Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rock-a-bye Baby: Our nighttime routine

The evening is a very special time in our house. It is when Hubby and I get to spend some quality time with our son. With both of us working full-time we cherish the few hours each night that we get to be with Little C.

We sit with him while he watches either Cars or Mickey Mouse for his allotted TV time (usually while one of us is making dinner), we all sit down at the table to eat while Little C cheers' us with his sippy full of milk, we have playtime after dinner usually consisting of chase, tickles or ring-around-the-rosies, then we calm down with board books, night-time smooches, a family hug and teeth brushing.

Now of course that is on a good night. You know as well as I do that with a temperamental toddler the above scenario is liable to change at any given moment. There can be epic battles of will and patience and there can even be nights where it doesn't feel like cherished family moments at all, but rather a never ending count down to Little C's bedtime. Hey, we're only human and so is our son. We all have good days and bad and I didn't want to paint the picture that we are this generation's Leave it to Beaver clan.

But do you want to know the most magical and special time of night? It's when we get the one-on-one time with Little C before he goes down in his crib. Hubs and I take turns putting C to bed and we have both expressed how special that time is for each of us.

When we still had the pacifier in full effect we lost some of those tender moments because once it hit his lips he knew it was bed time and practically asked to be placed in his crib for sleep. It was lovely because bed time wasn't a struggle at all. But then we took the paci away! {gasp} And it rocked all of our worlds!

Bed time became a negative thing. Little C was confused as to why he couldn't have his paci and he would cry his little heart out. We were at fault in the beginning because for the first few nights we kept with our old routine of just putting him down in his crib like before. It was torture for C and torture for us. Until we cracked the code...

Duh, mom and dad!!!

We were foolish to treat bedtime like we had always done and it didn't take us long to make some changes. We needed to provide C with comfort and get him ready for the idea of bed just like his paci had done for him in the past. We are now back in our groove and bed time once again is a soothing, happy time for all.

The key elements to a happy night usually involve just the right amount of rough-housing...

Book reading...

the gathering of his favorite blanket and his monkey lovie...

And last but certainly not least...

We rock our son to sleep. {gasp!!}

Now the die hard "sleep experts" say you should NOT get your child used to falling asleep in your arms. They should be put down in their cribs drowsy and not yet fully asleep so they can soothe themselves. I completely understand that method of thinking but I have to ask myself if those so-called "experts" were/are full-time working parents?!?!

I don't get to see my son but for two solid hours a day during the work week. I miss him and I want to eat him up during those two hours. Plus, I really don't see any harm in letting him fall asleep in our arms. It doesn't affect how he goes down at daycare or during nap time with us on the weekends. And, there are the occasional nights where he doesn't fall straight to sleep in our arms and he does get placed in his crib still awake.

Call it selfish, call it silly, call it whatever you want but it is something Hubs and I have grown to love. There is nothing more perfect or special than having Little C snuggled up in your arms and there is nothing more beautiful than a sleeping baby.

For now we rock our baby to sleep, and we love every minute!

Do you let your child fall asleep in your arms? Do you enjoy your bedtime routine as much as we do?

No comments:

Post a Comment