cast deep shadows into the crib. I finally turn on the side lamp. By this time I’ve run my hands over Charlotte’s face several times in my search for her paci, and she begins to cry in protest.

11:27-11:30pm – In desperation (and against all professional advice in my baby sleep book) I pick her up and take her to the rocker. By now she is wailing hysterically, possibly because she is in an unfamiliar place in the middle of the night, or maybe because Mommy just rudely awakened her from a perfectly peaceful sleep.

11:31pm – Our dog, Elphie, bounds into the room. She stands in the doorway looking at us for a minute, then disappears. 30 seconds later my groggy husband stumbles into the room. Apparently Elphie decided he needed to do something about the situation, and jumped up on his side of the bed until he got up (the dear man is a wonderful husband and fabulous father, but is also an extremely sound sleeper). He asks if there’s anything he can do. Over the sound the the baby’s protests I ask him to move the monitor to the other side of the room, away from the air conditioning unit that has been interfering with my attempts to sleep all night. Apparently this request is on par with asking him to rewire the house, and requires him to crawl around on his hands and knees while rearranging various pieces of furniture. Sorry Honey.

11:40pm – Charlotte finally stops crying, then promptly fills her diaper and begins nodding off. So I face the ultimate dilemma: put my sleeping child back in her crib to lay in her own filth until morning, or change her and risk waking her up and repeating the cycle. Cleanliness wins out, and I slowly lower her to the changing table.

11:41pm – As I change the (quite messy and stinky) diaper, I hear a serious of loud squeals and beeps emitting from our bedroom. It sounds like a rock band is doing a sound check in our living room. Chris comes back in holding the monitor receiver, and proceeds to do a series of tests (requiring more beeping) to see what is causing the interference. It’s okay though, because at this point Charlotte is wide awake again and expressing her concern over missing her beauty sleep.

11:43pm – I decide enough is enough. I tell Chris to turn off both parts of the monitor and send him back to bed, while I hold the paci in my child’s mouth and rock back and forth frantically in order to get her back to sleep. Again.

11:50pm – Charlotte’s eyes finally start the slow blink and she latches on to her paci. I carefully stand without shifting her too much (holding a sleeping baby while standing up from a glider is quite the thigh work out in case you’re looking for one) and slowly make my way back to our bedroom with the gait of a debutante trying to balance a book on my head so I don’t jostle the baby back awake. I ease her back into her newborn napper, thanking the Lord that we weren’t overly ambitious by disassembling the pack-n-play yet. I flop into bed next to my snoozing husband. My last thought before drifting off to sleep is that was so not worth it.

So there you have it.  Baby 1 parents 0. Oh well. She won’t sleep in our room forever right? Right?

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