Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Big Girl Bed

The end of the year brought some big changes for Luca, most notably her big girl room which I posted about below. It's not 100% done - we need to refinish a dresser a friend is giving us, get a bedside table, and do some other small decorating things - but it's almost there. The key addition that was central to this room was the Big Girl Bed. And, yes, that DOES go in all caps, since it's a BIG thing in her life right now.

We started putting Luca in her new bed a few days after the room was finished and had some time to air out. Sunday of last week was her first night in there, and the reviews have been mixed. The first 3 nights were definitely the hardest on all of us. As a mom, I was really proud of her for sleeping her first night in that bed, and also really emotionally mixed about herr growing up so much, and so fast. She was excited about the new bed, but too keyed up from all those toys within easy access and the newness of the room to go right to sleep. I put her down and we gave kisses and read a book, then I left her alone. Not two minutes later, she was frantically crying for me, seemingly scared. I went in and tucked her back into bed and gave more kisses, then left and went downstairs. A few minutes later, I heard more crying so I went back up to check on her. She needed a snuggle, so we sat on the floor and rocked until she was calm and rubbing her eyes sleepily. I asked if she was ready to go back to bed, she said "Nigh nigh.", and in she crawled. She rolled over on her tummy, and I rubbed her back until her breathing was slow and steady, and then I left the room. Luckily, that was it for the night, and she was out until morning.

The next two night were mostly the same, with her either calling out for me or the sound of her footsteps running across the floor alerting us to the fact she was not asleep. We call this 'mice in the attic' since she's on the 2nd floor above our den and you can hear her clear as day pitter-pattering across the room. Each night ended with me sitting on the floor beside her bed, rubbing her back until she dozed into baby dreamland.

Night 4, we had a set-back. That night, she asked to go to bed by climbing up the stairs and saying "Night night", so down she went. Ten minutes later I was up there trying to rock her to sleep, and she started playing with my hair and talking to me. With Luca, this is a sure sign she is NOT going to sleep anytime soon. So, back downstairs we went, where she played for another hour before tiring out enough to go to bed without too much of a fight.

Night 5 we had a breakthrough. I put her down after we kissed goodnight, and when I left the room, that was it. No crying. No calling out. No mice in the attic. Just sweet silence as she slept all night in the Big Girl Bed.

Friday night, Night 6, my mom watched her so we could go out to celebrate our anniversary. Aaccording to mom, Luca was asking to go to bed at 7:30 (a full hour before her normal bedtime), and went down without too much of a problem. Of course, being the doting Grandma, my mom averted any problem by reading her a book and then rubbing her back for a long while.

And then came the weekend. By now going to sleep in the Big Girl Bed at night was working pretty well, though she still fought it a bit on Saturday night. But even better...she NAPPED in the BGB not once, but TWICE! This was something we were not pushing, figuring the distractions of the room in daylight would be more than she could bear, but sure enough she managed to go to sleep both Saturday and Sunday in the middle of the day!! I'm SO proud of her, as this is just one of the many big transitions she's facing in the coming months. She's on her way to potty-training as well (has used her potty twice, sits on it regularly, and has recently started trying to take her pants off - which she prounounces as 'auf' and reminds me of a little Heidi Klum - and resisting diapers). Pretty soon my baby will be all traded in for a KID!

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