Friday, November 4, 2011

When Procrastination Totally Pays Off

Remember how it took us forever to get into our new house? Well because of that delay, we also delayed a few things in the child-rearing department with Jayci. For example, when we started the whole process we moved Jayci's crib into my parents' house so she could sleep in it. Because she wasn't even two years old. We also let her keep her pacifier, because we reasoned that we wanted her to have it for the transitions. Besides, we were only going to be living there for a few months (ha). Not to mention that we didn't even begin to attempt potty-training.

Then we moved into our new house. And Jayci was almost three. Yet she still had her pacifier, wore pull-ups, and slept in her crib. Which made me feel like the biggest slacker-mama ever. We knew we had to tackle the issues, but didn't feel equipped to handle them all at once, so we laid out a plan to work through each issue one-by-one (and by "laid-out-a-plan" I mean, we casually talked about it one time in the car). We started with putting Jayci in a big-girl bed. Mostly because we lost misplaced the screws to hold her crib together when we transferred it to our new house, so we had no choice.

The first night we put her in her big-girl bed, we made sure to tell her how proud we were of how big she was. And remind her that just because there were no walls on the bed, didn't mean she could get out whenever she wanted. We told her to stay in bed, and then prepared for a rough night or two. But then we woke up the next morning to her yelling "mommy can I get out yet?" Booyah. We thought it might be a fluke, but she's been in her big-girl bed for almost four months now, and she's never come out without asking first. I just got a little panicked that I might have jinxed it or something by writing that down.

After we had her in her big girl bed, we knew it was time to get her out of those pull-ups and into underwear. I painstakingly drew out a "potty chart." Ok, so maybe I just put a piece of computer paper on the fridge and drew smiley faces on it when she used the potty. Every time she got five smileys, we got her a little treat or toy or something. We went ahead and put her in underwear and prepared ourselves to clean up lots of accidents and to stay in the house and so on and so forth. Since then (3 months ago), she has had 3 accidents. And two of them were in the middle of the night. Booyah. Two down, one to go.

We were especially dreading taking away her pacifier. Because Jayci LOVED her paci. She was only supposed to have it when she was sleeping or in the car. So sometimes she would say she needed to sleep just so she could have her paci. Then she would put her paci in the her mouth and close her eyes while laying on my bed or the couch, or the ground with her brother. I indulged it, because, hello? A few minutes of quiet while Jayci pretended to sleep were sometime life-savers in the madness. Also, sometimes she would sneak into her room and come out with her hand covering her mouth, because she had her paci in it. Plus, we had spent lots of time with a few different friends who had screaming children for a few days while weaning off the pacifier.
Since we are very organized and on top of things (ha), we formulated a plan to get rid of her pacifier after her third birthday. We figured that was enough time for her to be over the transitions of moving, having a little brother, having him in the hospital and then having him come home . . .We had lots of friends who had their kids give away their pacifiers to the baby cows, puppies, etc. But we don't think on our feet like that, so we just told Jayci that she was three years old now, and too old for her pacifier. We did, however give her a new "blankie" that she could cuddle. Then once again, we braced ourselves for sleepless nights, temper tantrums, and more. But we woke up the next morning without a peep from Jayci or even a mention of her pacifier. And we haven't heard a word since.

There you have it, the story of how we potty trained, got rid of paci, and transitioned to a big girl bed in a matter of two months. I think the key is that we waited so long. I'm pretty sure Jayci was starting to wonder about our parenting abilities and when we were going to let her grow-up already. It was all part of our master plan. Or not at all, but whatever works, right?
Now to teach her how to sleep through the night. Sigh. I'm beginning to think I will never sleep again. Between Jayci and Caden, we wake up every two hours at least. And we don't know what's going on with Jayci, she just started waking up constantly throughout the night. She screams that she's had a bad dream sometimes, other times she is asking for food, says her legs are hurting, or that she needs ice in her water, or a tissue for her nose. And other times she just wants her pajamas off so she can sleep in her underwear.

 We have recently resorted to bribery, and offered her the opportunity to pick out a new toy if she will only, for the love of everything good, let us sleep through the night. And I reminded her that I get so grouchy when she keeps waking me up, and she doesn't like it when I'm grouchy . . . But nothing seems to be working. Any tips? Should we just wait til she's eight or so? Cause in this case I'm not sure our procrastination strategy is going to work. I'm just entirely too exhausted to keep it up.

10 comments:

  1. oh my gosh, that is awesome! haha! and I'm pretty much totally jealous that was all so easy for you! I say, just drug her before bed and I'm sure she'll stay asleep. JUST KIDDING!! Good luck with the sleeping - I have no advice, considering my almost 3 year old still sleeps in bed with me… ;-)

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  2. i'm normally a silent reader but i have a little girl about jayci's age that went through a phase where she wanted to come in an sleep on our floor. i ended up doing something similar to your potty chart and everytime she slept all night and stayed in her bed she got a sticker. after 5 stickers she got a prize. i think sticker charts work for some kids and don't for others but its definitely worth a try since it worked for potty-training!

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  5. I love reading your blog as you're always honest and put an upbeat spin on things :-) I don't have kids yet but I admire your hard work. Hope Jayci learns to sleep through the night soon!
    -Amelia

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  6. Gosh... it sounds so much like my Anna Grace. The bad news is that I was as clueless as you as to how to get her to do it, but the good news is that she eventually did it. And she sleeps like a champion now. You WILL sleep again. I promise. :)

    We eventually let her sleep on the floor in our room and that was part of our solution. I'm for the "whatever works" solution.

    I just hope... for your sake... that it's sooner rather than later.

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  7. Lordy--it appears Ezra and Jayci are cut from the same cloth. Heh.

    Ezra went through that super whack shout-out-in-the-nightime stage this July and August and it pretty much cleaned my clock. I don't really know where it came from and it's disappeared just as quickly. The sticker charts and coin jar and trips (two, really) to Toys R Us worked well and we seem to be over it. I guess? I don't know. I'm still confused by it, really. : )

    As for the paci...well, Ezra still has his for at home nap and bedtimes. They still in his bed but holey moley does he love them. Sigh. I know we need to cut the cord.

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  8. The sleeping thing sucks but everything else... lucky you!

    Everything changes with a boy though ;-)

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  9. Okay - not a mom at ALL, so these are complete "shot in the dark" ideas but...

    Have you thought about aromatherapy? Spraying her sheets with distilled water mixed with some lavender & chamomile essential oils as part of a bedtime ritual? How about soft music playing through the night? A sleep machine (sounds of the ocean)? Or a fan? (the hum puts me to sleep).

    Just some random ideas!

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  10. My sister in law asked her pediatrician and he recommended melatonin. It is a sleep hormone. You can google the dosage as I am not too sure. I have also tried "Chamomile calm" for my 3 year old and it does seem to help. There are also dreams called night terrors that this age has at times, you could ask your pediatrician about it. The melatonin comes in a chewable tablet and it has worked like a charm for them! Good luck and God bless! We will pray for you! I know you don't know me, but I became familiar with your blog via Megan's blog "It's a Wonderful Life"... You all are so inspiring!

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