Bedtime Routine

Monday, July 27, 2009
Luke has a pretty simple bedtime routine.  On a good night it doesn't take much time at all to get him to sleep.  Other nights we aren't so lucky.  Luke's routine is pretty straight forward.  When he is looking sleepy (a relative term) we get him a bottle, take him upstairs, feed him in the dark, wait for him to fall asleep and then deposit him in his crib.  This whole process takes around 20 - 30 minutes tops if it is a good night.  Other nights we can follow the same routine and after we put him down about 2 minutes later he is crying again.  This is when things can get hairy.  Do you go in and help him fall back asleep or do you let him tough it out?  Mom and I do a little bit of both.  If on the initial time to go to bed he seems wide awake we let him cry for a bit.  I don't have a good reason why, but we find that if you let him cry for a while he is more apt to go to sleep when we go back upstairs to sooth him and put him back down.  The other method we use is if Luke is on the edge of falling asleep and after two tries of trying to put him to bed we still meet with failure.  When this happens we basically say to Luke "you're on your own".  It seems kind of cruel that we let him cry himself to sleep.  Perhaps it is something to do with being a 2nd time parent.  But we find that if we take this course of action he tends to fall asleep in about 10 minutes on his own.

On rare occasion Mom and I can catch a big break.  Tonight we had one of those.  Earlier in the evening even before dinner Luke fell asleep on my chest after a bottle.  He spent the rest of the evening in his swing while Mom and I cooked and ate dinner with Alyce.  After dinner I gave Alyce a bath and Luke slept through the whole thing.  Once it was time to put Luke upstairs you run into the big question.  Do you touch a sleeping baby?  I say yes you do in this situation getting him to bed at his usual time is very important in my book.  So I take Luke out of the swing, bring him upstairs, and try to wake him up by changing his diaper.  I wanted him awake to feed him so that he has a full belly for the 10-11 hours he sleeps a night.  But to the best of my efforts he didn't wake.  So I put him in his crib, headed back downstairs, and put his bottle on ice. Luckily about 20 minutes later he did awake to an awful fuss.  With bottle in hand I headed back upstairs.  I fed Luke in the dark in the rocking chair.  I'm not even sure he opened his eyes.  He lay there collapsed in my arms drinking his dinner on the edge of consciousness.  There is really nothing more peaceful than a sleeping baby in your arms.  I was able to get him back in his crib without another peep.  Writing this of course is to invite disaster with Luke waking up at 4:00 a.m. but such is life.  The easy nights are to be enjoyed and remembered; especially during a string of hard nights.