Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Big Girl Cups and Baby Bottles

For several months now I've been allowing Abby to experiment with a "big girl" cup, all in preparation for the day that she would put sippy cups behind her.

As you can see from this picture, taken in July, she's been ready for awhile.

I'm the one who has not been. It's not the first time that the fear of increased inconvenience has held me back, and- as usual- it's Abby who has been the one most affected. Though it's mind-boggling to look back at all of the things I've allowed Michael to do and try far earlier than I was willing to allow with Abby, it seems that I never can learn from those experiences. I still stand strong and stubborn, not moving until I have to.

However, with her third birthday looming ever closer and proof of her capability staring me in the face every day as I watched her drink milk effortlessly out of her cereal bowl, I knew that the procrastination had to come to an end. I told Tom that once she turned three, the sippy cups would have to go, knowing that he would enforce the change even if I chickened out in the end.

True to my expectations, Tom gave Abby her breakfast milk in a cup the day after her birthday (it was forgotten in the craziness of the day itself), and it's been "big girl cups" ever since.

It's been both easier and harder than I expected. We've had far less of the accidental spills that I've been anticipating (perhaps one or two) and far more issues with improper use of the cup. Almost every day I've had to confiscate it before she finished her milk after having warned her against banging it on the table, tipping it from side to side, or dipping her hands into the milk within.

However, I'm proud of her accomplishment, awed by the independent, capable girl that she's becoming, and overjoyed to see her looking so happy and self-confident.

If only her little sister were so eager to try new things.

It's been awhile since I last tried (and failed) to offer Mia a bottle, but I've gotten it into my head recently that she would perhaps sleep better if she got a nice, heavy meal before bed. Having such a regular snacker always makes me feel insecure about whether I'm really providing enough at any given time; lately it seems as though she's doing all of her heavy eating in the middle of the night.

I'm more than ready to move her out of my bedroom into the upstairs nursery, but not terribly excited about the prospect of adding to my nightly wakings the responsibility of making it up the stairs without killing myself, so I'm up for trying some things to get her down to just one feeding on a predictable basis. Sleeping through the night would be even better, but she's clearly not ready for that just yet.

Anyway, long story short, I tried and failed again. Mia just was not having it, even as she began to get so sleepy that she hardly knew what was what anymore. There she was, fussing and moaning with the bottle in her mouth, but she would not suckle on it. She just gnawed for awhile, whined and cried, and eventually shifted it to one corner where it sat, ignored, through the last of her exhausted protestations.

I suppose that she's old enough now to go straight to sippy cups (which have thus far been received as fancy teethers), but I'm not sure that the transition will be any easier taking that approach.

I don't suppose, then, that I have any kid-free nights in my near future, or any personal use for all of my carefully stored and labeled breastmilk (which isn't remotely a huge stash, but was hard-earned all the same).

Not that I really had any plans to go anywhere anyway.