Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Toddler Transitions

It's official, our sweet little girl is now a full-on toddler and there isn't a single thing we can do about it. Since her physique has long outgrown the baby phase (with dangling limbs to prove it), we thought it was appropriate for her to transition on a few other levels as well. We are constantly underestimating her, so we decided to throw caution to the wind and just try each transition to see how she would react, just like we did with weaning her off the bottle and the binky (both of which she did with ease). Thankfully, 2 of the 3 transitions have been a total cake walk, but we're definitely struggling a bit with the last one.

First up, her sleeping situation. We decided to make the transition from crib to toddler bed on a whim a couple of months ago and, like usual, Taylor handled it like a champ. She took one look at her new bed, smiled, and then immediately jumped in it and covered up. She loves her pillow and the quilt her granny made and insists on sleeping with both every night (along with her glow worm, Mickey, a stuffed hippo, her Idaho teddy bear, and her baby dolls, Penny, Abigail, and Nora). At night when I ask if she is ready for bed, she gives her dad hugs and kisses, walks to her room like a big girl, and waits for me to come tuck her in. In the morning when she wakes up, she gets out of bed and knocks on her door until we come get her. On Saturdays and Sundays when we're trying to sleep in, she repeatedly reminds us that she's awake by yelling "Daddy! Mommy! I OUT!" until one of us finally gets up and lets her out of her room. If she somehow manages to get the door open by herself, she beelines it to our bed for snuggles and cartoons. Nap times have been a bit harder since she's usually too wound up to lay down and go right to sleep, but after singing songs and talking to her stuffed animals for a while, she usually wears down and falls asleep. We make certain not to go in her room unless she gets out of bed or gets too rowdy. If we leave her alone she's usually out within 15-20 minutes, but if we go in and let her know that we are awake she'll fight through her sleepiness and stay awake causing all of us to have a very long afternoon. Overall, she's handled the transition extremely well. I was concerned that she would wake up in the middle of the night and get out of bed to play, but that has yet to happen. I sure hope her brother takes notes, because Tay is an absolute rock star when it comes to sleep. We definitely lucked out with her!

The next transition actually happened at daycare without Jake or myself even knowing. Our sitter just happened to mention how well Taylor was drinking out of a big girl cup one day to which I responded, "She does that now?" Turns out, she does! And quite well actually. We still give her a sippy cup when we're in the car or snacking anywhere other than the kitchen table (mostly for my own sanity because I don't like cleaning up more spills than I have to) but, for the most part, we try to let her drink out of a regular cup during meals. Her favorite is when we go out to eat and the server gives her a cup with a lid and straw. Girlfriend goes crazy over having her own straw and insists on taking a drink out of it every 5 seconds. She is still a toddler so spills and "uh oh's" definitely occur, but for the most part she enjoys getting to drink out of a regular cup just like mom and dad. And I love to watch her little hands as she holds the cup ever so carefully, making sure to get every last drop!

The last transition, and this one we're still working on, is the move from diapers to underwear. Since she's been easy breezy on every other thing in her entire life, I knew a challenge would appear sooner or later and this just happens to be it. Tay will almost always go on the potty if we make her (as in, strip her naked, put her on the toilet, and make her try), but rarely will she vocalize it to us before she needs to go. She absolutely hates getting her diaper changed (and lets us know by kicking and squirming the entire time) and has gotten pretty good at telling us when she needs to go but only after she has gone. It's frustration city, and my patience is wearing thin. Part of me thinks that maybe she's just not ready while another part of me thinks she's just being stubborn (a trait she comes by honestly). Either way, we're still knee deep in pull ups and diapers and likely not getting out of them any time soon. My mom keeps assuring me that we need to just tough it out by throwing underwear on her for a 2 day boot camp and forcing her have a few accidents so that she learns not to do it again. Others suggest easing into it and waiting until she is truly ready. As of now, we're taking it one day at a time and celebrating every tiny potty victory that comes our way. By my calculations, we have approximately 4 months to get this potty training thing in the bag before baby no. 2 arrives in the spring.