I know I've said it before, but I honestly can't get over how different my boys are... I mean just today at the splash park, Levi spent a half an hour worried about the water getting in his eyes and the other hour worried about ant piles in the grass and Luca divided his time between running as fast as he could away from me through every surface barefoot and standing directly under the water dump buckets. The differences really go completely across the board....
Levi gave up bottles by himself and switched to one nap with no effort on my part at all. So I guess I had always expected that it would just happen for Luca the same way, but boy have I been wrong! Let me preface this by saying I am by NO MEANS asking for advise (I have plenty of personal mommy council and I am aware it's up to me to set the ground rules for my child,) but I'm just having a harder time with it than I ever expected. Here is my current secret... I keep a bottle in the car with water in it... I'll bring a sippy cup into a play date or to mommy and me, but as soon as we hit the car our dirty little secret is out and the bottle is in his hands... I have no willpower, Luca might possibly go to first grade with a baby bottle stashed in his lunch box. It is his comfort. He doesn't have a paci or suck his thumb, no blanket or lovey, just a bottle... Any bottle... He doesn't even care what kind... It doesn't even have to have milk in it... I could tell you that I have a date that I will absolutely take it away but I would be lying... I have NO DATE! The second he looked at me with his puppy dog eyes and threw the sippy cup in my face 3 months ago I decided not to care. The only change that will be happening for now is that I will be hiding the bottle in his diaper bag while its 95 degrees outside... Judge me if you want to, but people nurse their kids till they are like 8 now... Why should my kid suffer because I couldn't produce enough milk. I mean if he has bonded with the bottle why should I come between them??? Only kidding... Kind of. I promise he will give up the bottle... I hope at least by the time he wants to try a bottle of another source.
Onto the dreaded nap change... Luca has been an unbelievable sleeper ever since at 8months when I put on his Amber teething necklace and he slept through the night. I can count on one hand the number of times he has woken up in the middle of the night. And since about the same time he has taken two GLORIOUS naps a day. He would wake up at 6:15, go down for his first nap at 9:00-9:15 sleep till sometimes 11, play and eat lunch. Go back down at 2pm sleep till 3:30-4. Play more, eat dinner and by 7:15 would be knocking on the hall door ready to go to his bed. We could not have asked for a better sleeper... We even changed our schedule... No more dinners out past 6 pm and if we do go out it is timed with military precision. Until about 8 weeks ago, when he started having a hard time with his daytime naps. He was going between dropping one a day, being super cranky others, fighting us terribly during the daytime hours while luckily his nighttime sleeping has stayed pretty consistent. I just knew he was trying to switch to one nap a day, but it wasn't easy at all! I have read all of the books, tried all of the different methods. Been on the verge of tears with my closest friends. But nothing was really sticking. What makes my schedule hard is that I wake up super early... I really like to leave my house no later than 6:30 even if that means a quick diaper change and both boys are in the car in pjs on the way to BeBe's house (yes I know I'm extremely lucky to have a mom that will lovingly take my children that early so I don't have to drag them to the markets with me), but this is where the boys differ again... Levi will walk in and curl up in her bed and sleep for another hour... while luca gets up and it's full steam ahead. So over the last week I have FINALLY figured out how to survive this and get Luca on some sort of crazy schedule. I have found that instead of sleep training, Luca needs lounge training. Luca needed to be taught how to just chill. Every morning I have been lounging with him. If I get him before he wakes up himself he will cuddle with me just long enough that he is learning how to just chill with me. And then once he has lounged a bit he needs lots of protein food sources and LOTS of activity so that he can push through lunch and then go down for his nap. My hope is that I can eventually get him to lounge right over to BeBe's house and do what Levi does but who am I kidding that will never happen lol. The lounging technique is working for his naps as well. It has been hard for him to nap longer than about an hour and a half (which was his regular napping time when he was taking two) which just isn't enough for him... So I've been lounging him back to sleep if he wakes up. For example, today he woke up from his nap and I could tell it wasn't enough so I went in and cuddled with him on the bed for just a couple of minutes and then put him back into his crib and he slept another HOUR! I'm hoping that he will eventually just sleep through.
But I'm just happy that I feel like I'm figuring him out. That is what I find is the hardest part of them growing up and changing, it's the feeling that you don't know them. It takes you right back to their first big change as a baby, whether it was feeding problems, sleeping problems, or crying problems. We are their mothers...we all feel like we should just know how to make their lives perfect and when we are tested and we don't know its hard!!
For someone who prided myself on not scheduling Levi, I sure have made a complete 180 when it comes to Luca. I'm trying to embrace it. Embrace the schedule, Embrace the change and Embrace the differences. So for all of you mommies out there who are parenting in a way that you never thought you would or are dealing with your own frustrations... Never fear YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
xoxo chef a