The house was quiet. The sky was dark. My bed was warm. Everything about this morning screamed, "Sleep. And then sleep some more."
There was a part of me, though, that was pulling my body from underneath the quilt toward the dresser where I had laid out my running clothes. I had set the intention the night before to run a few early miles before my guys woke up and tried to set myself up for success. The three wakings by my lovely son made my legs heavy and my body tired. I decided to listen to the morning: I was sleeping.
But that's not the point of this story. No, the point of this story is that I could actually leave my bed at 4:45 a.m. to run with no worries. "Why?" you ask.
Well, my friends, Mr. Miles has officially moved back to his crib. His cute little behind has not been in our bed since the infamous night two weeks ago when he peed on me after punching me in the face for an hour.
Mark and I had always said that we would move away from the family bed when it was time for us and not what other people said. I think we secretly hoped that he would just start sleeping through the night and we would never have to go through sleep training but ... yeah, babies are fickle creatures.
After we managed that first night in the crib, Mark and I decided that we would hunker down, stay strong and make Miles sleep in his room - relying heavily on our bed time routine to set the stage for mid-night practices.
Between 6:30 and 7 p.m., depending on that day's nap schedule, Mark will change Miles' diaper and get him into jammies while I make a 6-ounce bottle. When Miles is ready, I grab him, the bottle and a paci and head upstairs to his room. We sit in the Ikea Poang chair (a million times better than a damn glider), and Miles takes his bottle. When he's finished, in a very ninja-like fashion, I replace the bottle with the paci. We sit for a bit and cuddle before I put him in the crib.
I used to wait until he was 137 percent asleep before putting him down but now I don't care. Last night, he was out. Other nights, he might fuss or say "dog, gog, dog, og" to soothe himself. Unless he screams for 10 minutes (or, what seems like 10 minutes), I let him be.
Until he wakes up, that is. Miles still gets up about once a night, anywhere between 12:30 and 3:30. I hear him first (always, always) and head to the bathroom. I do stuff, wash my hands and make the bottle. I take that bad boy into Miles' room, where I quickly scoop him up, grope for the paci and head back to the Poang chair. He has a bottle, I try to stay restfully awake. When he's done, he gets the paci, a few cuddles and then heads back to bed.
It's at this point when we started this process that I feared Miles would show his fiery personality and scream for ages. I was going to regale you with stories of toughing it out and ear plugs. But I can't. The transition has been remarkably smooth, and there have been just a few occasions where I kick Mark out of bed to get Miles back to sleep. In fact, the only times we (read: Mark) have been tempted to break our rule is the random 4:15 wakeup call.
But I resist that cute face, opting to try a second bottle - which has yet to fail me. Miles goes back to sleep until the blissful hour of 6 or 6:30.
And I say blissful because it is. When we were doing the whole co-sleeping thing, Miles was up by 6 and more likely by 5:45. Now that he is in his own space, he sleeps better. There are fewer middle of the night wakings; it takes less time to get him back to sleep after a bottle; and he sleeps later.
Mark and I are sleeping better, too, making us a much happier family. A happier family because we did what was right for us when it was right for us.