Monday, February 23, 2009

To tent or not to tent

The other day one of my favorite customers, Wendy, came into my store. She told me I saved her life and she was eternally grateful. I couldn't IMAGINE what in the world she was talking about. She went on to tell me that the last time she'd been, I had told her about the crib tent I use for Beck.

She had switched her little girl (22 months) into a big girl bed because she'd begin climbing out of her crib at night and they were afraid she'd get hurt. The night they switched her was the night sleeping stopped at her house. Her little one started getting up at all hours, coming into mommies room, getting up super early in the morning, ready to play. After a few weeks, they were ALL sleep deprived.

I have to admit, when I first heard about crib tents I was appalled. I couldn't believe anyone would CAGE their child in their bed. It was jail as far as I was concerned. Oh - how judgmental we are when we have one child who is a perfect sleeper....Thomas never once climbed out of his crib and when I finally did change him into a big boy bed it took him weeks to figure out he could actually get out by himself! Ha!

Then along came Beck. Sweet as he is (see the Kiss video in my last post) - he is a climber. As evidenced by this photo...doesn't even stay put in the bath!

He began climbing out of his crib at about 20 months and by 20 months and 2 days he had perfected it. He would come into my room several times a night and be up for the day by around 5AM. Not OK. I NEED my sleep. And frankly - so does he - he turned into a sleep deprived little monster.

I wrestled with my inner demons - tent or not tent? Sleep or not sleep? Crib or big boy bed? Well - the sleep deprivation finally won and I ordered the tent.

Night one: "Zip close, zip close!" He loved it! Until I left the room and he figured out he couldn't get out. Was I a terrible mother? I let him cry and he fell asleep - until 7:30 the next morning!!!! Victory!

Night two: "night, night" Asleep in 5 minutes, until 8:00 the next morning!

Ever since - he goes through peaks and valleys - sometimes he loves the tent, other time he hates it. He doesn't cry when he goes to bed and in the morning - he wakes up around 7 usually - he is happy and well-rested.

So I had to let go of some of my previous judgment. It's good for us to do that sometimes when the other path is so clearly the better choice. Beck sleeps better, I sleep better - and now my customer Wendy, her husband and her daughter sleep better! She went home and ordered the tent, switched her little one back into the crib with the tent and are all getting the right amount of ZZZ's necessary to function!

Now if I could only figure out how long it's reasonable to keep Beck sleeping in his jr high too old?

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