Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bedtime Rituals

I didn't note the exact date, but Celeste weaned herself from breastmilk a little bit before Thanksgiving. Evelin's not sure if it is because of the pregnancy or just her body, but she didn't think there was much milk there to be had and it was just more effort than Celeste was willing to put up with. We'd been asking her after her bath if she wanted a book or milk and she would usually say MILK, but the nursing sessions were getting shorter and shorter. Finally she started thinking more about having a book, so Evelin would tell her good night and Celeste and I would settle down to read something.

Of course it wasn't that simple. Celeste would pick a book and want to read about two pages before demanding a different book. The first few times, we went though about five or ten books before I would tell her last book, she'd look at too pages and ask for a different one, and then I'd put her in her crib.

After about three times of that routine, we shifted to just getting her into her pyjamas, making sure she had Blankie and a pacifier, and then popping her into bed. Most nights, that worked, although there usually would be a few protest cries.

The current routine is bath, followed by pyjamas. Evelin tells her goodnight and I let Celeste turn off the light. I then talk to her about the things she'd seen or done during the day, and then put her in the crib. Last week, she started waking up about an hour after than routine, crying, and we'd find her standing in the crib in need of serious soothing, so I added an additional step: Instead of just holding her next to the crib to talk about her day, I'm now sitting down with her for about five minutes. Depending upon how active she is, I might talk about her day or sing a song or just rock her gently. She hasn't fallen asleep in my arms, but she's definitely on her way when I move her to the crib.

It's a nice little routine, but I'm sure she'll change it up somehow in another week or two ...

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