Monday, 3 June 2013

is my daughter broken ?

my beautiful Belle xx

well as anyone who knows me and as I have mentioned before my beautiful daughter Isabelle will be 2 next month, and while I am slowly getting my head around the fact that she is no longer a baby there are two baby like things she needs to lose.  First is being in a nappy, to be very blunt I am fed up with having to change her bottom and no-longer baby poos are yuk!.  second is her not sleeping through the night, now I don't mean the odd waking I mean several (the worst night was last week and I lost count at 14 yes 14) times!!!.  While I adore spending my waking hours with her, every twenty minutes throughout the night is not the one and to say I am tired is an understatement, try delirious!!! poor mummy :(  

So the night time shenanigans need to stop if not for my sanity but those I love, because after almost two years I am quite frankly a walking zombie mummy. And I will start potty training soon :/

 me and Sean have been tearing our hair out as to why she wakes up so many times and for so many reasons, the list so far is:

  • empty bottle
  • lost bottle (this can include like last night, bottle is actually right next to my head but I will wake mummy anyway!)
  • duvet has fallen off
  • pillow is wet/slightly wonky/just annoying
  • bottle has milk in it ( don't ask I was baffled at this one ??)
  • one/all of her numerous mow mow's (any teddy she has that remotely looks like a cat with bug eyes see pic below of original mow mow) are missing
Mow Mow

  • her leg/head/hair ? hurts
as you can imagine we have been truly clueless and at a loss as to stop the night time waking from her.

we have tried so many things and we know that the following does not work

CONTROLLED CRYING!!!! why am I shouting? well that's Isabelle's reaction to any attempt at it.  I know that controlled crying can be very effective and that it involves a few nights of crying and even less sleep but after establishing that my daughter can cry for a very long time and never stop no matter how many times we settle her we have given up trying.

Reducing the amount of milk she has in each bottle through the night - now this does not work as mentioned above as she will wake with or without anything in her bottle, and this also applies to just giving her water she still wakes but just more often!

super snuggling - or as most people will know it, the super thing older relations did when you slept at their house tucking you in to tight you could not move hehe :D my daughter is well known for being a cheeky escape artist type monkey

night light on/off - makes no difference to Isabelle 

So after having spoken to numerous mummy and daddy friends and now resorting to Dr Google for help, I think I may have finally just had an epiphany :) yay

Over the past four or five days Isabelle has not been interested in meals or snacks apart from maybe dinner, I keep offering various foods but I just get "no" and she hasn't asked for food either.  Now I know her well enough to know she isn't poorly so what the heck is going on..........?
While I was looking up 'how to get a toddler to stop waking for bottles in the night' I found an article that mentioned the more milk your child is having at night the less they will want to eat, AH HA!! that makes total sense......?
I have also discovered that toddlers will naturally wake 4-6 times during the night, and if they are able to, will self settle themselves and will not cry/shout MUMMY!!!!!! like my Belle.  So can you see the pattern here?

Isabelle is waking at night for a bottle to settle herself and because she is getting what she wants she keeps waking for more, and as a result is no longer really hungry during the day.

and bedtimes are now going to be as follows........

Shower (no bath in the house)
A story with a bottle sat on mummy/daddy's lap
Clean teeth
Another story in bed laying down without a bottle

and hopefully sleep :)

now I know that she is not going to be happy about this at all and I will probably need to settle her like a millions times but I'm hoping my clever daughter will cotton on quite quickly that mummy means business!

Wish me luck I am going to need it

Emma x

a little update after our first night........

Isabelle had several( I think maybe 7?) stories while sitting on my lap drinking her milk.  She cleaned her teeth and then had another story before snuggling into bed.  This was the first night she hasn't had a bottle to go to bed with, and will normally be fast asleep in about 10 minutes,  so she understandably was a little miffed when I took her bottle with me downstairs. As Belle has never before had her bottle removed at sleep time I was prepared for a long noisy sleepless night and was ready ! :) She moaned for a few seconds and then proceeded to play for a while.  After half an hour her joyful singing started to change into very shouty "mumeeeeeee"'s 

I left her for 5 minutes and then went and got her into bed and told her "It's time for sleep Mummy will see you in the morning" this really didn't go down well and she showed her displeasure by pushing me away and saying no.  So I left the room and sat downstairs with the tv on mute wondering what to do for the next few hours while she protested to her new routine.  
I am very pleased to say that my beautiful clever little girl settled after just 42 minutes (yes I was timing it) and slept after self settling,  peacefully for two and a half hours.  "This is far to good to be true" I told Sean when he got home and was waiting for the horrible screaming nightmare to begin, but the rest of the night was pretty good, in fact I think I had more sleep than I have in a long while.........

so Belle managed:

8:00 - bedtime

8:42 - sleep
11:15 - brief five minute wake up and straight back to sleep
1:15 - wake up again only four minutes
1:25 - wake up
2:15 - back to sleep
6:45 - awake for the day!!!!!! :)

that is a great result for her first night and she woke up very happy and asking for breakfast, to the point we almost had to wake Josh to hurry it up a little.

So I have a very positive frame of mind for tonight, I have done it once I will do it again

Emma x

2nd night update.......and one very happy sleep filled mummy :)

Daddy was on bedtime duty tonight, so armed with the 'bottle ban at bedtime' guidelines I sent him off to get Belle to bed while I 'put my feet up' (this involved sorting the rabbit out, picking up the hundred scattered toys around the garden and bringing the washing in).

Now my wonderful husband is not one to shy away from all things girly (not in a jumping around wearing a Frankie says relax t-shirt while dancing to fame type way) but in the very happy to rub feet, apply nail varnish to my very pregnant toes and giving a lovely facial, so our lovely daughter is also involved in Daddy's pamper sessions.  Belle had a lovely shower followed by a mini pamper, eight stories and then to bed and was fast asleep in twenty minutes!!!!!!! She woke up once during the night, I popped her back into bed and she then slept again until 6:45 yay!

Now while last night and the night before may have just been lucky, tonight again she has settled almost immediately after a half hearted protest.  Apart from feeling so happy she is finally no longer terrorising me several times through the night and has successfully learnt to self settle, I can't help wonder why I didn't attempt this before?

Emma x