Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bottle Weaning?

Hila is already 2+ years old and still drinks from a bottle. Not always--that is, she also drinks from sippy cups, straw cups, and regular cups just fine. But sometimes she really wants her bottle of milk.

Because she also habitually sucks on her pacifier, we've decided that she's probably ready to give up the bottle. (One bad habit is enough...) We were going to wait until Pesach, but last night I decided to give her milk in a sippy cup ("just like Avigail" -- her BFF) and she was totally fine with it -- excited even.

So that was easy.

But then this morning she woke up at 6am (which I know may be normal for you, but is unacceptable in this house), and I know that the only way to get her to go back to sleep is to give her a bottle of milk. We don't ever let her fall asleep with milk in her bed at night, but if she wakes up between 5-6:30, giving her milk does give us a chance at another hour (or like this morning, 2.5 hours!) of sleep.

So, here I am, with a 2-year-old who seems more than ready to give up her bottle, but who has parents who are still relying on it for their own benefit. I could give her a sippy cup of milk in bed in the morning instead of the bottle...but what's the difference really?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Falling Asleep Frustrations

First, the good news: Hila has been sleeping through the night in her big bed about 9 times out of 10. Okay, maybe 8 times out of 10. And on the nights that she does wake up crying, all we need to do is go to sleep in the twin bed next to hers and she'll fall back asleep until her 6:30-7:30 wake-up.

The hard part: It has been really hard to get her to fall asleep. First, she needs like 6 pacifiers in her bed. We read her 3-4 books, say shma, and then TRY and leave her room, telling her that she can read in bed. We leave her door open a crack, with the hall light on, so she can see a bit.

She's usually quiet for a few mintues and then cries for us to come in. Crying it out just doesn't work when she's in a big bed. I'm just afraid she'll fall out. There's a bed rail, but it doesn't wrap all the way around the bed and if she leans over it in an attempt to get out, she'll fall. She doesn't quite know how to get out by herself, though she has done it on occasion.

So we end up going in. Sometimes she says she has a poop (and when we check she usually doesn't), and sometimes she wants a bottle of milk (which we usually don't give in to). Usually, the only thing she wants is for mommy or daddy to lay down in the other bed. Which we usually do. And within 30-40 minutes (okay, sometimes an hour), she's usually asleep, after much singing, talking, and occasional whining.

The thing about these 30-40 minutes is that it's not an altogether unpleasant experience. In fact, she doesn't mind when if we read in bed with a little light or bring in a laptop. (I am actually in her room now -- I hear her breathing getting a bit deeper....)

Sometimes I think we should just start out the night like this, rather than spend a good half hour trying to convince her that she's a big girl and can sleep by herself. By that time, and then after the 40 minutes in her room, it's been well over an hour of trying to get her to sleep. If we were to just come in and get in the other bed at 7pm on the dot, then we'd be out of there by 7:30 and Hila would get a full hour of extra sleep.

On the other hand, we're always ones to think about the long-term effects of a situation and to think about breeding good habits. How long is this going to go on that she needs us in there to fall asleep? She USED to be able to go to sleep on her own with no problems. When the new baby comes, are we going to be able to handle two kids who have trouble sleeping?

Any tips on how we can get her to sleep on her own? Reason doesn't work -- i.e. telling her that she's a big girl and big girls sleep all by themselves.

P.S. It is clear that she is no longer afraid or uncomfortable in her new room or in her new bed. She simply does not like to sleep ("no sleep! no sleep!") and certainly not alone.


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