Monday, February 06, 2012

The Hard Things

Difficult things are looming on the horizon with Lucia. There are four major changes we need to make, and I’m dreading them. Well, that’s not accurate. I’m dreading two of them, the two that have the potential to disrupt our fragile nighttime peace and upend our luxurious ability to both put Lucia to bed with little hassle and bid her goodnight until the morning with nary a peep heard in between.

The biggest thing we have to do is get rid of the pacifier. She is more attached to the paw-paw than ever, having quickly wised up to my attempts to distance her from it a few weeks ago. For a day or two she went along with my requests that paw-paw “take a rest” while we played, and she’d forget about it while she sat at the table to eat. Now paw-paw can’t be out of her sight. She carefully places it alongside her plate, or arranges it on top of Bibi, while she’s eating; and she’ll only rarely put it aside while we’re playing. I’ve never even attempted getting her to sleep without it. Paw-paw is a vital part of her comfort ritual, so closely linked to her required safety totem of Bibi that she discusses them together as one thing: Bibipawpaw.

All this is to say—yikes. If she flips out because she can’t find paw-paw for one second, I have no idea what she’ll do when she can’t have paw-paw at all. It is going to be bloody. Really bloody. And I’m terrified that this is going to both wipe out naps altogether and decimate her stellar sleep.

As of yet, I have no strategy other than just…not thinking about it. I’ll cut out the daytime paw-paw use first, saving naptime and bedtime for last. But wow. This is the one that makes me break out in a cold sweat.

The other biggie is transitioning her to a toddler bed, but I’m really in no rush to do this. She’s not ready yet, and we’re already planning to buy a crib for Greta, so my plan to have only one crib in our apartment is already shot. This, too, has the potential to disrupt/destroy sleep/life as we know it.

Third is potty training. Again, I’m in no hurry, though it definitely seems like she’s ready to start. This will be hard, but I’m not dreading it. Indeed, I’m counting the minutes.

Fourth is the bottle. For some ungodly reason I still give Lucia milk in a bottle before nap and bedtime. For a long time we didn’t do this. Then I decided she needed to drink more milk and the way to get her to do that was to give her a bottle. And it worked; she was drinking ten ounces of extra milk a day. Lately, though, she usually takes just a couple of sips and says “Finished!”, so I think we’re both kind of done with this.

The bottle is the low-hanging fruit, so I’ve jumped in with this one. Today I gave her milk in a new sippy cup, calling it the “new milk” and acting like nothing was wrong. Lucia looked at the cup like it was a glowing, alien object, took a couple of tentative sips, and declared herself “Finished!” She didn’t go right to sleep at naptime, but she eventually did, and bedtime went off without a hitch. She might rebel a little in the next couple of days; we’ll see. For now, we’re off to a good start.

What’s next? Surely the paw-paw has to be the next target. And I will offer a substantial reward to anyone who steps up and offers to do this for me. If ever there was a time to outsource parenting, this is it.


PletcherFamily said...

Taking the binky away is hard. We struggled with this with Finley, but we did do it. You can do it! It isn't going to be pretty, but you CANNOT GIVE IN. Do it on a weekend when Andrew is with you and you can both encourage each other that she won't die if she cries herself to sleep. Eventually she will sleep. It may take a few nights, but it was less and less each night and Finley did it. So can Lucia. Finley was very attached to it - and we got her down to just bed and nap at first. She was NOT allowed to bring it out of her bed for any reason. We did that for about a week. Then we told her it was time to say goodbye. Other babies needed it. She bought that for some strange reason. We hid EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Do this one next. Do this BEFORE you give her a new bed. She is still pretty little. We transitioned Arlington and Finley closer to 2 1/2. Get her past this hurdle, then tackle the next. But get rid of the binky before you move.

Good luck! We are rooting for you! :)

Beth said...

If it helps, the dentist told us that we didn't really have to nix the thumb (Henry) and binky (Lanie) until age 3.

thelandroverownerswife said...


I haven't read all your blog so I don't know how old Lucia is. I'm guessing not much older than 2?

Is it vital that you lose the binky now? Friends of mine have used Easter Bunny (if you do that) and Santa, to persuade their children to give up their binky. On both occasions the children were encourged to 'post' their binky to whichever it was at the time, in exchange for a special little gift (not chocolate egg though) with a letter/note attached saying 'Thank you'.

Worked for them. Good luck with all 4 milestones.

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