I've written before about trying to transition our Little Girl from family bed to crib. I don't think I ever did a follow up on that one, but I can sum it up in two words: not ready. Her or us? Well, that's an open question. But it didn't work.
I'm no expert on babies (but I am kind of an expert on this one), and I think it was her that wasn't ready. Last time we tried to transition her, it was because we felt pressure to do so, and she cried, literally, for hours. It worked once, but she'd only sleep in her crib for an hour or two. Then she got sick and wouldn't sleep in the crib at all.
This time, we were dealing with the aftermath of an out of town trip that left all of our sleep cycles screwed up. LG's naps were screwed up, and it was getting very, very hard to get her to sleep until 10 or 11 at night, using our usual ritual, which was to rock her to sleep, then lay her down. Considering that she had been going to sleep between 8 and 9, that was a huge problem for all of us.
So starting Sunday night, we've been laying her in the crib. She cries, but she generally stops when we leave the room, and she only cries for a few minutes before she falls asleep. The first night, she slept until 5:30, then came to sleep with us in our bed. The next, she woke up at 4, and Christie rocked her back to almost sleep, then put her back in the crib, where she slept until 6. This morning, she slept all the way until 7.
It does suck listening to her cry at night, but the fact that this is so much easier than last time makes me confident we're doing the right thing. And the simple fact is that there were tears and drama last week when we tried to rock her to sleep. She's just going through a phase right now where she doesn't want to go to sleep, and there's going to be drama. It's our job as parents to help her get to sleep in the least dramatic way, and I think we've found it.
It is a little hard to get used to how big the bed feels without her in it, though.