Sunday, July 14, 2013

Whirlwind of a Summer

So many things have happened since my last post.  I have a new job.  This has been something we’ve been praying on for a long time.  For several reasons, the old job was just adding too much stress to an already stressful time in our lives.  We had been struggling with idea of child logistics once they enter into a mainstream school setting and away from day care hours.  This move comes a ideal time...

AJ has adjusted very well with his school. Since he’s been there before, he settled in nicely.  His core friends are still there.  He is still the “regulator”.  He knows the routine forward and backward.  When his friends go off track, he is right there to remind them the correct way.  This child is amazing.  His memory is stellar.  He remembers when Aric was born and he visited us in the hospital.  But, you have to be on it.  His story telling skills are being developed also.  Sometimes his imagination and the truth are intermingled!

The person with the most significant changes over the last month is Aric.  Of course, he’s at the stage where things can develop overnight.  He is a perfect parrot.  But, he can convert that into logical thought.  When I asked Aaron “Can you lock the door,” Aric stated “Daddy lock the door.”  When I asks him to do something he now states "OK" and does it.  The average person might say so what?  But, that is a great development milestone for a child who is not two years old yet.  He's definitely a little person now.

The largest challenge has been transitioning him into a toddler bed.  A few months ago, Aric was upset about going to bed.  The first time he had a meltdown I caught him straddling the crib rail.  As a mom, my antennas went up.  AJ was always so content in his crib.   So, this was a first for us.  The second (and last) time, Aric was so ticked off that he flung himself over the rail and landed on the floor.  We were ultra cautious during bedtime until we were able to get his toddler bed assembled.

He loved the bed.  But….he did not want to sleep in it.  We cuddled him until he was sleep and as soon as his sleeve touched the sheet, he would wake up and cry.  We would lie down with him until he fell asleep and creep away.  The only problem is that we have an old house.  It shifts with the heat and cold.  For some reason, Aric’s bedroom door would not close.  Aric would wake up and then stumble down the hallway.  Fortunately, I have super mommy hearing.  I would catch him and take him back to bed.  Overall this was NOT a good system for any of us.  The only person getting any sleep was AJ. 

After Aaron and I did some reading, we knew we had to do a Super Nanny move.  Put him to bed awake, walk away, and shut the door.  When we sleep trained AJ, we totally did the Cry It Out method.  Nothing else would work for a stubborn child.  Aaron kicked it off and it worked.  We still had to resolve the door not closing problem.  Last weekend was the first opportunity for nap time in the new bed.  I kept up the system, but how would I keep the door closed?  Naps are different because it is still day light.  So how can I keep him in there?  Well, I had to booby trap the door to staying closed using my robe belt and the hallway closet door.  And…it WORKED.  And…it’s been working ever since.  Yes, we need to figure out how to shim the door so we can stop going through extravagant measures at keeping the door closed.  But, everyone is now sleeping.  Super mommy hearing has taken a slight break.

For my cousin Andrea, here’s my tips for sleep training:
  • Routine – keep the same routine every night.  The only thing we don’t do is baths/showers every night due to eczema.  AJ used to repeat it for me “brush your teeth, wash your face, read a book, go nite-nite.”
  • The child must sleep in their own bed EVEN FOR NAPS (when not in day care).  If you’re choosing to co-sleep or some other soft method of sleep training, disregard my advice.  I only know the Cry It Out method and it works for us.
  • Ideally, you do not want to give them anything to drink after brushing the teeth.  But, with my boys, you have to work on one thing first and then work on the rest.  Aric is still drinking some milk before bedtime while reading a story or 2.  Cutting out the drink will be done via cold turkey when we can happy go to bed on his own.
  • Keep the niceties at a minimum.  After the books, I tell him the following; “It’s time to go to bed.  I love you.  You’ll be fine.  Nite-Nite”
  • Put the child to bed.  If he cries and gets out, put them back in.
  •  Continue #5 until they lay down and stay there.  You might have to throw in #4 every once in awhile.
  • Close the door and walk away.
In the beginning, there will be a lot of crying.  If the child is hysterical, we go back in and say “SHHHH…it’s time for bed. Lay down.”  Be firm.  Put the child back in bed, close the door, and walk away.  With Aric, once you do this, he is ok for the night.

Hope this helps someone…

We've finally given away the crib...the last "baby" item.  Now, if I can just get rid of those dreaded diapers, I will be officially out of baby mode!

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