Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Crib Notes

Three months ago we began the transition from the Moses basket in our bedroom to the crib in her room. Even with a highly sensitive baby monitor, it wasn't easy psychologically on The Wife. It went well, though -- the first two nights we visited her in the grand tradition of Dr. Richard Ferber, and after that she's slept like a ... hold on, wait for it ... like a baby. Since that first week, NJ has awakened and cried only three times (ironically, last night was one of them). We've heard tales of kids waking every two hours during their teething and growth spurts, but NJ hasn't sprouted a tooth yet and, while she's definitely growing, there hasn't been a spurt uncomfortable enough to set her wailing. The vast majority of the time, NJ"s sleeping from about 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. or later now.

A couple of weeks after that transition began, we decided to move her naps to the crib, too, and out of the basement, home of the swing and soothing rock music lullabies. How'd that go? Thanks for asking -- not too good. NJ pitched fits that would have made Dr. Ferber reach for the whiskey, cigarettes and Xanax after a few minutes. We felt like we were lucky that she was sleeping through the night, so we decided to cut our losses and return to the basement for naps for a while.

"A while" ended this week.

Her afternoon naps in her crib have been short -- half as long as a typical basement swing nap -- but she has, indeed, slept. The room has blackout shades that darken the room to the appropriate level, and I shut the door so no dog wanders into her room to see what's in her waste basket. I zip her up in her sleep sack, borrowing part of the evening routine in hopes of making it more soothing and familiar. On the monitor, I can hear her yammering softly to herself for a few minutes, then ... silence. Sleep. Sleep good. But when she wakes up, she screams and cries like it's the end of the world. It's excruciating -- the kind of crying that makes your shoulders involuntarily hunch and your eyes get as big as saucers. The room is plenty dark and there's no extra noise; I don't understand the difference between sleeping in there at night and during the day. Apparently, though, there is one. As soon as NJ learns to talk, I'm going to ask her what it is.

Once we nail this crib nap thing, we'll expand it and NJ will take her morning nap there as well. (The Wife could, theoretically, put her down right before she leaves for work, letting Dad Solo slumber peacefully until NJ wakes up again. In reality, this will never happen.) But it's going to be a long, loud road.

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