So, the big-girl bed transition for Lucy… God. I swear this child is going to be the death of me.
On the upside, she doesn’t climb out of the bed or anything. She goes to bed easily. As long as she has her Yo Gabba Gabba dolls to cuddle with (specifically Muno and Foofa, I don’t know why they’re the chosen ones, but whatever), she settles down and goes to sleep when I put her in the bed.
But she still wakes up at least 2 or 3 times demanding the bottle. She doesn’t climb out of the bed, she just sits up and screams until I come to her. (I’ve started packing a mini-cooler with an ice pack & a couple of bottles to leave in my bedroom, so at least I don’t have to run downstairs to the fridge. Small things, I guess.)
I took the advice of y’all who suggested an extra bedtime snack. She usually has some fruit before bed (usually blueberries or grapes or whatever fresh fruit I happen to have in the house), but the idea of extra protein hadn’t occurred to me. So I’ve been giving her whatever I can entice her with – leftover rotisserie chicken, bologna, cheese, etc. – and I’ve tried adding more simple carbs (usually Ritz crackers or something similar) to see if maybe it would keep her full longer. So far, it hasn’t helped.
As for co-sleeping, I would TOTALLY let her sleep in the bed with me. It’s a king-size bed and I’m the only one in it, so it’s not like I’m hurting for space. But she cannot seem to sleep with me. One night I tried it, and she squirmed and thrashed around for nearly an hour, then finally she sat up crying and screamed, “Nigh-niiiiiiight!!!” She was exhausted but couldn’t get comfortable in my bed. I said, “You want to go back to Lucy’s bed?” And she said, “Yah!” So I took her back to her bed and she was asleep in about 20 seconds.
To be fair, Lucy has never been a co-sleeper. I wanted her to be. When she was a tiny newborn and Dave was sleeping down the hall in the guest room and I was all alone with her, I desperately wanted her in the bed with me so I wouldn’t feel so lonely and isolated. But she couldn’t sleep there. Every time I moved, it woke her. She couldn’t even sleep in the pack & play next to my bed. She was in her crib in the nursery with an air filter for white noise by the time she was 6 weeks old.
Oh, I also tried taking the girls to the playground after daycare in the evening to see if maybe a little evening fresh air would help her sleep better. Or if, at the very least, she might burn enough energy to really exhaust herself. No luck there either.
As for the bottle issue? Ok. Yes, I know that she’s 16 months old and should be weaned off the bottle now. I know this. Catie was off the bottle by the time she was 14 months old. But with Lucy… no. I don’t have the internal resources to wage that battle. She doesn’t get the bottle during the day at daycare, because they don’t give bottles once the kids move up to the toddler room. And she’s adjusted fine to that. But when I go pick her up, I better have a bottle with me or she is going to FREAK THE EVER-LOVING HELL OUT for the entire drive home.
The bottle is her comfort thing. And you know what? It’s FINE. I don’t care. I don’t have the energy for this fight. I can almost guarantee you that she won’t still be asking for the bottle by the time she’s in elementary school. So for now, I don’t really give a crap about the bottles. She can keep them as long as she wants.
So… yeah. Meanwhile I’m still being woken up multiple times a night and I feel like death.
This too shall pass, right? I mean, eventually? She has to sleep through the night SOMEDAY, doesn’t she? (Please say yes.)
She sounds sooooo much like Annie, with the bottle addiction and the non-sleeping. I tackled them individually. First I hit the bottles. I just slowly stopped giving them to her, and I put them all out of site. If she asked for a drink, I gave it to her in a sippy. It took about a month to get her off them totally. Oh, and she was…at least 18 months old. So whatever. As for the sleeping well…We just had to let her scream for a couple nights. Which, I don’t know if you have that option because Catie has school and you have work…maybe you can do it over a weekend? I just know that I HIT MY LIMIT after she woke up for like, the bazillionth time one night and I snapped. I had finally reached the point where I did. not. care. if she screamed all night.
Anyway UGH. Total suckage for you.
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All I can think of is to move her bed into your room for now, and keep the bottles in the cooler beside your bed. It may be less of a wakeup for you that way, if you have the floor space and don’t mind. I only suggest it since you said you were open to co-sleeping, and a family bed doesn’t work for her. I never had the ability to do CIO and when I went through this stage I (painfully) slept the floor so she could see me until she drifted back off. I think ours was more of a seperation anxiety thing though she seemed to need the bottle as well. You’re smarter than me, you serve them cold! I foolishly got mine hooked on warm ones, so that caused me microwaving time. At least there were no stairs to climb in our ranch house.
Motherhood…it feels like it just might kill ya sometimes!
Another idea, depending on her comprehension, is not to remove the bottle, just remove it from night time. Bottles or milk “go to sleep” at night so they can’t be given to her. This idea worked for my son and when he realized there was nothing to be had if he screamed and woke me up, no food or drink or even a cuddle, he stopped doing it. Good luck and hope this stage passes quickly.
Could you switch to water? It could still be in a bottle but that way it is just accessible to her (in her bed or on a night table or whatever) without you getting up? If she is thirsty, that might do the trick without you having to drag yourself out of bed. You could also talk up the transistion the day it was going to happen. I was stunned at how much my 16 month old could understand (but not say). My kid couldn’t handle a sippy until almost 15 months. She just couldn’t figure it out – day or night. She would opt to drink NOTHING until I relented and offered a bottle.
I agree with the switching to water but what about doing it slowly? Start by giving her the bottle with 3/4 milk and 1/4 water and going steadily increasing the water until its 100% water. It might not be that she is hungry it might just be a comfort thing. Once its water you can hopefully just leave one propped up by her bed and if she wakes up she can get it for herself.
I had to do this with my son – he wanted the bottle to self-soothe himself back to sleep. So we just worked on it until I could just leave a bottle of water in his bed. It got to where he would carry the bottle to his room and put it on the nightstand his self. Every child is different, so Good Luck and hopefully you can start getting some uninterrupted sleep soon!