Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Toddler Room

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The Toddler Room.

Those three words have caused me more anxiety in the past two weeks than First Birthday ever could.

First Birthday? It's 19 days away. I've got that. Cake smash session? On the books. Outfit? Done. Invitations? Ordered. It'll be a simple affair because I just don't feel up to planning a party for older kids. We'll do that down the road when he remembers. We'll have beverages and watch him demolish a cake. Sounds like a perfect first birthday.

Thinking about him moving to The Toddler Room? It's caused the tears to flow. Sleepless nights have occurred. I had a breakdown similar to when I walked into work and told my boss I was starting maternity leave early. Phone calls have been made to amazing coworkers who have tolerated my first time mom questions and assured me that my daycare is not doing anything different and aren't evil people that make babies grow up too fast. (Though I'm still unsure on that last part.) I've already let my boss know to expect lots of tears and that I may need to take the day off.

Then on Friday they went and bumped the move to The Toddler Room up on me. I was supposed to have 3 weeks! Now it's just 2. In 12 days my baby will be thrown until the world of shoes, sippy cups, sitting at tables to eat, 1 scheduled nap per day, and on a nap mat to boot. Bottles? They're a thing of the past! He's going cold turkey and I don't know how it's going to work.

I suddenly have a school shopping list! Nap mat. Blanket. Where does one find a toddler sized blanket? Sippy cups. Shoes!? He's not even walking! Why does he need shoes to wear outside if he can't walk, and therefore can't play on the playground, and will only eat rocks if you even try to take him outside?

On the plus side all his friends are moving with him. They'll all be going through this transition together. (Which honestly seems horrible for the teachers.) While he's not walking (neither is one other), he is eating more solids than than the others and feeds himself (Yay baby led weaning!). They'll all be going off the bottle together, learning to sleep on mats together, and to eat at the table. (But wouldn't this make it harder for them to learn these things?)

I'm just so nervous for him! Turning 1 doesn't mean some switch is turned and they start doing all these things all the sudden. Right? If so, I certainly didn't get the memo and I'm not sure all these babies did either.

I also worry about what scheduled feedings will do to breastfeeding. I'm not changing him to cow milk and plan to continue pumping and sending milk to daycare. He only gets milk with meals and snack though. I don't want to mess with his awesome sleep schedule, but that means we miss breakfast at school. He recently dropped his 8:30am feeding so I don't know how that's going to work. Waffle in one hand, sippy of milk in the other on the way to school? That just adds one more bit of craziness to our already hurried morning. I see long nights of reverse cycling ahead of me. Shouldn't we be getting more sleep by now?

Please tell me it'll be ok. Please tell me your baby went through this and turned out just fine and is now a high functioning adult that never had issues from going cold turkey off the bottle. Or that therapy is at least helping to resolve those issues. Tell me this isn't going to totally screw up breastfeeding for us. Convince me that his caretakers aren't trying to make him grow up too fast. Just a little faster than this mom prefers. And if you see me, give me a hug and don't judge if I start crying on your shoulder.

10 comments:

  1. Wow - I can't believe they're forcing a move, really. At 1-year, I still think they're more baby than infant. I couldn't imagine just drastically changing my kid's life because daycare says I have to!
    I'm glad I didn't have to go through the perils of daycare. I feel for you though :( Hugs!

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    1. I think they're still more baby too. You'd think they'd make concessions since they're moving a large group (6) at one time and they will make up the entire class. None are off the bottle so I don't know why they don't build a transition period in there.

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  2. I don't have daycare experience so I can't speak to that. But I wanted to encourage you that you are a wonderful mama. I completely understand your apprehension.

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  3. Cry all you want, mama. I don't have any advice for you, but here's a hug. <3

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  4. What a wonderful adventure this will be! Think of it from a perspective not of forcing growth but instead one of stimulation and age-appropriate challenges. Going outside and finding new ways to play? Awesome! New toys and the chance to try eating in new ways? Yes! Seeing friends do new activities? I want to try!

    I know it sounds hard, mama, but remember that kids are remarkably adaptable. Like so much of life it will probably be much harder on you than it will be on the little one.

    Of course babies aren't suddenly able to do new things, and no one in their right mind expects that including the childcare providers! They know how kids work and grow. A good daycare will never let a child go hungry just because he or she is having trouble learning a new routine; they know what problems might arise and have handled this transition many times before with many different children with different needs. Group learning is natural, especially at this age when it's all about watching others (adults, siblings, etc) and how they interact with the world.

    Finding a home eating/sleeping routine that works with the new schedule will probably be the hardest part, but any "routine" generally shifts semi-regularly around this age anyways even if you do lead an almost entirely baby-lead life because they're just growing and changing so darn constantly. This is another aspect that is often harder on parents than kids, so hang in there! You'll figure it out and your child will have a wonderful time discovering all the awesome things toddlerhood has to offer.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. You are right that they are so very adaptable and many times these changes are much harder on us than it is on them.

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  5. We were lucky that we had an in-home sitter for Sophia because I do not think I could handle daycare. That is a lot of change for one little person. The napping on the mat sounds like it has a popsicle's chance in hell of being successful at 12 months but what do I know?!

    I can give you any advice on the extended breastfeeding because both kids were done at a year but follow his lead and set a limit at night that works for you too if it becomes an issue.

    Hang in there, mom!

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    1. I'm really interested to see how the nap is going to work. Plus he hardly ever sleeps at daycare. They all swear that they suddenly just catch on to it so we'll see!

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