People often ask me how I put my baby to sleep. My son has always been a terrible sleeper and I have toyed with the idea of letting him “cry it out” many times. But I can’t ever go through with more than 10 minutes of crying. At 16 months we’ve finally reached a happy place when it comes to sleep. We read Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, I give him a bottle of milk, we turn out the lights, I rock him or just hold him in my arms until he falls asleep, and then I place him in his crib and usually don’t see him until morning.
Our bedtime routine usually takes anywhere from 30 minutes to a full hour. While I sometimes feel that it could be easier if I was able to just put him in his crib, turn out the light and leave the room, I’ve recently had a revelation about all of this: I need to enjoy this special time that I have with my son. One day he will not need mommy to help him fall asleep and he will not want mommy to hold his hand, or give him a hug or a kiss.
The quiet time I have with my son every night is worth more than being able to say that he goes to sleep on his own. I can honestly say that I’m finally happy with our bedtime routine. As a working mom I don’t get to spend every minute of the day with my son, and our routine allows me to have special quiet time with him every night. I have to be honest here, it also gives me the time to relax, let my mind go, and not have to rush to call someone, run to a meeting, meet a deadline, or make dinner. The rocking helps him to feel safe and comforted while he falls asleep and it helps me to wind down.
Everyone has their own routine and does what is best for them and their family. This is what works for us and there is no sweeter way to end my busy day than with a cuddle from my adorable sleepy baby.