Gag Me

The Monkey’s room had taken on a fetid smell. It reeked of dirty, No. 2-filled diapers left to fester in a humid sweat-box. But the diaper pail — which does a faboo job of containing those smells — was empty. And had been recently cleaned. I even checked under the changing table to see if a diaper had mysteriously jumped tank. No dice.

I found the source of the smell soon enough: The crib. More specifically: The sheets. I have been putting the Monkey to bed with a bottle of milk/formula mix each night. Although I have waterproof pads under the sheets (and on top of them) to catch said spills, apparently I missed a spot. There was a puddle of rotting milk in the center of the bed, conveniently hidden from sight by said waterproof pad.

I almost fell over. And then I felt wretched: My baby was sleeping on top of rotting milk?! It was as though the clouds parted and a million fingers pointed down at me at once, a chorus of voices chanting “SHAME.”

Two words: Epic fail.

Needless to say, I opened the window, changed the sheets, washed them on the “sanitary” cycle in the washing machine, and slapped a clean set of sheets, waterproof pads, etc. on the bed. Then I apologized to the kid.

But I seem to be at an impasse now: He likes the bottle before going to bed, but he’s hit and miss with the intake: Sometimes its the full 8 ounces. Other times, he’ll drink 4 ounces. Still other times, he’ll barely drink 2 ounces before flinging the bottle across the crib, where it inevitably starts dripping on the sheets and stinking up the place again. And around 1 a.m., when he wakes up again, he won’t go back to bed without a bottle.

People? I’m getting REALLY tired of washing and changing those sheets every other day.

So last night, I changed it up a bit. I gave him his milk — as usual — when he went to bed. But at his 1 a.m. wake-up? I gave him 4 oz of water. He drank half of it and went back to bed. No fuss.

So I’m thinking … I’ve been just laying him down with his bottle and walking out the room to let him fall asleep by himself. Should I stay in there with him for the 2 – 20 minutes it takes him to fall asleep, take the bottle, and then leave?  Should I cuddle with him for that time, like I used to? (But I think its important for him to get to sleep by himself!) Should I give him the bottle while he’s awake and just sit next to him on the couch until he seems done and THEN take him to his room to lay down?

I’m running out of ideas and I donated my “Magic 8 Ball” eons ago. I need help.

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