Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Transitions are Hard

for the parents!

In an effort to completely turn Sawyer's life upside down we have made the decision to make several changes in the next month. I've always heard it's great to alter a child's routine right before a major life change (note the sarcasm).

So, in order to keep Sawyer on his toes we have decided to make the following changes in the coming days and weeks:

1. Take away the pacifier
2. Move to a big-boy bed
3. Drastically reduce time with mommy-having a newborn will do that
4. Drastically reduce time with daddy-the start of football season will require much of daddy's attention

Look @ that sweet, unsuspecting face...he has no idea what's about to hit him.

As I try to keep you updated on Sawyer's life, the good, the bad, and the ugly, I will try to document this journey.

We began by taking away the pacifier. At 12 months we removed the pacifier during the day. He was only allowed to have the paci at naptime and bedtime. This transition went very smoothly. We decided to let him continue to use the pacifier during sleep times until 18 months as we were anticipating several trips in the summer and we knew the pacifier might be a necessity for everyone's sanity.

However, as time passed from 12 months to 18 months Sawyer started becoming very attached to his sleep routine. He named his pacifier "ba-ba" even though we never called it that and he would throw it out of his crib as a signal he was awake. So, while he was certainly attached to the pacifier we knew he would not yet comprehend the idea of throwing away the pacifier because he was a big boy or sending it to another baby who could use it. As his parents we were at a loss for a gimmick that would make this a smooth transition.

The night the boys returned from Kansas (June 30th) I thought it might be a good idea to try no paci at bed time since Sawyer had not slept in his crib for several days and I hoped he might have forgotten about the paci. We did the normal bed time routine and he laid down easily. However, after 30 minutes he was up and he would not be fooled. So, given that he had been confined to his carseat for 2 days I caved and gave him the paci.

Kyle and I talked that night and decided we had to commit 100% because as we have learned in our 1+ year of parenting parental commitment is 3/4 of the battle.

The next day at nap time as I was laying him down he asked for the "ba-ba" and I said he was a big boy and didn't need his paci. I then held him while singing a song. He was content so I laid him down and he quickly went to sleep. That night Kyle put him to bed following his normal routine. Again Sawyer asked for the paci and Kyle explained that the paci was gone. He went down without a fight. He woke 1 hour later, but it was primarily due to sweating under the blankets because he went right to sleep when we laid him back down. Over the next few days the only issue we had was Sawyer tended to wake about an hour earlier than normal. We concluded in the mornings when he would wake he would find his paci and go back to sleep, but now that the paci was gone when he woke up he would be ready to start the day. That trend passed after 3 days and now we're back on the normal schedule.

I don't want to claim that we are completely free from the pacifier fight as there could be regression, but he's doing very well with this transition and as always surprising his parents.

Next up the big boy bed...right after we buy one :)

Any suggestions for keeping a very busy 18 month old in a big boy bed?


  1. One thing we were surprised by was that neither boy assumed they could get out of the bed on their own. They both waited for us to come tell them they could get out. We made sure there was nothing in their room they could get into that I would be mad about and let them figure it out on their own that it's more comfortable to sleep in a bed then the floor. :) If Sawyer sleeps w/his door open maybe put up a gate? I know w/a climber this may not be a good idea either. I bet it goes smoothly, he's such a good baby!

  2. Ooh....you are SO brave! Best wishes with the big boy bed. We haven't made the conversion yet and won't when the little guy gets here in October. M's crib is a convertible one, so it can easily change to a toddler/full size bed when she's ready. We found a similar convertible crib for little man when he gets here. We're doing potty training this week, so I'm a bit too fearful of covnerting her to big girl bed yet. (plus, it makes me sad not thinking of her in a crib). Go, mama, go!! I have heard that baby gates outside the door may be helpful...I just know Dana has used one with Wyatt. Praying for you guys as you ALL transition in the coming weeks!

  3. I think you are brave for wanting to put him in a big boy bed already. We didn't transition to that until they were two. When D was born, S was in the crib and D was in a pack n'play with a bassinet. I'm not ready to put E in a big girl bed, but that's just me! I don't want her to grow up too fast and plus our family isn't going through the transition that yours is. ;-)

  4. I'd say if you're several days in on the no-paci thing, you're probably good to go. However, I'd watch for him to possibly attach to something else. When we "cold turkey'd" Jesse with the paci at 18 months, he started carrying a certain blankey and stuffed toy everywhere instead, sucking on the blanket to go to sleep. With the girls, we decided to let them keep the paci until closer to 2 instead and that worked fine too.

    With the bed, I dunno. I guess I'd 2nd what "fblife" said, and try to set the expectation that he doesn't get out of bed until you come and "let" him. best wishes!

  5. oh and if possible, don't let it look like you took the crib to give to the baby-- hide it until baby comes, and maybe you plan to have her sleep in a bassinet or something for a bit before you break the crib out again? It doesn't take long for a small child for something to be "out of sight, out of mind," (like the paci, as you've found!) so any time you can will work, just so it doesn't look like you took the crib directly from him and gave it to the baby. I have no experience with that but I hear some kids are bothered by that.

  6. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences and advice. Great idea to use the gate. Sawyer does sleep with the door closed, but he can get it open and he has yet to climb over the baby gate so this may be the perfect solution to keep him in the room. Thus far he hasn't shown any attachment to a blanket or an animal, so hopefully that continues. I think the 1st few nights in the big boy bed we'll just wait until he is pretty sleepy before we put him down and we'll use the same blankets he currently uses. Now I just have to figure out how to get him to understand he cannot get down in the morning until we come for him. Hopefully he won't connect the fact that no more bars = freedom :) And if this experiment fails we will wait until he is a bit older and just the pack'n'play for the little lady.

    And Amy I'm so impressed that you're attempting potty training with a baby coming right around the corner (the bed can totally wait). Good luck, hope you're week is going well and you're starting to see a light at the end of the potty tunnel :)