When we first brought Nora home from the hospital, she would only sleep if we held her all night long. We borrowed a bassinet from my sister and were lucky enough to have received a Pack ‘N Play and crib as gifts. We were totally prepared. But Nora would not sleep in any of them. She’d fall sound asleep in our arms, but as soon as we put her down on her back, she’d start wailing.
At first, I didn’t mind holding her all night. I was basking in the glory of new mommyhood. In the middle of the night, I’d gaze down at her perfect little nose, her adorable little pout, and I’d just think about what a miracle she was. But after about four nights of sleeplessness, I started to go a little berserk. There were a few nights where she and I would be sobbing in sync at 4am, she, rightly so, because she is a baby and me, because I was freaking sleep deprived and hormonal.
Then along came the Nap Nanny. My friend Jenny recommended I give it a try.
When I first saw this small piece of foam furniture that looks somewhat like a doggy bed for babies, I scoffed. $125 for a piece of foam! Phooey! But after a few nights of mother/daughter sobbing sessions, I found myself in Babies R’ Us, my hair disheveled, dark circles under my eyes, my hands in the air, pleading to the saleswoman, “Nap Nanny?! Where?”
The saleswoman looked like she was about to hug me. “Good luck,” she said after carrying it to the register for me. “Come back and tell me how it worked.”
It worked! Nora slept for about five hours in row that night and continued to sleep in long stretches for nights to come.
After two months of this, Kevin and I knew we needed to give flat furniture another try. She would outgrow the Nap Nanny soon and we’d be lost. We kept putting it off and putting it off until finally, we tried the Pack ‘N Play again. To our surprise, she slept through the night. We were procrastinating for no reason. Babies grow so fast and what might not have worked last week might work this week and vice versa. You can never get too comfortable in a routine.
So, hurrah, she now sleeps in the Pack ‘N Play! But we’re facing a new challenge which I call the fake out. I nurse her and she falls into a deep sleep in bed. I slide one hand under her head and one under her butt and carry her to her bed. I lower her very gently, first her feet, then her butt and then her head. I try to remove my hand from underneath her as unobtrusively as possible. I ever so quietly tiptoe back to bed and try to lie down without the bed creaking. I wait a moment, two moments, three. Whew. I sigh, kiss Kevin goodnight and close my eyes. Of course, you know what’s coming. It starts with a rustling and then a few Jurassic Park-like groans. Kevin and I look at each other in the dark. She starts wailing. “I don’t think it worked,” I say.
Now, this isn’t every night. Sometimes she goes right to sleep when we put her down, and sometimes she wakes up as soon as her bum hits the mattress pad and it takes us a good thirty to forty minutes to bounce her back to sleep (on the exercise ball.) We never know what we’re in for!
Advice on this would be much appreciated! How do you transfer the baby from your arms to the crib without waking her up?