Monday, May 6, 2013

Mommy (and Baby Girl!) Bootcamp

There have been some changes in our household lately, and I wanted to document them so that I could remember when they went down...

First off, remember this post? Basically it talked about my strong willed child and how tough life was for about three weeks with her. And by tough I mean, really stinking hard. Tears everyday (by me)- basically whatever I was doing was just not working!

I am so so happy to report that after some changes, life as we know it is GOOD. I went into major mommy-rehab mode. I realized for the sake of my precious daughter I needed to get my act in gear. I stopped trying to do too much and stopped expecting her to be able to do more than she could. I got better about realizing her needs and understanding that for the most part her acting out was a result of my lack of hands-on attention. And boy, she has been a rock star!

We've had chances for lots of awesome "teachable moments." I've worked with her on lots of different things, but mostly I've just done a better job of treating her like a 14 month old. I feel totally guilty for the (almost) month before this realization where she was just lost. I am so disappointed in myself for not doing a better job of figuring out her needs sooner.

I am SO thankful that she is so forgiving and loving at this point. I am just obsessed with my little girl now and honestly can't get enough of this precious one!

In the midst of mommy bootcamp, I also (with the advice of my super smart sister) dropped her to one nap a day. The thought of her going down early and Jay going down later and having little (if any) overlap was terrifying. Being "stuck" at home for five hours in the middle of the day gave me hives (not really). So with a little tweaking and a lot of distractions, we have a pretty good routine where she is going down around 12-1230 (later than shed like) and Jay is going down around 1-130 (earlier than he'd like). This way I'm getting about an hour overlap to get things done, and then about an hour of QT with each kid. Some days it works better than others, and some days I miss having fun lunch plans, but this is a necessity right now to make my sweet little girl her best. And it's been working beautifully!

Charley has also stopped taking bottles completely. We were down to just one a day- at night right as we were rocking her to sleep. We continued this mainly for our own ease- she was never attached to it. She always went down so easily this way and we were sure her little tummy was full for the night (she refuses milk from any other source so it's not like we can give her a sippy of milk thirty minutes before bed).

So one night she ate a great dinner and I just did it. We went up to bed and I rocked her and (of course) she fell asleep fine- which I figured she would. I was just worried she would wake hungry in the middle of the night or wake super early due to hunger.

Well, she slept from 730-630 without one single wake up! Woohoo! She was definitely hungry when she woke up but I know that will become easier with time (and it already has!). I'm not gonna lie and say every night has been that great, but five nights later she's doing so well. Getting her to fall asleep has taken some adjusting (the bottle was kind of her signal that it was that time). Hopefully she will start to pick up her new cues and routines. And I would be remiss to not mention my wonderful husband who has switched off nights with me and done everything the same way so we can get her some consistency in this new bedtime ritual! I'm a lucky gal!

One more tweak to make this baby a happy one- an earlier bedtime. She was going down between 8-830 (about thirty minutes before Jay). Well, Jay sleeps until until 830 every day, so that's no problem for him. Charley was continuing to wake around 6-630 so between that and the maybe hour total of naps for the day- girlfriend just wasn't getting enough sleep which was definitely contributing to her fussiness. So we now get in her bed between 730-8... And that 30 minutes makes all the difference in the world. I would say she sleeps until 7-730 on an average day.

As you can see, we have made some serious changes in the past few weeks to our "comfortable" schedule and lifestyle. And I am so so happy to report that it has all paid off. I have a HAPPY little girl who is just the perfect little thing in my eyes.

Dangit, why did it take me so long to figure it out?!?


the blogivers said...

It's always nice when everything seems to click like that and they respond well! Wish I could figure out the magic trick for getting my own kid to take longer naps ;) Also, I am dreading the days of trying to figure out how to balance the napping needs of 2 children, so I'll be coming to you for advice!

The Moriarty Family said...

Glad your little changes helped for all the better! That's definitely something to be proud of. She's so lucky to have a Momma that loves her so much and recognized what her baby needed and changed things just to make her happier.