“You’re such a crib mom!” – That was a sarcastic comment my sister made, after I delivered my baby girl.
No, she didn’t mean I was a grumble-mumble lady. She meant, I’m a mom who’d put my child in the crib without letting her co-sleep. Ha-ha! She coined a new term “Crib Mom” – a mom who puts her baby to sleep in the Crib without co-sleeping.
I failed to be a “Crib Mom” for 2 long years – In fact 25 months, to be precise. And now, I’m happy to say that I’ve earned the badge “Crib Mom”.
But, am I a proud owner of this new badge?
In India, most people still believe it’s a dishonor to leave a baby to sleep all alone – It shows Lack of Love. You’d be judged. How can you leave a baby all alone? What kind of a monster are you? You’re such a heartless creature!
Do you think I can be a proud owner of my new earned badge now? Yes? No? Maybe?
Thankfully, my sister didn’t have those judgmental motives while she made that comment. It was simply sarcastic. (P.S: We’re good friends)
Why we transitioned from the Big Bed to the Crib?
Reason-1: The crib has been lying in one corner of our bedroom for 2 long years, and it had to be put to use.
Reason-2: To make space for the next baby, and make the transition smooth.
Background story –
When my mum came to visit us, we let our toddler sleep with her granny in the guest bedroom. Did it work? Not initially. She kept coming back to our room in the middle of the night, and we took her in. We kept trying every single night without giving up. And by the end of the month, she refused to sleep in our bedroom, even after my mum left. Her brain was tuned to sleeping in “the other bedroom”. That’s the cue we took and got into action.
How we transitioned?
Since she wasn’t willing to sleep in our bedroom anymore, we started putting her to sleep in the other bedroom, and shifting her to the crib once she fell asleep.
P.S: It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. She cried, I cried. She puked and made a mess. Impatience, Irritation, Frustration soon made their way into our home. We still tried without relying on videos. Songs (audio/oral) and story time worked best for us. Those initial days were hard.
Suggestion – You’ll have to try different things and figure out what works best for your loved one.
When she woke up in the middle of the night, we took her on to the Big bed, until one night when she herself refused to come out of the crib. (Took 2 weeks to reach this phase).
Suggestion – Each child is different and it might work quicker for you, or take a little longer too. Just don’t give up yet!
Since she understood that the crib is her own sleeping place, we tried putting her to sleep in the crib instead of shifting after she fell asleep. I even crawled into the crib but it wasn’t an effective step – the whole idea of switching from co-sleeping is lost. So, I stopped climbing into her crib. Instead, I sat beside her, sung lullabies & told her stories until she fell asleep.
We taught her to climb inside her crib (without force) when it’s “Sleep Time”. She kneels down for prayer and kisses Mommy & Daddy good night. The lights go off. I slide my hand through the wooden bars and tell her “Mommy is right beside you. You can hold my hand and sleep.” After a little tossing & turning, singing songs/talking to herself, she goes to sleep.
When she wakes up in the middle of the night, I just slide my hand into the crib & pat her and she drifts back to sleep.
She wakes up in the morning and asks if she can climb out of the crib, kisses us good morning, says her prayer, and cuddles with us for a few minutes. That’s how her day starts.
Hurray! No more cribbing. Only crib-sleeping.
And, Yes! I’m proud of my new earned badge “Crib Mom”.
Dear Indian Moms,
If co-sleeping works for you, great! Else, you don’t have to suffer just to please someone. At the end of the day, do what works best for you. People might find a lot of things to judge, but, Co-sleeping or not, you’re the best mom your child can ever have. Pat yourself on the back and say, “You’re doing a good job, mama.” – cuz that’s what your baby feels deep inside. Get over the mom guilt & enjoy your motherhood.
Back in the time when I wrote this article, I had a little rant that our nursery was all set up, but the crib still lies empty in a corner. I take back those words now. I’m a happy mumma, irrespective of my achievements and failures.