We knew it was coming. I've mentioned it before. We all knew...except for him. I don't know why I had it in my head that "when Braden turns 2, we're getting rid of the soother". But I did...so we did. Little did I know it would feel like I was killing one of his best friends. I had some major mommy guilt, let me tell you.
As many of you know, Braden has 2 comfort objects. His beloved blankie and his soother. Collectively known (by him) as "duckie soo". I really wanted to keep his soother around for selfish reasons. I wanted him to have it on our plane ride to Maui in hopes of helping with his ears, and also just to have an extra comfort item to rely on. Lately he's been using it mostly for teething. So to bridge the gap between his soother an no soother, I gave him a Molar Muncher that I bought off a steal site awhile ago. He's used it now and again over the months, but always preferred his soother.
So on January 29, his 2nd day as a 2 year old, I took his soother away. He did ask for it for nap time, but I just said "no more soo. Soo is all gone." We read some books like we always do and I put him down with his blankie and his munchie (Molar Muncher). He fussed, not even cried, off and on for a half hour and then had a good 2 hour nap. not too bad! I thought to myself! This gave me so much hope, I wasn't a monster after all.
But then...came bed time.
He didn't ask for soo. But he sure went down fighting this time. He cried. He cried OUT for me. Do you know how heartbreaking it is to hear your child call out for you? "Mommy! Mommy!" He fussed/whined/cried off and on for 45 minutes. I do stress the one and off part, it was not constant and there were many times I thought he did fall asleep. But at the 45 minute mark, my heart couldn't bear it anymore. I went it, we had some snuggles and rocked in the glider for awhile. I put him back down to sleep and 5 minutes later he was out. He did wake up at 11:45 and cried for 5 minutes, but put himself back to sleep.
The next few days can be broken down like this:
Day #2: No nap and fussed for 20 minutes at bedtime. Meanwhile, I'm at work texting back and forth with Jay while tweeting to the world in desperation as to whether or not we have made the right decision. Should we have taken it? Should we wait until he's done teething? Is it really that bad? We decided since we invested so much time already into the no soother thing...we'd just push through it, because it would be harder if we had to give it back and take it away again.
Day #3: No nap and fussed for 5 minutes at bedtime.
Day #4: No nap and fussed for 20 minutes at bedtime.
Day #5: Finally had a 2 hour nap after he fussed for 20 minutes or so and about 5 minutes of fussing at bedtime.
And so on and so forth. The fussing thing, I actually believe, has nothing to do with the no soother thing. It probably isn't helping, but ever since about Christmas time he's been fussing off and on at bedtime for no particular reason. He could have 3 soothers in bed with him and still fuss. He's also so much more aware of his surroundings, that if he's in a new place, or even if he's in a place he's not at all the time (like my Mom's) he cries out and fusses for up to 10 minutes before he settles. When he settles, he typically settles all night.
It's times like this that I am so thankful that we sleep trained him with SleepEasy. If you want, just click the links to look through my old posts, but the gist of it is...Braden knows how to self soothe and put himself back to sleep. If I followed SleepEasy by the book, he shouldn't have kept his soother in the first place. At the time (and I still don't regret it), I did not want to take EVERYTHING away from him when we sleep trained and felt it was necessary for him to keep his soother. Also, I never, ever was running into his room to put his soother back in his mouth 50 times a night...so nothing like that was changing for us.
As I said before, Braden was having problems settling to sleep. This happened over Christmas at Mom's and it was even happening at home the odd time. I knew this would happen in Maui too. Pretty much every nap and bedtime for the first 3 days was up to 10 minutes of crying/fussing but then he'd be totally settled and sleep right through his nap or the night and wake up happy. This is always the sign of a well-rested Braden: waking up happy.
Had we not used SleepEasy for him or had he not been able to learn the art of self-soothing in one way or another? I imagine I would be in his room for HOURS reading books, singing rocking, praying, and begging for him to go to sleep. Not how I want to spend my should-be-child-free time on vacation....trying to get said child to sleep! I did spend extra time before lying him down singing and rocking with him and making sure he was nice and calm, but he would still fuss and cry for a bit.
I know there are tons of mamas who would disagree with letting Braden cry it out (CIO) but there is no other option for my family! I've done my research, Braden knows he's not abandoned, he's very much loved and comforted by us throughout the day. If I ran to him EVERY time he fussed or cried...neither of us would sleep, neither of us would be well rested and happy. He hasn't been a fall-asleep-in-my-arms baby sincee he was that...maybe the last time at 4 months? This way? We all get a full night's sleep at the price of him fussing (not even full on CRYING) for up to 10 minutes.
Has your 2ish year old(s) gone through this phase? He's fussing almost every night, even though we're at home now? I don't know if it's a new development stage? The soother? 2 year molars? Combo of everything or nothing? Just wondering your experiences!
Anywho, the soother is GONE! He hasn't even asked for it since we have taken it away, we're not looking back now!