One Sunday night a few weeks ago, Willow’s Moses basket to cot transition happened. It was kind of an accident as her late evening nap just carried on into the small hours, which I think was a good thing, as I recently had a ‘I’m not ready’ freak-out when I clocked that there was no more than an inch above her head remaining in the basket. And that Sunday night? I hated it. And the next night? Well, let’s just say I’m getting there slowly.
Her big sister Rose went into her own bed, in her own room, at about 6 weeks (she was literally through the wall from us and we had both doors wide open) and aside from the first night when I lay in bed listening for her, it was the best thing all round because, well, we just couldn’t stand the noise!! Grunting, snuffling, snorting, she was basically a one-baby beat box (and we are NOT talking ‘boots and cats’, here).
But this time around, I felt like I could quite happily sleep with Willow beside me until she’s, ooh I don’t know, eleven or twelve, maybe??
Distance? Growing up? ‘Last baby syndrome’?! Who knows. I know I should be happy about this step towards getting our bedroom back and maybe getting more sleep too, but I miss being able to just reach over and touch her. For anyone else finding it tough, and for babies who struggle to make the change into their cot, I’ve put together a few tips which have helped me and Willow:
1. When you’re at home in the day, put your baby down for naps in their cot
2. Use a rolled up blanket to create a snug arch above their head so they get the comfortable feeling of being enclosed (be careful of overheating)
3. Consider using a breathable cot bumper (if only at this early stage to catch a rolling dummy – it’s not fun laying underneath a cot at 3am at full stretch and STILL having to fetch the kitchen tongs)
4. If your baby still isn’t keen, put their Moses basket inside the cot and put them down in it that way for a while – at least this gets them used to their bedroom, and the height they will be sleeping at
5. To settle, soothe and encourage a good sleep, try giving your baby their last feed in their bedroom, with just a night light on, after a bath/wash and putting on some clean pyjamas (you can work a story into the routine too as and when you’re ready) This also helps them to learn that it is bedtime.
6. Remind yourself that a. this is a step towards getting more sleep & getting back on track with other fun things that used to happen in your bedroom (like eating crisps in bed, for example) – and b. that they are still a while away from heading off to University just yet
7. And finally, expect to lay awake for a large portion of the first night (I wrote this post at 2.54am), despite being at a level of tiredness which welcomes pitiful glances from strangers who must be wondering if your face has always been grey. Expect this even more if you have ‘suicidal sleepers’ like we have – daughter #1 refused to sleep without a stuffed rabbit covering her nose and mouth and daughter #2 sleeps most soundly with a Muslin cloth draped around her face and neck like a noose. Thank heavens for sensor pad monitors!
Please note: NHS guidance says the safest place for a baby to sleep for the first six months of their life is in a cot/crib/basket in your room. The NHS obviously haven’t got tall children, or offspring who want to sleep sprawled out like starfish. #justsayin
Sweet dreams everyone…