Chris and I are fairly structured people. You may not know it by the looks of our eclectic, book cluttered home - but we strive to live with intention; and in my opinion the only way to do that is within certain well-defined constructs. But, as strange as this sounds, we arrive at that structure organically. For example, we never sat down and decided on what tasks would fall to whom, and yet even before we became parents there were certain to dos that found their way into one and not the other's lap.
This same organic approach is working with the turtle. There were times where we, well mostly me, tried to force a particular issue. Someone had said all babies should be in bed by 7:00 and I spent two long nights in the nursery trying to figure out why my little guy wasn't settling down until 9:00. I was confused, frustrated and exhausted. But aside from these missteps, we have allowed our little one's natural tendencies create the routine.
For example. the turtle's first nap of the day is around 8:30. Now how do we know that? Well because for the first four months of his life we were obsessive note-takers: jotting down when he ate, when and where he slept, etc. And it became clear that he was ready for a nap around that time. Today, Chris reports, that our little one went so far as to lull himself to sleep at 8:35 after playing in his crib for a few minutes.
Now, I'm not so naive to think that this little guy can always create his own routine. I don't intend to let him set his curfew by getting home at an hour of his choosing. But for now our approach is creating the structure that we all need to be happy, healthy and well-rested. And right now, I can't ask for more.