I wasn't expecting this...at all...and it has crashed my world in many ways. Boundaries, I love them, thrive on them and know my children do as well. The crib set up some nice boundaries for sleeping for Shiloh. You sleep here, and that is all. It took us a long time of establishing this boundary with her, as most of her life this was not the case. But when it finally happened....this momma felt a bit of freedom. Freedom to get some things done and freedom to be with my husband more. As much as I love cuddling my little...it's hard when other parts of my life suffer so.
But this boundary was torn down a couple of months ago when Shi learned she could climb out of her crib. Bam and she was walking out of her room. I tried it a couple more times with the same result and knew that we had taken a turn. I was at a lost.
Zoe slept in her crib until she was three. I do recognize that this is old but it wasn't an issue that bothered her so I just kept her there until the "wisdom" out there said it was long enough. She has never gotten out of her bed at night time. Screamed in her bed if she needs something, yes, but never come into our room to sleep with us since being a baby.
So with my new climber, I was shocked. I can't really reason much with my 1 year old on why she would need to stay in her bed. What was I to do? I was really at a loss.
At first she didn't even want me to stay in her room to nap, she wouldn't lay down in with me in my bed, she was just angry, very angry it seemed. But she needed sleep...and so did I. Slowly nap times evolved with me lying next to her on the floor with her on her mattress. Then we put the toddler bed in her room, which she wouldn't really sleep in at all at first but gradually came to accept if I was in the room. As long as she knew someone was there, it seemed to make it okay. This meant a lot of time of comforting her and I felt my own free time, completely vanish, as I seemed to be with her ALL THE TIME. I love her dearly but felt suffocated. My anxiety levels in general went really high as I wondered what am I going to do with a little one on the way....this set up was NOT going to work.
I mentioned the lack of sleep I was getting at night (due to Shiloh being in the bed with us, and would drill her head into mine and wanted to use my face as a pillow - why is that comfortable? She also constantly wanted to kiss me...such a little lover) to an amazing godly woman at church that I really respect. She asked if I wanted some advice....advice, sure I will take any suggestions that one may have. She talked about setting very clear expectations, with the end goal in mind, and sticking with them, showing Shiloh who is the authority. So that one day that authority could be passed on to the Lord who it belongs too. Nothing was surprising to me but somehow it confirmed in my heart what I knew and gave me the motivation and permission to do so. Even though it would be really hard on us all...really hard.
She screamed, a lot, A LOT, sometimes for an hour at a time in the middle of the night. Nothing seemed to help or sooth her. She didn't seem to mind the spankings that I tried (and hated), as long as she could see my presence (so I found out that was not going to work). How she would melt me when I would go in there and she would just stroke my check, chanting, "Momma." Man I love this little but I knew I had to stay strong. She is such an intense lover but I knew for our families sake, it would have to happen.
So currently she continues to sleep in her room by herself, at times still crying/screaming a lot (but it IS a lot less than before). The childproof lock on the door, she can, on occasion pick off but it is the only thing that keeps her in there. She sleeps by the door, on the floor, which I hate. But her bed is in the room and it is her choice. I'm not sure how to help her with that one!
I must say that it is so freeing knowing that I can get some more things done at nap time now, that I know I have some guaranteed time with the hubby at night, and a bed to ourselves that I can now snuggle up to him again....well at least for a little while till number 3 comes....I will greatly treasure the time I do have!