It's been two weeks since we gave up, well, I took away, bottles from the boys. While the bottles only came out for naps and bedtime, it wasn't an easy change. I'd like to say it was all sunshine and lollypops, but it was more cloudy days and lemons. I guess it could have been worse and on occasion got close to thunderstorms and liver.
Before I go on, let me explain what I was setting the bar against. Naps and bedtime were about the same. Either prompted by one of them, or by me, we'd go to the kitchen, fill two bottles with milk. They'd take the milk and walk quite happily into the bedroom. Music would go on. They were put into pjs and after some playtime went into their cribs. They would lie down, and hand me the blanket to get tucked in. I'd tuck them in, tell each I loved them, out with the light and leave the room. And that was it. Seriously. Sometimes one would wake during the night. I'd make about 4oz formula (they liked it room temp if they woke up). He'd be sitting or standing the crib waiting, with the empty bottle held out. I'd take it, give the new one, he'd lie down, and that was it.
So the target was set high to what bedtimes could be like.
The first three nights sucked, and sucked the big one. I don't subscribe to cry it out, but I wont respond to temper tantrums and that is what I got the most. If they had bigger vocabularies, I think I was being called every name in the book. It took at least an hour for them to fall asleep. Then if either woke, both were awake and awake again for at least an hour or two.
Once, I offered Corwyn a sippy cup with water and you would think I had insulted him. The cup was thrown so hard and so fast, I barely had time to duck and I checked the wall for a dent. Nathan took the cup, tried to press the spout down (like he'd do with the nipple) and when he couldn't, he casually dropped it over teh side of the crib and screamed like a banchee.
As hard as it was on them, it ripped my heart out over and over.
Naps were easier, so much easier. They would have probably given bottles up at nap time on their own around then. Maybe. Or maybe just having the bottles in the apartment and visible would be too much of a temptation for them to give up. The first day I was back at work, they tried to convince my nanny that they needed bottles for naps. But she didn't go for it.
We've altered our bedtime routine. Now I will ask if they want to go into the bedroom. They stop at the washroom to brush their teeth and wash their hands (or if its bath night, have one of those). Then they extend the play in the bedroom for as long as possible. Eventually I get them changed and into bed. Sometimes they start protesting but stop once I pull the book out. I read a story then they each get a book and 'read' to themselves for a few minutes while I get ready for the next day. One the really good nights, they will lie down and wait to be tucked in when done the book. Other nights, well, lets just say tantrums are being perfected. But the light goes out and both are typically asleep within 5-15 minutes.
There are good nights and great nights, mixed with a few bad nights. The good nights seem to be more frequent. I'm really happy we did this before I moved them out of cribs. I think I might have been slaughtered in my sleep, or at least abused. I'm also happy I put all the bottles away right away. I was tempted so many times.
It's a good thing they're cute