Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Toddler Bed Transition: One Month In

Remember my optimism about the toddler bed transition because the first couple days went so well?

Ya everything went careening down hill after that. Around 10 days in, all I wanted to do was put the crib side back up. Some middle of the night falls scared her, and suddenly the “read two stories, sing one lullabye and plop her in the crib” method of bedtime routines had failed us.

Three weeks in, she was no longer sleeping through the night, and was waking up a good hour before she used to. There were nights of us just giving up and throwing her in bed with us, and mornings of trying to snuggle her back to sleep.

But by week 4, we realized we were dealing with a bigger beast than the toddler bed transition: we had some intense separation anxiety going on. Suddenly there were tears when I would leave for work in the morning (which never even happened in the early weeks). There were days when she would ask to go on a wrap on my back, after months of running every time she saw one. But the real proof came last night when she fell out of bed at 12:30, and it took less than 5 minutes of snuggles before she was back asleep in her own bed, without anyone in the room with her. Yet an hour later when she woke up again, at the end of a regular sleep cycle, she needed someone lying on the floor beside her for an hour before she was willing to sleep on her own.

We made a snap decision to put her in the toddler bed at the worst possible time (little warning, during a disruption to her daytime schedule and before she showed any signs of being “ready”). Whether it triggered the separation anxiety or was completely unrelated, we’ll never know. She still falls out of bed at least once a week (she’s a very active sleeper), and will often take a few trips in and out of bed before she’s satisfied she has enough “stuff” in her bed (record: three blankets, three monkeys, two bears, one doll, one sippy cup, a story book, a bible and a stuffed Yoda). But most of our complaints, it seems, are entirely age appropriate in a crib or not.

At 9 pm, when she’s finally asleep enough to leave her room, I’m tempted to say we made the wrong decision. At 2 am, I might even call it a failure. But at 7 am, when she refuses to get dressed because she just wants to be in her “big girl bed” I figure if nothing else, we haven’t traumatized her for life. Maybe we even did all right.


 

My advice to parents contemplating moving their kid to a “big kid bed”

  • Read up on how and when to make the transition – but feel free to ignore it. There is no “perfect time” and sometimes, the less-than-ideal time works to your benefit. We were so successful at the start simply because C was too exhausted from unexpectedly busy days to worry about where she slept.
  • Expect a regression in sleep. While I’m still sure most of our issues stemmed from some separation anxiety, the fact that C needs to climb in and out of bed, gathering stuffed animals and books, is pretty much the fault of having all this new found freedom. Plus, I don’t think C ever realized that her door was closed at night because she was happily contained in the four walls of the crib. Now, when she wakes up, she stumbles over to it and “knocks” to let us know she’s up.
  • Pay attention to your kid’s attitude on the new bed. Once C “practiced” falling out of bed a few times during the day, the bed seemed more fun and less scary and so I’m glad I stayed the course. Yes, she still cries when she falls out of bed, but it’s not lastingly traumatic. If your kid seems terribly traumatized by the change, why not go back to the crib?
  • Recognize your bedtime routine might have to change. Yes, they say establish one before hand so you can just keep using it, but C decided when she had a big girl bed that she didn’t want lullabies any more. She’d rather sing to herself in bed.
  • Be ready to be the bad guy. I’ve always bemoaned the fact that Scott is the “fun parent” and I am the “mean parent.” It’s not a fault in either of our parenting styles. I can utter: “Go back to bed” without even looking up from my chair, and C will scurry back into bed. Because she’s got her daddy wrapped around her little finger, she’s not used to him being the bad guy, so his orders of “go back to bed” are met with laughter, and so he has to physically return her to bed, only to have her escape again. She’s slowly learning that he means business too, but this process is definitely easier on me than him.
Categories: The new identity | 1 Comment

First Trimester Second Time Around

So here’s the problem with being pregnant with your second child: you already have a child. You know the kid will start off looking like a creepy bug, and at some point, it will become human. You still sign up for the BabyCentre Weekly pregnancy emails, but mostly so they remind you where you’re at so you know whether that is movement you’re feeling, or whether that bag of Sour Cherry Blasters just isn’t sitting right.

But it also makes you hyper-aware of how profound this whole pregnancy deal is. I mean, you watch your child walk and talk, play with toys and share opinions and suddenly that “creepy bug” in your uterus starts to seem a whole lot more human.

The first time around, I documented everything weekly, with the same set of questions, and the posed picture. I have neither the time nor desire to do that on a weekly basis. But lest this child develops a classic case of “Second Child Syndrome,” even before making it air-side, I figure I have to document at least parts of this pregnancy. And so without much further ado, and a good 5-6 weeks late, here’s to the first trimester:

The Good: Yay! Scott was home when I took the test this time. With C, I ended up texting him at work, since I decided to test before popping cold medicine (and good thing too!), but this time, as that was the day after finding out that my friend’s battle with cancer was going to end soon, we didn’t do much celebrating. But really, how do you celebrate anyway? Also yay for actually texting Scott and NOT my sister after confirming the results at the doctor and setting up the upcoming prenatal care appointments.

The Bad: The morning sickness in a close-quarters office. I couldn’t sip a ginger ale, nibble a cracker or suck a mint without someone seeing / hearing / smelling it first. Thank goodness for the fact that the two people closest to me are in term positions and so wouldn’t recognize my behaviour from last time. It was near constant from about week 6 through week 11, and worse at night. Certain foods and drinks would help ease it, but those were only reliable for a few days at a time before they came causes for nausea. At least the nausea has mostly subsided, but many of the aversion still linger (and I collect a few new ones occasionally as well).

The Ugly: The exhaustion. This one doesn’t stop. At first, the anxiety kept me up at night. Then, the nausea. Now, it doesn’t matter what time I go to bed, I wake up at 5:40, and even if I went to be at 8, I’m still exhausted. On weekends I can nap, but did you know weekends are only 2 days?  The real loser on this one is Scott. Yes, I can be a little short with Charlotte, but she also gets to abuse my exhaustion for extra books, extra TV and extra snuggles.  Scott has been picking up all the slack (which gets to be even more when I do things like tell my sister to use our house as needed when there are showings at theirs, and inviting people over for meals that I don’t intend on cooking for).

 

Categories: The new identity | 1 Comment

Currently: In June

Deep breath guys… one month of summer is down, and the next three aren’t going to move any slower. One more Currently brought to you Anne and Jenna!

Currently June.jpg

Planning: Very little these days. I need to get organized. We’ve got a lot of projects we want to do this summer and now that the “URGENT” ones are done, there isn’t the same panicked motivation. I guess my plan is to plan?

Enjoying: How easy the transition for C from her crib to her toddler bed went. We converted the crib after she had a nap at my sister’s in a “big kid bed” unexpectedly and successfully. Night #1 went smoothly (until she fell out of bed in the morning), naptime went smoothly, and now Night #2 is off to a really good start. I was worried she was “too young” (since she likes to roam around the mattress in her sleep) but it turns out that her youth hasn’t made her realize all the newfound freedom she could have.

Buying: Our CSA share for the summer. Beth raved about hers last summer, and so when a local friend mentioned a farm that still had shares available with a pick-up location not far from where Scott works, we decided to jump on it. Here’s hoping I discover a love for fennel?

Craving: Red wine. I bought a never-even-seen-a-drop-of-alcohol bottle of wine at the grocery story (beside the “grape juice”) that I’m afraid to open because it will just disappoint me.  6 more month of pregnancy. Then a couple months of zombie-dom nursing. And then me and half a glass of red wine are going to get our party on.

Pinning: DIY maternity pants. When you’re 98% certain this is the last time you’ll be pregnant, you aren’t crazy about forking out a hundred plus bucks for maternity jeans. And those cheaper-end maternity shops? Apparently they don’t believe anyone less than a size 8 gets pregnant. Dark wash skinny jeans are my go-to for almost everything, so another 6 months without them could be rough. Turns out Pinterest makes DIY-ing a pair using elastic in the pockets rather than the full belly panel look super easy.

 

Categories: The new identity | 12 Comments

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