Charlotte's "sleep-must-have" is not any other than most of the babies'/toddlers', a pacifier. But besides pacifier, she needed something else to calm her down and that's my hand (or auntie Brenda's hand). This is something very strange that she developed, she was not only holding my hand, but she loved to "scratch" on those joints like knuckles and elbows. When she gets sleepier, the scratches get more intense and it was so painful. Sometimes, both Brenda and myself will have damaged skin on our finger joints because of that.
2 weeks ago, I decided to break that habit. I thought it would be a good timing because her daddy was away for a business trip and he will not be disturbed from his sleep if Charlotte couldn't sleep well without that "scratching". I started her bed time routine as usual, sang some songs on her demand, read her some stories and said a prayer. Then when it was about time to shut her eyes, she asked for my hand. Obviously I told her no and explained to her the reason. Then what happened? Of course she cried, it started from a very soft cry hoping for me to give in, but I didn't. Then the cry went louder and louder and then.....she vomited (because she just had milk lah)! That was about 11.30pm! I had to wash her, change her and change the bed sheet too, but still I didn't give it. Actually, after Charlotte vomited she was kinda "worried" because she knows I will be very mad when she did that. I took that opportunity to stay firm and I told her to go to bed, only with her pacifier. She did exactly what was told without any fuss and very soon she was asleep. Maybe she was tired from all that crying. I thought OMG! I will have to go through the crying and vomiting for the next few nights or maybe weeks *worried*.
Then of course I told Brenda to do the same during her afternoon nap, no giving-in is allowed. If she couldn't sleep, just let her be. Brenda told me that Charlotte only slept for less than an hour that afternoon. When it was bed time again, and I told her the same thing before bed. She still asked for it, but I kept both of my arms under the blanket. She started to cry again, but I told her if she cries she will vomit and mommy is going to be very upset if she did that again. Well, this time it worked! She stopped wailing and shut her eyes. I could see that she was trying very hard. Very soon, her pacifier dropped off from her mouth and I knew she was already in dreamland. Phew! The second night went better than I thought.
It has been 2 weeks and I am very glad that we have successfully "wean off" that finger-joints-scratching habit from Charlotte. Although she still tries her luck especially with her Auntie Brenda in the afternoon or at night she asks to sleep on my arm, neither of us give to her. Seriously, this went smoother and easier than I thought and both Brenda and myself are very happy with this improvement (we will have no more damage skin on our arms).
One last habit to break, that is her pacifier. Will do that when the time comes, wish me luck :)