One of the most exhausting phases of motherhood is when your little toddler is ready to make the transition from crib to bed, (or some sleeping apparatus in between.) There is no magic age, it just kind of happens and you’ll know instinctively when your child is ready.
Thank Heavens I am in the final round of this as the lack of sleep will utterly erode you mentally and physically if you do not care properly for yourself. So pump those vitamins and prepare yourself for a few weeks of “boot camp!”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Knowing how sleep deprived I become during this phase, I was determined to leave my fifth and last child in the crib until age 18 as there was no rush in evicting her before that because no more siblings are coming! But apparently she had other plans…
My little survivor actually made her point very clear that she had had enough of her crib when I started seeing her suddenly “appear” at my bedside each morning around 5am. Talk about almost scaring someone into cardiac arrest! By the time my eyes focus and my brain realizes it is not a burglar, my heart is already beating out of my chest from fright! After about the third time of her miraculous “apparition,” I understood that she was scaling down the railing with the grace of an expert mountain rappeller. (She shares a room with her two older sisters so initially I thought they were “freeing” her each morning.)
What a bummer! When they are still in the crib, you can let them “cry it out,” toss them in there when they (and you) need a “moment,” and there is no escape- it is a human cage. Now, she is liberated and I am imprisoned in this dreadful night time routine.
Currently, I have her on a mattress on the floor and in order to get her stay put, I have to lay down with her. Usually she ends up putting me to sleep first. When she finally does fall asleep, like 45 minutes later, she is lucky to have one toe remaining on the actual mattress as the rest of her body is sprawled out across the carpet.
So now in addition to my day job, I work the graveyard shift as well. My almost two year old- going on fifteen “walks the halls” and roams freely all night long. I try to anticipate her moves, but honestly, sometimes I cannot even gage how long she is actually sleeping. By 3am, I am fed up with this back and forth duet and I end up dragging her mattress into my room and position it adjacent to my bed. I do this also for my own benefit to avoid future scary “appearances” along my bedside.
How she manages to get through the day is beyond all sense of reason. Supposedly at this tender age, toddlers need about 11 hours of straight sleep.
How long will this last? I don’t know. I talk to her, explain to her to stay in her bed, mommy needs to sleep, she is a big girl now, everyone else in the house is sleeping and stays in their bed, etc.- who knows if it is penetrating?
I guess it could be worse. My first child used to awaken and sneak out into the garden! My third would wake up screaming bloody murder every hour until we would put him back to sleep and my fourth would do the same with the “added feature” of demanding 30 minutes of “tickles” in exchange for staying put.
My new mantra is “this too will pass” and thanks to coffee I can keep going!