After 2 days of torture (for me), waking up 5 times on the 1st night and 3 times last night. I came to realise that K is fully able to self-sooth himself to sleep with a little bit of encouragement. My encouragement comes in the form of total silence and zero body contact. I have also progressed to sitting on the floor next to his bed, while he tries to sing himself to sleep (see link for ‘gradual extinction’ sleep training). Eventually, I hope that I can be outside K’s room and he can fall asleep on his own.
So far, progress have been great. The only thing that is preventing K from sleeping through the night is his habit of waking up to ask for milk in the wee hours of the morning. This is the result of a lazy mom having a laissez faire attitude about leaving it all the helper when it comes to K’s sleeping habits. After 8 months of hardly any sleep, I threw in the towel and handed the responsibility of taking care of K over to my helper. Like most helpers, my helper chose the most convenient way to give herself more shut-eye at nights; which is to shut the fussy baby up by feeding him milk. Despite my insistence to start feeding him water instead of milk when he turned 1 year old, she chose the easy way out. Unfortunately, K did not grow out of this habit and now is a slightly pudgy almost 3 year old with a big stomach, as a result of feeding too much on milk that he really does not need at night. I know I should not be blaming anyone else except myself. Lazy mummy!
So the next hurdle to cross will be to wean K off his dependence on milk feeds from his milk bottle at night. Nana’s advice for me is to rub ginger on the milk bottle teats, a tried-and-tested method that has been used on me and my siblings when we were young. I am quite concerned that this method may just turned K off drinking formula milk altogether as he is a picky eater, and still needs his milk feeds to supplement his solid food intake. Nevertheless, I figured this will be an opportune time to move him to growing up milk and away from his dependence on the bottle.
I have been prepping him up for the transition since the beginning of the week. Telling him that his bottle is going to spoil, it will start to taste funny and we will have to throw it away. While getting him to anticipate his new sports bottle that is on its way. He loves it that he is going to get a sports bottle to drink his milk in, according to him, it’s “like uncle Nick’s”.
Gosh, I cannot believe the extent I go to help K with his transitions. People never tell you that parenting will be tough when they keep encouraging you to have more children. Like what I told Dh recently, “I will only have our second child when I decide that I am ready to inflict more torture on myself.”