3.27.2011

Home Again

We've had to get creative with the sippy cups - straw cups are no longer fascinating (and he would flick the straw and milk caught inside would get all over the place, like, say the backseat of my car), so last night he picked out insulated sippy cups with cars on them instead. Went down with one last night, but was really not having it when I tried to slip it in there instead of a bottle overnight.

But my real source of frustration is not with bottles or sippy cups. It's with the fact that I thought 1:00 church was the answer to our Sunday nap time conflicts, and that I have (very sadly) been mistaken.

When we were at 11:00 last year, one of two things would happen. We would delay his morning nap (10:00/10:30) and he would fall asleep before we even left the parking lot after church, which meant he only took one nap that day and we had to grin and bear with a cranky kid; or he would get his morning nap and sleep for 2 or 2 1/2 hours and I would miss church.

Then 1:00 church rolled around and all seemed perfect: he could get his 2 hour nap in the morning and we'd make it in time for sacrament meeting, and leave church just in time for his afternoon nap! Then, he became a one-nap-a-day toddler. He still goes down around 10:30 or 11:00, and sometimes have little more flexibility on when we lay him down, but he sleeps for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, which means he sleeps right through church and then needs lunch right after he wakes up.

I have missed more Sundays now than I would like to count. And it's getting old. This past week I had lunch with a friend. Because C woke early that morning, I put him down early, knowing I would have to wake him up at 2 hours in if we were going to make our lunch date. He did really well on the drive and during lunch, but threw an ever-loving toddler hissy when I tried to get him back in his seat to come home. Then, he refused to lay down again that afternoon and was an absolute bear the rest of the day, complete with whining and writhing around on the floor. (I have witnesses.)

I thought maybe the same approach, if it worked, might be an option for Sundays. After a cranky Thursday afternoon, I swore it off. But this morning, I thought it is much better to deal with a fussy toddler than not to go at all. But then he refused his nap at 10:30 and all bets were off for both getting a decently rested kid and getting there on time. He was still wakeful as we edged toward church time, albeit in a crankier and crankier state of being. He took a bath, rubbed his eyes, fussed and cried and climbed up into his bed while still naked under his bath towel.

Needless to say, I lost steam on fighting to get him (or myself) ready. He was asleep by 1:10.

All you moms out there consider this a cry for help. How do you make it work when nap times and church times conflict?

~Nichole

3.06.2011

Bye Bye Bottle - Take 1

When C was rounding the big Uno, I started feeling a lot of indirect pressure about getting him off the bottle. His ped mentioned it in passing at his one year wellness visit. Books I had read all mentioned it too.

12 months was a huge transition point with lots of other hubbub to keep us busy. He was just starting to walk, cutting more teeth, becoming more verbal, transitioning from breast milk to cow's milk. . . . it was a busy time. So, I didn't worry about the bottle overmuch.

Plus, I had tried every sippy cup known to man and he was not really interested. We started with a Nuby bottle to cup contraption, tried a Gerber Graduates cup with the valve in and out, then a Nuby spout cup, and finally a Tilty, which he loves, but only to make sprinkles with.

But mostly, I put it at the back of my mind and figured we'd try it when he was ready. He naturally went to only having bottles before naps, before bed, and once during the night, with water during the day.

At his 15 month visit, the doc talked more at length about getting him off the bottle. She said it's better for babies' teeth and for their development to get off the bottle. I asked her what she suggested. She said they are really into straws at this stage and suggested a straw cup. She also said try giving him milk in a cup and a "drink he doesn't like" in a bottle. Hard to do when the kid's only drinks are milk and water. He drinks his water from a Funtainer thermos. (Remind me sometime to tell you about the time we left that $15 thermos at a restaurant and when I went back to get it, the waiter-kid said "I don't know what a thermos is".)

So, for the last month, I have been slowly making some small changes. He's really into cars, so one day while looking at cups, he saw one with a car and that's how we chose the Nuby insulated straw cup. If he wanted milk during the day (if he missed a nap), I would offer him this cup before the bottle and he would usually take it, refusing only if he was way too tired to put out the effort to drink from it, since the straw is typical Nuby-engineered and harder to drink through than your average straw.

Then, a friend suggested the Nuk learner cup, which I initially thought might be to "young" for him (and which he initially rejected) but it has turned out to be very helpful. I read several articles about stopping the bottle and toddler transitions to a cup.

If I know I am going to be out and about during the day and run into nap time, like I did yesterday, I pack the Nuby straw cup and the Nuk learner cup and give him his choice. Yesterday, he refused both. I knew he was very tired and probably would have accepted a bottle if I had one, so I put him in the car, turned on the music and he was out in 2 minutes.

When he woke up, I fed him dinner and offered him milk with dinner in his Nuk cup - which is new and different, since I only offered water during the day to try and keep his total daily milk consumption around 24 ounces (another thing I've worried too much over!) - and he loved it.

Today, for nap time, I offered him the Nuk cup. He drank 4 ounces, handed it to me, and tossed and turned himself to sleep. Again at dinner time he drank milk from the Nuk, water from the Funtainer, and homemade orange julius from the Tilty. At bedtime, I decided to try my chances and offered him the Nuk again. It only holds 5 ounces and sometimes he takes 7 or 8, so we needed a refill to get him to 7, but it worked!

The only bottle he will likely be getting if we can keep this up is his overnight bottle. And I know (I know!) babies are technically supposed to sleep through the night without waking to eat. . . and I've read the pamphlets the ped has given me about training him to do that. But, I haven't been willing to pick that fight just yet. (Besides which, he has been cutting a lateral incisor and the last few nights have been miserable already!) Not that I haven't thought about it. And read about it!

It's just one thing at a time around here: first transitioning from co-sleeping to his own bed, cutting more teeth, and now getting off the bottle. Definitely next up is night weaning, so we can move his bed further from ours and start the transition to his very own room!

~Nichole

"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury