Friday, March 11, 2011

Tutus and Sleep

I decided that I wanted some tutus for my girls, so I went to my favorite resource, Etsy, to find some. Except that I couldn't quite find just what I was looking for. And while most of the tutus could have been custom ordered, I realized that I could make some cheaper than buying them. So, I made a trip to my beloved Hobby Lobby the other day. And I went nuts in the tulle section.

While we were selecting the tulle, I was telling Miss that I was going to make her some tutus, and she got quite excited. Then every time she saw the pile of tulle on the counter in my laundry room, she kept saying, "My tutu!!" I'm not sure that she really understood what a tutu is, and I had to keep explaining to her that Mommy has to make the tutus first. After a day or two I got my act together and looked around online and found a few good tutorials. The one I chose to try was this one. I pulled out my rotary cutter and cutting board and went to town cutting strips of tulle.

Knotted it around the elastic, and voila! The hardest part of the whole thing was taming the static electricity while cutting and knotting the tulle strips.

And now, an update on the sleep in our house. I blogged before about my efforts to get Lass sleeping through the night without waking up and needing to nurse to go back to sleep. I am happy to announce that after only about 3 nights, we managed to cut out middle-of-the-night feedings. Hooray!

For about a week she was still waking up a few times at night and fussing a bit, but always managed to get back to sleep on her own. We have now had one night of 7pm to 7am sleep without waking, so I'm hopeful that will be the norm now. What a good girl!!

As for Miss, the transition to the Big Girl Bed has gone pretty well. The first night, as I posted previously, she went to bed with no trouble. She has continued to do wonderfully at bedtime. Naptime, on the other hand, was a bit of a struggle for a few days. Part of the problems was that I hadn't really thought through how I would handle it if she repeatedly got out of bed (recall my complete denial that this transition would be happening in this decade and my resultant lack of preparation for it). So day one of Big-Girl-Bed naptime found her getting out of bed to play, over and over, and me repeatedly going into her room and putting her back in her bed. There was a lot of crying (mostly from her) and frustration (mostly from me). Finally I heard her yell, "I have a big poop on my bonnom!!" So I went up to change her diaper and put her back in bed and just decided to stay in the room until she fell asleep. I sat by her door and she was out in two minutes. However, I didn't really want sitting by her door that to become a habit. So, for day two, I decided to try something different.

Day two naptime I decided to just let her get out of bed, figuring it was fine as long as she played quietly in her room and that she would wear herself out eventually, get into bed, and go to sleep. Except that it didn't work out that way. She played for at least an hour and then started screaming that she had a poopy diaper again. I suspected this was just her way of getting me to come in her room, but went to check her diaper anyway. Sure enough, there was no poop. I had a brief discussion with her about the importance of telling the truth, and then put her back in bed and decided to try sitting by her door again. This time she popped right up from lying down and said, "Hi Mommy, what you doing?" In spite of attempts to get her to lie back down and sleep, I finally realized it just wasn't going to happen, so day two was a complete nap failure.

I needed to regroup. I needed a plan. I remembered hearing about something called "Sleep Rules" in passing before. So I Googled it. I found info about Dr. Weissbluth's Sleep Rules strategy and poster. It says to try it with kids 2.5-3 years old. But I figured Miss could get it, so I went for it. Here's the poster I made.

I changed the Sleep Rules a bit from the ones Dr. W recommends, but these seemed more reasonable for her. She likes to chatter while falling asleep and I don't see any harm in that, so didn't want to make "Stay very quiet" a rule. We review the Sleep Rules before every naptime. After each sleep (nap or bedtime) that she follows the Sleep Rules, she gets a cool puffy glitter sticker to put on the Sleep Rules poster, and when she fills all the boxes, she'll get to watch movie. I'm talking this up like it's the coolest thing ever, since she's never really seen a movie, and I was worried this incentive would be a bit ineffective. But she also gets stamps on her hands, feet, legs, etc., and sometimes another sticker from one of our books.

And it's working!!! The first few days I still had to go in once or twice and put her back into her bed. I just said, "Stay in your bed" and eventually she did. Now she generally doesn't even get out anymore.

So. Tutus, cool. Sleep, fine. But wait! Now I will connect these seemingly unrelated ramblings into a coherent, logical blog post.

As I mentioned above, most days the reward for following the rules is a sticker and some stamps. But a couple days ago, I decided to let the tutu be the reward. As I was putting Miss down for her nap I told her that if she followed the Sleep Rules today she would get to play with her tutu. She seemed so into the whole tutu thing, and I was so excited to see how much she would love the tutu I made for her. Unfortunately she woke up from her nap (she did follow the rules!) a little crabby.

She just wasn't really into the tutu. At first she didn't want anything to do with it. So I just put it on the floor and she decided it might be okay to sit on it.

She liked the way it feels.

She finally decided to put it on.

She got about this far and changed her mind. "I no yike it tutu."

We left the tutu for a while. Had a snack. Went to gymnastics. Came home and had dinner. And then we tried the tutu again. She liked it much more.

She even shook her booty in it a bit.

In general, she doesn't really love it as much as I thought she would. I was kind of expecting that she would put it on and refuse to take it off. She likes to play with it but doesn't put it on much. But she is just at the beginning of the loving-to-dress-up phase. So the tutu will go into the dress up box and I suspect it will be worn as the dress-up love grows. She may be a fairy. Or a princess. Or a ballerina. Or something completely unrelated to tutus. I could see her as a tutu-wearing dinosaur or something equally fun. I will make more tutus. I have to. I still have 3 lbs of tulle in my laundry room.

1 comment:

  1. Chunky is coming to live with you for sleep training... and he can even wear a tutu :) Love it!