Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A big number: 780

On Sept. 2, Lola left babyhood behind her.

The very last connection she had to babyhood was her parents’ long-hated attachment to her “baba,” or bottle. We switched her, begrudgingly, from warm milk to a warm water less than a year ago. We figured, like the stupid books say, that once the milk was removed from the equation, that the child will lose interest in the bottle.

That never happened.

We blame ourselves, of course. Had we never took the nuk away a year ago, she probably wouldn’t have grown so attached to the stupid bottle. But she did. And we weren’t going to re-introduce the pacifier!

So we endured it.

Until it got to the point where Ray and I were, daily, telling each other we had to get that kid off of the bottle.

(I should note now that we are only talking about nighttime. During the day, she has always drank milk, juice or whatever out of a sippy cup, but at bedtime – or during sleeptime – she likes to have water. A lot.)

About 3 months ago, I took away the “real” (Avent) bottle and replaced it with a Nuby bottle, which has removable tops for a fake nipple/bottle top and sippy cup. And we would exchange the tops throughout the day.

But on Thursday, Sept. 2, I had had enough.

I put her to bed that night and handed her a sippy with water. She screamed and fought it. and I just set it by her big girl bed (ironic, eh?) and said that was all she got.

After about three minutes of crying, she picked it up and rank it.

And that – after 780 days of life – was the end of the bottle.

***

Post-script: This did not solve the big problem, though.

Lola, also, wakes up sometimes (read: often) during the night. The best way to get her back to sleep is to give her more warm water. It takes all of two minutes, but of course, if the 2-year-old is getting a sippy cup every 2-3 hours, you are also changing diapers every 2-3 hours.

And Ray had enough of not getting sleep.

So last on Monday, Sept. 6, we stopped.

And the screaming returned.

We, reluctantly, did the crying it out thing in her first eyar of life, when we forced her to sleep in her crib. We braced for it again, about a year ago, when we took away the nuk (but Lola just whimpered once or twice and didn’t much care – probably because she still had warm milk bottles then and those were much better!).

But this third time has been difficult. It’s hard to listen to your 2-year-old cry. To not run in and comfort her.

The first three nights were awful. Fortunately, I have a very committed husband who just plainly gives me a choice: I can go in and give her water, but I can do it every night. Because he is done.

The next two nights were better. Every time she would cry, we would let her be. If she shrieked or screamed, Ray (because I’m a pushover apparently) would go in and ask what is wrong. If she just wants water, he told her know, kissedher good night and told her to go to sleep. And she did.

Now Lola whimpers once or twice a night, but we don’t go in at all. She gets herself back to sleep.

I think she has actually slept through the whole night two or three nights.

Victory.

- Bethany :)

2 comments:

Naomi Evans said...

Way to go!! That sounds about how it was for me to get the boys off of their pacifiers a few months ago but it was all for the best. I am hoping you now have many many nights of uninterrupted sleep :-)

David and Mary Kay said...

wooo hoooo! way to go!