Monday, November 8, 2010

bedtime routine

We're trying a new bedtime routine. October was a tough month. The turtle, though napping like a champ, usually fights sleep in the evening. And, as a result, he would be over-tired and restless a good part of the night. So Chris and I spent this weekend doing some research, realizing that it wasn't going to be easy to find a gentle way to get our little guy back on track. And I think we came to the realization that we are partly to blame for our little guy's restlessness. The turtle is curious by nature. He is fascinated by newness; a new toy, a new face, a new sound. And I realized early on that despite how hungry he might be, a nursing session could easily "go south" if there were too many distractions. Yes, I've been known to throw my nursing blanket over the turtle's head even in the privacy of our home, just to get him to focus on the task at hand.

So it's no surprise that he is distracted by the craziness of our front room, where activity abounds; the news is on, dinner is being made, and things are in a general sense of disarray. And it has often been in the middle of this craziness where the turtle is eating, taking a bath and settling down for the night. We also have been trying to stick to the Eat, Play Sleep routine even at night. But as a result, our little guy was expending so much energy playing that he was hungry again just a few short hours after falling asleep.

So last night we started a new routine. At about 6:30pm when the turtle started to show signs of sleepiness we went into the nursery, bathed, read a story, sang a couple of songs, and nursed. 45 minutes later the turtle was asleep in his crib. He woke again around 9:10pm at which time I picked him for a minute before putting him back to bed where he easily fell back asleep. At 11:00 he woke up again. I changed him. His daddy gave him a bottle and he was back asleep by about 11:30. We would of course, like to avoid that 11:00 waking, but the night was by far one of our better nights in five weeks. There were no tears, no arched backs, or wiggling out of our arms.Just an easy and peaceful bedtime routine.

Let's see how it goes tonight.

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