bye bye, baba

I’m not sure how many times I can sit down and talk about how Lucy doesn’t sleep.

But she doesn’t. Sleep through the night. Ever. And she hasn’t since, oh, last August or so.

She wakes up approximately every 60 to 90 minutes, and she comes running down the hall to my room. All night long. Every night.

A couple of weeks ago, we went out for brunch at IHOP with the girls’ daycare friends. The mom seems really nice and easy to talk to, and the kids adore each other, so it sounded fun.

Met up with daycare friends for lunch at IHOP. So fun!

The little boy in the middle is Kameron. He’s in the toddler room at daycare with Lucy, and they adore each other. His mom and I were talking about kids and sleep issues, and she mentioned that Kameron (who just recently turned two years old) had only been sleeping through the night for about a week, and it was because she finally took away the baby bottle.

I have said in the past that I didn’t care about Lucy’s bottle addiction. And I didn’t. It made her happy, it made my life easier, it worked. She could’ve kept the bottle until elementary school, as far as I was concerned.

I found them snuggled up like this today. My heart, y'all.

But desperation for sleep makes you do crazy things. So I decided that if there was a snowball’s chance in hell that weaning Lucy off the bottle would get her to sleep through the night? Well, it was worth a shot.

I dropped her off at daycare one morning, and I came home and packed up every bottle in the house. I put it all in a hefty bag and shoved it in the back of my closet. (I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, just in case this experiment failed.)

Then I wanted to cry and throw up. I kept thinking about her happily walking around the house that morning before daycare, drinking her bottle, and she had absolutely no idea that was the last bottle she was ever going to have.

One of the few times she took a break from walking at the zoo. (Oh, and note that my kid is double fisting her beverages with the bottle AND sippy cup.)
I’m so, so sorry, baby.

Normally when I picked up the girls at daycare, I would bring a bottle with me. Lucy would come running to me, give me a hug, then say, “Baba?” She knew I would always have it in my bag.

That day, when I picked her up, I had a sippy cup of milk instead of a bottle. She screamed as though I had betrayed every faith she’d ever had in the universe.

Halfway home, with Lucy still screaming to the point of nearly-vomiting in the car, I was trying not to lose it, and Catie was in the backseat with her hands over her ears. Finally, Catie yelled, “Don’t you have those DVDs with the music on them that she likes?!!!” I realized she meant CDs, and yes! Actually I did. I popped in a Wiggles CD, cranked it loud enough to drown out Lucy’s screams, and she actually quieted down and listened to the music for the rest of the way home.

(Don’t judge me for the Wiggles. I will listen to “Fruit Salad Yummy Yummy” all the livelong day, if it means I don’t have to listen to my kids cry.)

When we got home, she ran to the fridge, and I opened the door to show her that the shelf that normally contained her bottles? Was now stocked with sippy cups of milk. She threw herself on the floor and wailed some more.

Grief is tough, man.

The next several days were a lot like that. She’d hopefully ask, “Baba?” And I’d say, “No, Lucy-goose, the baba went bye-bye.”

I kept repeating, “Babas are for babies, but Lucy is a BIG GIRL now.” Most of the times she’d angrily shove the sippy cup of milk away rather than drink it.

Then I had an epiphany: Lucy wants everything Catie has. And Catie still drinks milk in a sippy cup at bedtime. (Yes, she’s 6. No, I don’t care. She drinks out of regular cups all the time, but she likes to have a sippy cup on the couch sometimes, and it means I don’t have to worry about spills, so that is FINE with me.)

So, one night, while I was still holding the sippy cup of milk that Lucy angrily rejected, I said, “Wow, look, Catie sure likes her milk in a sippy cup.” Lucy looked over at Catie, then turned around, grabbed the sippy cup out of my hands, and slurped it down.

She hasn’t asked for her “baba” since then.

Big girls drink their milk out of sippy cups, not a "baba." (The bottle is ALL GONE now. I can't believe it.)

And a weird side effect of all of this? Lucy has suddenly turned into a major cuddle-bug. She’s always been sweet and affectionate, but normally she was always on the move, she never wanted to sit still and be cuddled. Now, she gives all of these spontaneous hugs and she wants me to hold her on my lap all the time. And it just sort of occurred to me that she always got her comfort from the bottle, and now she’s been forced to seek her comfort from, you know, other humans.

So it’s good.

But, the whole reason for taking away the bottle? To get her to sleep? No dice. It hasn’t improved her sleeping habits even one tiny bit. So I’m essentially back at square one there.

To that end, and the whole “I’m at the end of my rope and I’ll try pretty much anything at this point if it means I can get some damn SLEEP” thing? I’ve hired a child sleep coach. I’m meeting with her next week. I have no idea if this will work or not, but it’s basically my last resort, trying to throw money at the problem to see if maybe outside professional help can fix it.

She comes over on Tuesday. Cross your fingers for me.

9 thoughts on “bye bye, baba

  1. Hang in there breaking from the bottle is tough no matter which way you do it. So big Kudos for doing it cold turkey, while painful it really is the best way for everyone. My middle child Dane did not sleep throught the night at all EVER until he was like 4.5 and all of a sudden it was like a light switch and he just started doing it. I tried everything to get him to sleep through the night and it didn’t work (except for a sleep coach) so fingers crossed for you. With my youngest child not letting her nap in the middle of the day solved the issue for her. But when they go to daycare that is really not an option. So hopefully it all works out for you.

  2. I hope the sleep coach helps!

    The things I never thought because I’ve never having had human kids astounds me when moms bring them up!

  3. Ok, sick lady gets a do-over: You are always telling me about things I never thought of before, because I have furkids, not human kids.
    Poppy´s last blog post ..tunedMy Profile

  4. First, I have “Bye Bye Birdie” in my head now, so thanks for that. 😉

    Second, no advice, I am just keeping every thing crossed that this works for you. UGH SLEEP JUST SLEEP LUCY SLEEP IS SO AWESOME SLEEEEEEEEEEP ALREADY.
    Heather´s last blog post ..Annabel’s RestaurantMy Profile

  5. The whole time I was reading this I was hoping for a happy ending. I’m glad the baba break worked, but I’m sorry she isn’t sleeping through the night yet. I’ve never heard of a sleep coach (I have fur babies) but I’m really interested in hearing more about it and what happens with it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  6. I hope that coach works & I’m glad she likes the soppy cup. I still remember when my mom told me at 2 & a 1/2 that Santa took my bottles on Xmas night. Luckily, it was Xmas morning and I had tons of toys to distract me. Lucy is so cute. Hope you get some sleep. My puppy started sleeping at night 2 months ago. She’s made me terrified to have kids bc of how she was (wouldn’t sleep until 2 or 3 am and got up at 7am everyday for months. She wasnt even caged. She just wanted to run through the house like the energizer bunny even though she went for two 45 min walks a day 🙂

  7. My daughter went through this same scenario. Waking up several times in the night, though not for a bottle. She was still doing it at age 2 when my 2 nd was born, I thought I was going to lose my mind. Then one day I was reading an article in a parent magazine…does you child wake often in the night? Shift around often in her bed when she is asleep…waking up somewhere completely different in the morning? Snores? Or drooling quite a bit due to mouth breathing at night? Yes to all! It said then your child may have sleep apnea! So we had her checked out and she did indeed have it. And bad. She had her really large tonsils and adenoids removed and after 2 wks of hellish healing, she slept perfectly. No more problems with it ever again. So you never know, it she has any of these symptoms, it is worth a looking in to. Good luck!

  8. I read this… thinking at the end I’d find the cure for the sleepless nights I have. I had a break where my 1 1/2 yo slept through the nights for a few months at a time,but re-entering the sleepless nights has been my reality for the last few months (again). Sometimes I find a routine that works and I don’t break it. Thinking I’ve found a cure. Then who the hell knows what happens and I’m a walking zombie. Maybe I should be grateful I have a few months at a time break – in-between? But I’m too tired and cranky to think about it that way. Good luck! Can’t wait to hear how it goes.
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