Mellow Mummy: Goodbye Cot, Hello Bed : Taking life as it comes...

Monday 22 November 2010

Goodbye Cot, Hello Bed

We have reached another momentous parenting milestone. Lara has quit the cot! I know, it seems really early. Lara is just 16 months but it had to be done.

Ever since the devilish incident last month Lara has been a total monster in her cot. She hasn't learned to climb out of it but, when she wakes (or when you put her to sleep in it and she doesn't want to go) she screams, rattles the bars REALLY violently and sometimes even bangs her head repeatedly against the bars.

In the mornings it was worse. If we didn't get up to tend to her immediately after waking, she would get REALLY angry. We decided that the best way to go was to give LAra her independence. Last weekend we expended a little effort making sure that her room was safe for her to run riot in. We invested in a radiator cover, a new door handle that actually works, and some socket covers. We moved all of her board books into her room and several of her toys and teddies so that she would have something to entertain her when she woke.

On Sunday we turned the cotbed from cot to bed and placed a folded up duvet on the floor next to the bed. Bedtime on night 1 was extremely stressful. Lara would normally settle herself to sleep in the cot eventually but in the bed there were just too many exciting things to distract her. She screamed and screamed each time we tried to lie her down and every time we thought we'd cracked it, we'd tiptoe to the door but the second it shut, she'd rush out of bed and open the door. Eventually she worked herself up into a frenzy so great that the effort obviously wore her out. Eventually, at about 10.40, after over 2 hours of trying, she fell asleep.

On Night 2 we deliberately kept Lara up late to make sure she was totally exhausted when it came to bedtime and she settled almost instantly. Nights 3 and 4 required maybe 15 minutes of settling but were generally a success. Since then it has been a mixed bag. I think the thing she really struggles with is the distraction, knowing that she can just get up and play with stuff she can't resist when really she is tired and in need of rest.

We have no bed guard on the cotbed. Each night she has fallen out of bed on about 2 or 3 occasions. It hasn't been the fall that has woken her, but the fact that she eventually gets cold. On almost all occasions, when one of us has woken to her screams or whimpers, we've found her pretty much asleep on the folded up duvet. I think I will try and buy a bedguard if she doesn't quickly stop rolling out of bed. I have also taken this opportunity to fit a B-Sensible cot sheet - it is supposed to help regulate temperature, to protect against bed wetting, protect against mites and bacteria and to be more suitable for Lara's sensitive skin than other mattress protectors. I'll be reviewing it shortly.

In terms of solving the problems... well, I think she is still learning. She certainly seems a lot more relaxed when she wakes but after a little bit of chattering to her bears, her first action of the day is to open the door and come through to our room. Doh. I think this might have quite a lot to do with the blackout curtains in her room which are great for ensuring a sound sleep and a late wake-up time but mean that the room is too dark for her to play or read. She does have some nightlights but she's not really old enough to know how (and more importantly, when) to work them.

It has also meant that I have given up all attempts to get Lara to have an afternoon sleep when we are at home - there is NO chance she would settle.

I'll keep you updated on our progress. I'm reliably told it will take 2-3 weeks for her to get used to the Big Girl's Bed.
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