Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
While you’re busy making other plans
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It’s getting better and better
I don’t get to post much more than pictures lately, but tonight as I rocked my little guy to sleep, I was inspired. I was thinking of how sweet our routine is and how much I love it; but also how it’s evolved and how it will keep evolving.
When Max was first born, he slept all swaddled up and next to my side of the bed in his snug-a-bunny rock and play sleeper. He was so sweet all bundled and cuddled up in there and it was easy for me to reach over and rock him if he woke up, or grab him to feed him. I loved being able to lean over the side of my bed and see him there!
When I realized that he was really sleeping consistently through the night and that I was waking up with every little noise that he made, I knew that it was time to move him from the rock-and-play and into his own bed. Luckily, Max started sleeping through the night around 8 weeks or so – around the time I had to go back to work (what a good boy). I was worried that he wouldn’t like sleeping flat on his back after sleeping in a reclined position in the rock-and-play, but fortunately, he made the transition from the rock-and-play and into his crib very smoothly.
We still swaddled him for a while – and boy did he look cute all swaddled up! Bedtime meant a tubby in the plastic blue bathtub in the sink (about every 3rd night or so), followed by being bundled up in a swaddle. I’d feed him all swaddled up, and then when he was old enough to not pass out while he ate, I’d read him a story. We’d say prayers (well, I’d say them for him of, course), and then I’d rock him and sing to him. I’d always sing “Let it Be” to him, especially if he was crying. Bouncing him up and down a bit would always calm him down, so I remember times when I’d need to calm him down and I’d pace around his room, singing “Let it Be” and holding him, all swaddled up, in my arms out in front of me while I bounced him a little. I always wonder if that song will be calming to him when he’s grown up – will he remember that his mommy sang it to him when he cried?
By the time Max was six months old, I decided that I wanted to put him down without swaddling him. He was starting to roll over pretty consistently and I was starting to be afraid that he’d roll over while swaddled and smother himself (seems like a theme from his first year alive – me worrying that he’d die!). I remember that I was *so worried* that he wouldn’t sleep well without the swaddle. But he did great!
Our bedtime routine remained pretty much the same until he stopped taking a bedtime bottle. When we dropped the bedtime bottle, I added more story and song time to the routine. I thought he needed more time to wind down – but really I think I didn’t want to cut the quiet time that I had with him shorter! I started reading him 3 (short) stories and singing him 3 songs. We’d usually read some board book version of Dr Seuss books (“Fox in Socks” was our favorite) and I’d always sing “I Will” and “Let it Be” and usually “Good Night” (or some other Beatles song).
Now that he’s a toddler, we do baths more frequently. He’s playing outside at school and he gets *dirty*. So we do a tubby pretty much every night. Max went though a short period where he didn’t want to sit on my lap and listen to stories and be sung to – when he was just discovering how to wiggle around on his own – but now he’s back to sweetly sitting and snuggling with me. And he even hugs me back now when I turn him around to snuggle against my shoulder, which is the greatest thing in the world!
I love rocking and singing to him so much, that it’s hard to put him down in bed some nights. I tell him, “Good night [kiss his head], Sleep tight [kiss his head], Don’t let the bedbugs bite [kiss him three times]!” He’s so cute: I put him down and he snuggles on his tummy with his arms and knees tucked underneath him and his little butt in the air. I cover him with a muslin blanket and put on his ocean sounds and nightlight (which have been a fixture since he started sleeping in his crib). I put on “20 minutes of lullabies” with his Sleep Scout, and turn off the light on his nightstand as I head out the door. Some nights, he’s asleep within minutes. Other nights, he plays around in bed for an hour. But luckily, no matter what, he’s quiet and happy in bed (unless he’s sick).
The next challenge we’ll be tackling around bedtime will be to get rid of “Mimi” (his pacifier with a turtle attached), and “Lamby” (his pacifier with a lamb attached). Right now, he asks for them (sounding hilariously desperate), the moment we walk into his room for bedtime. I’m not sure how that will go… And then we’ll need to start thinking about transitioning to a toddler bed. We have a fire truck bed (of course!) in the basement that I think Max will love. I’m just worried about how he’ll handle being in a bed that he can easily get out of!
I probably shouldn’t worry, though. I’ve been worried before every other transition and Max has handled it amazingly. We’re so lucky – what an awesome little guy we have!