good morning, josephine (and a bit about the night)

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she’s so darn happy and cheerful when she wakes up.  it’s a true pleasure to be the one, most mornings, who wakes up next to her and gets to receive these luscious smiles.

at the other end of the night, we’ve been working on the going-to-bed routine.  namely, creating one.  until a couple weeks ago, our going-to-bed routine consisted of me nursing her until she fell asleep, carefully swaddling her, laying her down and tip-toeing out of the room.  but apparently it’s good for babies to be able to fall asleep without the breast.  so we’re trying new things.  now, when she starts to show signs of sleepiness, we get her in her pjs (maeta, she just outgrew the monkey feet!) and sleep sack (no more swaddle) and i nurse her until she’s getting bleary-eyed and dozy.

next, we lie down together and read the same three sleep-themed books.  the classic goodnight moon, the going to bed book and chicky chicky chook chook.  this last one is one of our favorites to read to her and one that always keeps her attention.  it’s full of fun words and rhymes and vibrant pictures.  it ends with all the animals, after being drenched in the rain and dried by the sun, drifting off to sleep.

after the books are read, it’s into the crib she goes.  she had not been interested in a pacifier until we started the new bedtime routine; now she takes it and sucks away while watching us carefully to make sure we’re not going to leave her.  one of us sits quietly by the crib, watching her wiggle and squirm out the remaining energy of the day, until she turns her head to the side and falls asleep.

this new (long-winded!) routine is getting easier for all of us.  she was reduced to frantic, heart-breaking tears the first few nights but now stays calm and seems to understand her role in the whole bedtime dance.  eventually i suppose we’ll have to leave her to fall asleep alone, but we’re taking baby steps here.  our next challenge is to help her regain the skill she used to have of sleeping 6, 7, 8 hours in a row…


5 Responses to “good morning, josephine (and a bit about the night)”

  • Carrie Says:

    i’m totally impressed. just discussing with brandon last night how we really should break this nursing to bed thing (that we’re still doing at almost 11 months). we haven’t really worried about it since she usually sleeps through the night from 8:30 to 6:45, and i’ll be likely weaning her within a few months anyways… but i don’t know. part of me feels we should be doing what you’re doing, part of me feels like i’m unnecessarily rocking a boat that is chugging along just fine. hmm… parenthood…

    we typically do dinner from 7-7:30, bath and pjs 7:30-8, read stories til 8:15 or so, and then nurse to bed. she’s usually out by 8:30. often times i’m putting her to bed sleepy, not totally conked out. but the few times she wakes up during the night the only thing that quiets her back down is nursing…which is probably not a good thing. shoudn’t she be calmed down with just rocking and snuggles? hmmm….

  • Meg Says:

    The whole putting babies to sleep thing was always tough at our house. Inevitably, each of my children experienced crying, etc. We made the mistake of allowing children into our bed. I am not an expert on sleep issues, but I can give one piece of advice: DO NOT GIVE IN AND ALLOW YOUR CHILDREN TO SLEEP IN YOUR BED. It is incredibly difficult to get them out again! None of our kids sleep in our bed … now. All three of them ended up in bed with us for prolonged periods of time. Matt and I would be so tired from working all day, and they just snuggled right down in there with you … hmmm … But really — don’t do it! It sounds like all of you are a lot smarter than I (we) was (were), so this most likely won’t be a problem.

    I do miss the cuddling, though. When one decides to cuddle, all three climb on me. 🙂 My youngest is almost 20 months. She isn’t a teeny tiny baby anymore … the other two turned 6 and 3 this month. My tiny babies are all trying their hardest to grow up. I need to come to Seattle so I can live vicariously through you for a little while, Oma!

  • oma Says:

    meg, come visit! although then you would realize that all those photos of josephine when she just woke up? they’re in our bed. 🙂 life’s too short and she’s too irresistible (and nursing laying down at 5am is so much easier…). i usually pull her into bed with me the first time she wakes up after ned’s out of bed. a girl slumber party in the early morning hours.

    carrie, no need to rock the boat. i already miss the simplicity of nursing her to sleep at bedtime. and i am not sure what i’m going to do tonight when “lost” is on during the bedtime routine. 🙂

  • Meg Says:

    As long as you’re fine with Josephine in your bed, who cares? I could never sleep with the little ones in my bed. I was always afraid I’d roll over on them. One time, Matt actually did! Not good. But if you’re good with it, that’s all that matters. I need to visit! I want to squeeze those little cheeks! I miss babies … 🙂

  • Wendy Says:

    Ah the joys of sleep and no sleep! Sounds like you are figuring out what works best for the three of you. I desperately wanted Anna in bed with us only after we had taught her that our bed was off limits. Dave would wisk her out of our bed any time that I had ‘forgotten’ to put her back in her crib.
    The reality for me has been that the routine morphs and fits into whatever is going on during that period of development for both Anna and myself. I’m sure the right fit (for this week at least) will emerge- or clearly has already!