So, over this past week, Nugget reached another new milestone. For the first time, she’s sleeping in her crib at home.
I’m just going to give a bit of a pause here, to let people either have that sink in, or, perhaps, to let them silently judge me and HawtWife for the fact that she wasn’t already sleeping there.
Okay, done? Good. Now, back to me.
See, Nugget started out her little life with a bit of a scare, shortly after we brought her home from the hospital. She had some bouts with reflux (apparently, totally normal for a baby, especially a fairly new one), and those bouts with reflux actually triggered a bit of apnea in her. That apnea came along with some temporary paralysis of her diaphragm. So, she’d be sleeping fairly soundly, have a bout of reflux, and wake up in extreme panic (both for us and for her) with her face beat red, and no breathing. These episodes didn’t last overly long, but enough to put a good old scare into us. As it turns out, one of the better ways to help her avoid these issues was to have her sleep at an incline, so that’s just what we did. We took her little rocker, put Nugget into it, made sure that she was well-padded in the diaper area so that we wouldn’t have to wash the rocker on a daily basis, and went about the business of helping her get plenty of rest while watching her grow.
Over the last month or so, Nugget has clearly been feeling less and less inclined towards sleeping in her rocker. Partially, because she’s long enough that, if she can get her feet on the base, her head is almost out of the darned thing, and partially because she’s taken a growing interest in this magical thing called “sitting up”. So the rocker has become useful as a lounging place for the child, and she can sometimes nap in it, but it’s mostly where she lays back and has an easier time getting her toys into her mouth. For night-time sleeping, we’ve done the (potentially terrible, potentially awesome, depending on which advice you read) “let the baby sleep in bed”. This has created chillier nights, because we’re not really using blankets or anything, but it’s let Nugget get some pretty good sleep. It’s also been incredibly helpful that, if something wakes her in the middle of the night and she needs to be comforted, we’re both right there, and one of us is bound to wake up (generally, HawtWife, because apparently, when sleeping, I make the dead look active). I’ll admit that it became a bit of a crutch, but, well, we wanted to be sure she was getting enough sleep, and, to be honest, we’d heard plenty of horror stories about transitioning a child to their crib for the first time that made us shy away from the whole thing.
Anyway, Tuesday night was the night. HawtWife and I decided it was time to take the plunge, so we put Nugget into her crib, said our good nights, and went back about our business, baby monitor firmly in tow. A short time later, we heard her plaintive cries trying to figure out where we were. Consequently, lather, rinse, repeat. Another hour, and another round of crying. This cycle continued until around 2 in the morning, when Nugget apparently decided that she WAS safe, that she didn’t necessarily need her parents every moment, and put herself into a fairly deep slumber, in her favorite sleeping position (on her side, with her head thrown back, as though she were about to start epically headbanging). She didn’t wake up until it was time for her breakfast, and then proceeded to go back to catch some quick Z’s before heading off to daycare (again, she’s picked up sleeping habits from both parents. Talking from HawtWife, and a desire to get just a LITTLE more dreamtime before you have to wake up from me). Naturally, given that it was her first real night in the crib, HawtWife and I were both a bit shocked, figuring there was no way we’d be getting off that easily.
Turns out, we might be a little more paranoid than needed. Last night was a return to the crib, and she was pretty content to sleep. No real plaintive cries wondering where we were. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that she’s got some respiratory distress, she probably would have been able to sleep through the night without complication. She’s taken to her crib like it’s just another natural part of life, and that there’s really nothing to worry about, which is great. It hasn’t even really felt all that difficult on HawtWife or I, maybe because it was clear that she needed a flat place to sleep, and we were ready to move her to that next step in the process.
Of course, the way that Nugget keeps taking everything relatively in stride makes me worry if we ever decide to have a second child. Given that the common thought is that the second will be the opposite of the first (not a guarantee, but common enough to be concerning), then our second child is clearly destined to throw fits, cry, and make our hair turn grey(-er). Still, we’re pretty impressed with the little one that we’ve got now. And no, we’re not comparing what our child is doing to other children’s developments, especially not at this age. After all, she’s different from other kids, and we wouldn’t want to change that for the world.
Besides, she’s WAY more Zen than any almost 6-month-old has a right to be.