Kayleigh has been sleeping through the night since she was four weeks old. We are incredibly blessed with this easy going little girl. At the beginning of January, we moved her to her own room. It started out with putting her in her crib for naps (as opposed to letting her fall asleep wherever she was). I said that we started with naps first because of the neighbors. Our tiny apartment complex is one where everything can be heard. Remember my story about Number 4? Yeah.
I'm paranoid about getting the neighbors angry at us, but I'm also a big believer in a loving cry-it-out method. The two don't mix well when you can hear what your neighbor is singing while he brushes his teeth. So we started out with "big girl naps" in Kayleigh's crib. Because
Momma's heart couldn't bear the thought of being separated at night yet we were concerned about letting her cry it out and waking up the neighbors at night.
At first, Kayleigh wasn't happy about it. She let the world know it. She was used to falling asleep in her bouncer next to me in the living room, or in the play yard we keep near the kitchen, or in her cradle, inches away from my face. Being upstairs in a foreign room, away from me, was not what she was used to. But within a few days, it was like someone turned the switch. Now, when she's tired, she doesn't fall asleep anywhere but in her crib. She'll do her tired cry until I put her up there, and then she will smile up at me, close her eyes, and fall asleep.
After a week of "big girl naps," we decided it was time to move her there for night time, too. My momma heart broke. I knew it was a good move, that she needed to be in her own room, and that Handsome Man and I needed our room back, too, but every time your baby grows up a little bit, part of you wants to rebel and keep her as small and sweet and precious as the day she was born.
It's been three weeks now, and what a change! The baby who used to fall asleep no matter where she was (a high school DYG, for goodness sake!) now only wants to sleep in her crib. And instead of going to bed upstairs when we do, Kayleigh has set her own bedtime for about 8pm.
I'm proud of her for picking up these big girl habits so easily, but part of me misses the flexibility of a newborn. It used to be that if I was going to meet a friend during the day, I could just scoop a sleeping Kayleigh from her bouncer, stick her in the stroller, and go. But now that she's taking designated naps in her crib, it's not fair for me to wake her up on a whim. There goes freedom.
There is beauty, too. My baby girl is gaining independence. She can sleep in her big girl crib, and she knows her mommy is always there when she wants her. There's no fear of neglect in her eyes, and she trusts us to take care of her. As much as I wish that I could forever keep her in the beautiful cradle her great-grandpa made, I'm glad that she is happy in the pretty little room we've made for her.
Growing hurts, but it's good.
Sweet dreams, precious Kayleigh Girl