April 7, 2009

Toddler Wise

In the early stages of the Hola Lola blog, I mentioned the book Baby Wise and noted how I really believe in it. Well, now we're in the process of starting Toddler Wise in hopes that it will provide us with some excellent insight into this parenting thing.

We do believe we're good parents and possibly even great parents, however, we continue to run into these little "phases". This is what we call them in hopes that they are actually just a "phase". So, what's the newest "phase"??? Well, Miss Lola will absolutely not go to sleep at night. She hardcore refuses!!! When I say won't go to sleep, I mean she wants to stay up and rally with the folks until 11:00 p.m. or later if we would allow it. This all started Friday night and it continues which means Clay and I feel we have had no alone/adult time.

Any time something like this occurs, Clay and I start to question our parenting skills. The natural questions come to mind... "Are we doing everything right?", "What do we do about this?", "Are we good parents?", "Has something we've done caused this?", etc. Now that Lola has started refusing bedtime, we wonder if we've done something to cause this. So, last night we decided to hit the books and busted out with both Toddler Wise and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Funny, the first line I read was as follows:

"It cannot be emphasized enough: The major sleep problems in babies from five to twelve months old develop and persist because of the inability of parents to stop reinforcing bad sleep habits.....The failure of children to fall asleep and stay asleep by themselves is a direct result of parents' failure to give their child the opportunity to learn these self-soothing skills"

NICE!!!! I love this term "parents' failure"...they just put it all out there don't they. So, I guess this answers the questions we had in our minds. But, to be honest, we've known this. Lola didn't sleep through the night until she was 12 months old. All along we knew we needed to let her "cry it out" (a.k.a - CIO) but we chose not to take on this approach. There are two sides of the story to the "cry it out" method and we don't agree with it 100%. Some say "CIO methods consider leaving a child alone and crying to be unnatural, unkind, and a betrayal of the trust your baby is developing into adults and the world around him/her." But, to be honest, the lack of sleep has never really bothered me (crazy right?!?!?). So, here we are today...we have a baby who FINALLY sleeps through the night but now we can't get her to go to sleep. Huh!!!

Last night we finally decided to kind of use the "cry it out" method or what they call the "Ferber" method. We put her to bed and said "nite, nite". She knows what we're saying b/c she gets her blanket, snuggles up with her babies (dolls) and lays down like she's going to sleep. She'll even fake snore. But, then she pops back up and is ready to rock. It's so cute and really hard to resist but we put our foot down last night. I stayed in her room with her for a bit and then walked out. She cried for about 9 minutes and then fell asleep. Just so you know we were only going to let her cry 10 minutes and then go back in there to soothe her and then leave again. This is the difference between the CIO method and the Ferber method...you don't leave them cold turkey to cry it out for an infinite amount of time rather you do it in increments...we're on board with this one. Anyway, we'll attempt it again tonight and hopefully within the next two weeks, we'll be able to lay Lola down in bed at the same time every night and she'll fall asleep on her own. As usual, I'll keep you posted.

On a lighter note, Clay and I have continue to explore Austin and love it more and more each passing week. On Saturday, we walked over to 1st street to a restaurant/bar called Freddie's. What a great atmosphere! These people really have it figured out. There is a huge back patio area/beer garden.....they have a stage for the bands to rock out AND a playground for the kids. This is GENIUS I tell ya...genius!!! The parents can sit back and enjoy themselves while the kiddos are playing on the playground. Seriously, what a great idea! Here are some pics of Lo on the playground. It was truly some of the cutest/best moments we've had so far and that's saying a lot.

Lola was initially a little shy but soon met many friends to play with on the playground. She had a blast! And, of course, she attempted to eat all those little rocks you see there on the ground.

Lo LOVES to swing. I'm still trying to find one exactly like this to hang in our tree in the yard.

Lola has become quite the social butterfly (after she gets past the initial shyness). Just one of the girls. Lola took it upon herself to climb up onto this little table and sit with the girls while they were eating. She even took a french fry right off their plate...of course, since she can't speak full sentences yet, she did this without asking. Too funny! Luckily, the little girls were okay with it.

Lo loved this little girl in the picture below and really took to her. She's 6 yrs old and was so sweet. She drug Lo all around the playground.

Is it just me or is Lola almost as big as this little 6 yr old?? Her head is definitely the same size if not larger. Oh...too funny!!!! No wonder my left shoulder is killing me...we have a big girl on our hands!

Time to head home...Lola was beat after a long afternoon on the playground. We weren't done yet though. We hit up Eco-wise and purchased our seeds so we can start our garden...Woohoo!!!!

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