Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sweetly Sleep (2nd Installment)

"Shhhhhhh! Baby is sleeping!" Those words are franticly whispered by panicked parents in households across the world. Why? Because someone spent possibly hours trying to get the little sprout to FINALLY drop off and is now walking on egg shells in fear that the slightest noise will "set them off" again. Who really wants to live that way for 9, 18, or 24 months till the little person in your home learns to love to sleep? I mentioned before having a daily routine helps children be ready for sleep. Now more specifically we'll discuss the bed/nap time routine. This is a series of events that you create to help your baby wind down and know that it's time for him to close those eyes and sleep. You must add elements to the ritual that work for YOU! We do not use a bath as part of our routine because we don't do bath every night. Your routine has to be something you can do consistently each night. Here is ours: Bubba "says" night-night to Daddy and gets kisses. He and Mommy then go to his room where just the little lamp is on. We sit in the glider and rock while we read a story (this is a recently added element). After the story he gets his bed time bottle (this element will eventually be faded out which is why we added the story time). Once the bottle is finished Mommy turns out the light and we snuggle in the dark for a short time before he is placed in his crib. He has become so accustomed to his routine that as soon as he sucks air from his bottle he will crane his neck back to watch because he knows the light goes out next. I mentioned that we've added things, and will take things out. The routine is "flexible" in that as your baby grows things will inevitably change about the routine. The important thing is to figure out what works best for you and do the SAME THING every night. Our son knows when he is placed in his crib that it's time for sleep. He will find his thumb and is usually completely asleep in less than 2 minutes. Try it with your sweethearts and see if you can gain more confidence in your baby's ability to put themselves to sleep.

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