Princess and the Pea, Vampire Edition

The little princess all comfy and cozy, not a pea in sight.

Oh, babies and sleeping.

It’s perhaps the most asked question when someone has a baby (“Are you getting any sleep? Is the baby sleeping through the night yet?”), and I’m thankful to say that we’ve been blessed with a lot of peaceful nights between Emma Vance’s good demeanor and Baby Wise’s advice. However, last night was not one of them.

We haven’t had such a sleepless night since Vampire Baby first arrived, which is saying a lot. I feel guilty because deep down I feel like it’s my fault; we’ve been so crazy for the last month, and I know that she can sense the madness. When we got the offer on our townhouse, Emma Vance’s nursery became our staging room for the packing process, and then, when we actually began to pack, it was the first room to go. Since I had been dragging my feet on transitioning her from the pack ‘n play to the crib anyway, it didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. We just kept doing what we were already doing, and it worked. I figured I’d deal with getting her 100% into the nursery once we moved. Then we traveled and really moved stuff out of our townhouse (meaning we changed to a blow up mattress and moved rooms, making the entire Shove family’s nighttime routine, well, un-routine), and when we threw daylight savings into the mix, her sleeping schedule got all messed up. Two weeks ago when we moved into this house, we skipped the crib and set up her pack ‘n play in an effort to help her sleeping normalize (sans newborn bassinet, since I figured that was at least a little progress in transitioning). But it didn’t. Basically nighttime was a free for all, and it was not awesome.

So Emma Vance’s been waking up during the night more often than necessary, but I was convinced her nighttime rustlings would settle on their own. Wrong. In fact, they got a little bit worse last week, and when she woke up a few times in one night, Ryan and I were getting frustrated. It was the oddest thing–we’d pick her up, cuddle with her, feed her, whatever seemed right at the moment, but as soon as we’d put her down in the pack ‘n play, she’d freak out. Weird. Then, my middle-of-the-night-blurry-brain had an idea: I took one of our big, fluffy pillows, laid it down in the pack ‘n play and placed her on top of it. She was out immediately, blissful and relieved. Turns out our little princess is really a Princess and the Pea.

Pack ‘n plays are great, but what pre-baby me didn’t realize is that they’ve got this big lump of metal in the middle that makes them collapsible, and E.V. apparently is just too delicate to handle such nonsense. I’ve known dozens of babies who are happy as can be napping in pack ‘n plays, so it never occurred to me that E.V. would be uncomfortable. The “pea” was keeping her up at night, which was keeping us up at night, so at 3 a.m. on Saturday, Ryan installed the newborn bassinet back into her pack ‘n play (because we hadn’t set up the crib yet), and E.V. slept straight through the night. HOWEVER, our relief didn’t last long because, ahem, the newborn bassinet is meant for exactly that–newborns–and we are WAY past that stage. There she was, our giant baby in this tiny bassinet, all crunched up and cozy for a night…until she realized how stinkin’ big she was. Then our Princess and the Pea got all up in arms about her too-small bed and started waking herself up during naps the next day trying to stretch her giant legs out…of the bassinet…and of the pack ‘n play entirely. Even I was a bit embarrassed by how ridiculous she looked with her little feet dangling over the edge. In a fit of exhaustion yesterday, I collapsed the crutch of a bassinet and asked Ryan take a moment out of his crazy schedule to assemble the crib. FINALLY!

Last night was E.V.’s first night in her nursery, all alone. I had hoped that the crib would be a magic cure for her restlessness, but, alas, the Princess not only minds Peas, but also Loneliness. So about every hour or so Emma Vance would wail, we’d comfort her,  and she’d pass back out. I realized that it was loneliness at about 4 a.m., because when she freaked out, I simply put my hand on her leg and she fell back asleep. I mean, I can’t blame her; it’s been a tumultuous few weeks full of change. And now here she is, just wanting to be cozy in her bassinet, and she comes to find out she’s REALLY outgrown it. Now when she wakes up, she’s gone from this cozy little nest to a huge, empty crib, and that can be scary. I also think that the bassinet was WAY more comfortable because it was essentially a baby hammock that nestled her perfectly. We had absolutely no issues when we stopped swaddling her (we went cold turkey with no consequences), and looking back, I think that the baby hammock was the reason why.

Tonight will be Night #2 for our Princess and the Pea, so wish us luck, folks. Let’s hope that neither Vampire nor Princess shows up. If it doesn’t go well we may be constructing a crib hammock, available Christmas 2013 to the general public. Ha!

Nap time went well today, thankfully!

All princesses have to kiss a frog or two, right?

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