Well, the time has come sooner than I anticipated! To help facilitate some changes in the dynamic of our relationship, Jeff and I have agreed to transition the baby to her own bed.
(Cue massive stress-induced headache.)
Because I'm a Montessori neophyte, I want to do the floor bed. I think it makes sense. Giving your child freedom in a prepared environment seems like a positive thing, plus I give a little freaked out thinking about Vicki Jo somehow getting stuck in the crib or pulling up on the side and toppling out onto her head. (Yes, the authors of Montessori from the Start used this as a scare tactic, and it worked on me.)
Our baby is not really mobile at this point. She can roll from front to back and then back to front with maximum effort, and then needs a nap to recover. She can sort of "swim" on her stomach, but she can't move more than a few inches. So, I have some time to prepare our environment and ensure its safety. I went to Michaels craft store yesterday and bought a bunch of baskets, framed prints, and other supplies to help transform her space. (Look for a post on Nursery Take Two in the near future.) But for now, I'm just focusing on the bed.
So far, the baby will sleep in three places: attached to me, in her carseat while the car is moving, or in her swing. This is for all sleep - nighttime, daytime, and any other time. What I just did when I put her down for her nap was to lay scrunched up on the crib mattress on the floor with her nursing until she fell asleep. I rolled sneakily away, and she's still sleeping 22 minutes later! (I spoke too soon. I just heard a squawk from her room. Sigh.)
I have a sinking feeling that this is going to be a real undertaking for us, as Vicki Jo does not fall asleep peacefully even when I'm in full body contact with her. She is what I would call a "sleep fighter." She also has some night terrors, which are truly disturbing.
Parents out there: is there a gentle way to help your baby sleep by themselves? Do you have to let them cry at some point? How would you recommend that I go about this process?