Goodbye Crib

And Hello Big Boy Bed

{Insert small mommy sniffle here}

I never gave much thought to when I would transition Maxwell from his crib to his big boy bed. I guess I just figured one day he would try to climb out of it, and then I know. The thing is, he never did.

Maxwell started sleeping through the night when he was between 3-4 months old, and was fantastic at doing so for the longest time.  Occasionally he would go through a sleep regression for a few days, or sleep restlessly for a few nights when he was sick or teething.

Over the last several months, Maxwell’s sleeping patterns became increasingly terrible.  He would wake up at 11:30 pm, 2am or 4 am (sometimes all of the above) and would only go back to sleep in our bed.

For the first two years, we were pretty strict about sleep training and let Max “cry it out”. It was always important to us to teach Max to be a good sleeper and to self soothe.  That didn’t work this time.  We tried. One night he cried for over an hour {don’t worry, we went in to check on him}.  I tried so hard not to bring him to bed with us, but ultimately after weeks of this, tired heads prevailed.

The only place he would snooze after waking up was in Mommy and Daddy’s bed.Nothing could get Maxwell to go back to sleep in his crib.

Although I loved the snuggles and sweet hugs in the morning, I was worried that Maxwell was becoming dependent on co-sleeping with us.  After a few months, Matt and I were becoming pretty weary of the nightly struggle.  It was worse than when he was a newborn.

We followed the same bedtime routine every night, just like our pediatrician recommended.  Bath and jammies, followed by reading a few bedtime stories together on the chair in his room, before putting Max to sleep in his crib.  Despite his ninja like skills during the day when he jumps off furniture or attempts to scale the outside of the staircase, Max never tried to crawl out of his crib.  Just cried and screamed like a manic.

As we getting ready to give Max a bath one night, my husband and I were talking about how Max moved all over the bed at night in crazy positions.  Max’s feet clocked us in the face on the regular, and we often had a horizontal toddler kicking between us, squirming to get comfy. In that moment, it occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t so much that Max needed his mommy and daddy to get to sleep, but he just needed more space.

{Duh}

I asked Matt to move the full mattress we kept in a spare bedroom into Maxwell’s room, to see if it made a difference.  When Max got out of the tub, he happily ran jumped up and down on what he now calls “Maswell’s bed”.

That night he didn’t want to be rocked in his chair.  He listed to two stories read to him in “Maswell’s bed”.  We both laid down beside him for a few minutes, and before we knew it he was fast asleep.  We couldn’t believe the solution was so simple, but it totally made sense.

Despite by what all accounts seemed like a victory, that night I went to bed with a little bit unsettled, surprised that somehow Max had suddenly transformed into a teeny little boy without me realizing it.  A shed a tear or two.  {So I’m an emotional girl.}

Just like that, my baby was gone.  He’s a boy now in his grown up bed, with stinky feet, opinions of his own, and pride in his new big boy bed.

No more crib.

No more rocking.

No more baby.

The next night, I put Maxwell to bed myself, read a few stories, and laid down as he slowly drifted to sleep.  As his breathing shifted slightly signaling that he had finally fallen asleep, I found myself gazing at his sweet round cheeks and smelled his freshly washed hair.   I put my hands on either side of his face and kissed my sweet boy, as my tears started to uncontrollably fall.

They weren’t tears of sadness that night, but tears of gratitude.

We tried to have a child for 5 years through IVF and other fertility procedures before Maxwell came into this world.  The odds of us conceiving a child on our own were grim, but gave it our all.  As I laid there that night with Maxwell, I vividly remembered laying in that same bed in that same room with my niece Camryn when she was Max’s age {and in the middle of our fertility struggles to have him}.  As a toddler, my niece liked to have her hand rubbed as she fell asleep, so I would lay there with her when she would come to visit, gladly taking the place of her mommy for the night.  I remembered looking at her sweet face, rubbing that tiny hand, and thinking that she may be the closest that I ever got to having a child of my own.  After several miscarriages and years of trying, it would have been easy to give up hope, but those sweet moments with my niece and nephew inspired me.  Those years ago, I recall laying in that bed, never knowing if we would be blessed with a child, but praying and hoping that one day, I would be putting a baby of my own to sleep in that room.

As I laid there with Maxwell last week, on his second night of sleeping in his big boy bed – that was the moment I had dreamed of and hoped for all those years ago.   I was laying in that same bed, in that same room, with my dream come true.  Smelling his freshly shampooed hair and listening to his quiet breath as he snoozed.  I looked up, and softly said “Thank you”, and hugged my boy close to me.  As my heart overflowed with gratitude, I no longer cared that he wasn’t a baby anymore, but was just filled with joy thinking about how our dreams did come true, and our boy was finally here next to me, stinky feet and all.

4 Comments

  1. So sweet and so well written! Max is truly a gift to both you and meant and he is blessed to have amazing parents like the two of you!

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