Well, it's that time again. I do not enjoy this. Since Riley is officially a 'crawler' now, it's time for her to start taking on some responsibility. I mean 7 months is more than enough time to be living the cushy life, don't ya think?
The way I run things with my babies my cause controversy, but here goes. I have never, I repeat NEVER let the kids sleep with us at night. Since birth they go straight to the bassinet at night and that's where they stay. None of that 'I'm too tired, I'll nurse them in the bed' business either. I did this for 2 reasons: (1) I need to sleep, which won't happen if they are in the bed. Brian is lucky I let him sleep with me! I have a 'don't touch me, you're in my aura' issue. Can't believe I actually got him to marry me! (2) I knew that doing this early would save me (and them) a lot of heartache later. Now, I'm a compassionate person, so I've evened things out for them. They can take a nap with me.
This was easy in the beginning. When it was just Ella I just wanted to take a nap with her, she could probably care less. But you know how that first kid goes...you're the one with separation anxiety. And then when she was about 6 months, I kicked her out and made her start going to bed by herself. She had a pacifier, so I didn't feel very bad about it...until it started taking an hour for her to go to sleep. How is it that babies can just cry for an hour straight? After what felt like forever, she was fine. I could put her to bed and she would be asleep 10 minutes later.
Then came Aiden. This was a tricky one. Ella and Aiden shared a room, and since I napped them at the same time I didn't want one messing with the other. Keep in mind, they are 12 months apart! So I opted to let him sleep with me. This is a privilege in my book. It was still easy though, because we always woke up before Ella. I never had to leave him alone in the bed. So he stayed napping with me until he was 9 months! Oh, the shame! But then, he too got kicked out. This time to a pack-n-play in our bedroom. That lasted about a month until I finally decided to suck it up and room them together for naps. Oh, that was such a pain! Instead of crying for an hour, I spent the same amount of time busting in on their little parties. I wanted so badly to hang a sheet from the ceiling in between their cribs so they couldn't even look at each other. It was worse when they both were in toddler beds. Now they could actually get into each other's beds and steal toys. One of the best days of my life was when we separated them. That was only just 2 weeks before Riley was born! My 'nesting' set in and I completely switched all the rooms around.
Now Riley and Ella share a room. Ella has graduated to a bunk bed (which she calls her Tree house) and Riley has snagged her old crib. Yet, I am still faced with the same problem. They all nap at the same time and I don't want Riley keeping Ella up. As far as napping goes, it hasn't been as easy this time around. I don't get to nap in bed with Riley. I just put her there because that is the only unoccupied room. Now I have to sleep on the couch so I am available for the first one up, usually it's Aiden. So this routine has been working out fine for us, until just recently. Like I said, Riley can crawl now, so this changes things. She's one of those that doesn't cry when she wakes up, and being in the back of the house, it's hard to hear her. I just have always gone in there around 3:00 and she's awake. I don't know for how long...but that's not the point. Now, I can't just leave her alone and trust that the surrounding pillows will keep her from rolling off the bed. She can just crawl over them and hit the floor before I even know she's awake! So naturally, she's getting kicked out, like Aiden, to the pack-n-play in our bedroom.
I don't know what it is about being in our bed. Usually Riley is asleep in 5 minutes. She's never taken a pacifier, but she sucks on her pointer finger and that has always done the trick. I've never been one to rock my babies to sleep either. I've taken more of a 'figure it out for yourself' approach. So anyway, since exiling Riley to the pack-n-play the hour crying fits have started. And now, once she finally gives up she only sleeps for 30 minutes! What happened to the nice quiet 1-3 afternoons I had only less than a week ago? This is no fun. Riley is not going to have a good month. Tough love. I will say one thing, I can successfully put Aiden and Ella to bed without having to assist them in falling asleep, which is the whole goal here. I'd just like to have a fast forward button right about now though. I want to mention too that Riley rarely cries...I think she's the best baby ever. And now that she is crying, it's because of me. Mean Mommy! Can I just skip this phase please? I mean is this the kind of face that you want to see crying?