When we came up with this crazy plan of Indra sleeping in her own bed, we assumed that she would develop some communication skills given that she is just over two years old. We could say, "Hey Indra, look at your big girl bed! Won't it be cool to sleep in the same room as your big sisters and have your very own bed??"
|The unused toddler bed|
She cannot talk. She cannot understand what we say.
That is not entirely true. She does talk, she does understand what we say but it is pretty limited. She does not speak in sentences, she can speak words but they are only really understandable to Justin and I. All of these toddler milestones such as moving on to her own bed and even toilet training cannot occur unless there is some basic communication.
So, it has become clear that a new solution is needed. Indra cannot fall asleep or stay asleep unless she is touching either myself or Justin. Her entire worldview, all of her trust and love and understanding of who she is will come crashing down around her if suddenly there was a new little baby in mom and dad's bed and she wasn't invited. Now, that might sound a titch dramatic and maybe it is but I just do not think I could handle seeing her confusion and hurt. She is such a sensitive and sweet little love. Indra is different from most kiddos. The best way I can describe her would be a "spirited child." There is a great book all about these types of children called. Raising Your Spirited Child
-Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
Spirited kids are the exception to the rule, “Ignore them and they’ll stop.” Spirited kids can cry for hours, and if by chance they fall asleep, they’ll wake up and start in again on the same issue. They are the kids who can be triggered by seemingly insignificant things such as a change in the weather, lint in a sock, the red cup instead of the expected yellow one, or a friend who looks at them the “wrong way.” Relatives freely offer unsolicited advice as to how you should discipline them.
On good days, spirited kids prove to be more delightful than you ever imagined. They make you laugh, pull your attention to the bugs and bees you would have missed without them, give you an excuse to play, and encourage you to take naps. On bad days, they refuse to do anything you ask — usually in a loud and angry voice; they spit at you, kick you, and rob you of your sleep with their demands and the worries they arouse. Often they make you cry. They may also leave you feeling a little crazy, even stunned, wondering how, if it’s like this now, you will ever survive adolescence.
And Indra is the spirited child. She needs to be swung in blankets to calm down and transition. She needs food presented to her carefully lest she whip it on the floor in anger. She needs constant reassuring and hugs. She needs her clothing to feel a certain way and not be too loose or too tight, no itchy seams, etc... She is a special girl who, at this point in her life, cannot sleep by herself. It would just be cruel to Justin and I and Indra.
|My spirited toddler making sand pie|
Here are my new ideas on the subject of co-sleeping or the family bed.
I think I am going to get an Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper and attach it to our bed. That way, the infant has a safe space to sleep free from flailing toddler limbs and can still be snuggled and nursed with ease during the night. I am not really sure why I hadn't thought of this before. We (Justin and I) were coming up with all kinds of crazy ideas like- Justin sleeping downstairs on the floor next to her bed, bringing the toddler bed into the living room, getting a twin size bed instead of a toddler bed so a parent could sleep with her downstairs. But this co-sleeper attachment just might do the trick! I have not considered the quality of her sleep just yet given that she will be sleeping in the same room with a newborn but that is a bridge I will cross when I get there. Right now, I just need to figure out how to meet the needs of my spirited toddler and soon to be newborn.
Forget about my quality of sleep. New moms and sleep are foes from way, way back. I would be a fool to think otherwise.
|Three more weeks!|