Routine. What a deceiving word. People toss it out to parents like some magical life preserver. “Just get her into a routine.” BAM, all is well. What they don’t realize is, when it comes to bedtime, that life preserver is made of lead.
If you’ve ever put a child to sleep, you know how ridiculous bedtime can get. To put our two-year-old down for the night, we started by giving her a quick bath, pajamas on, brush her teeth, read a book and then off to bed. Now it’s a massive production with many, many, many…many encores.
Here’s the breakdown:
- 15 minutes of running around naked time (her, not us). Layla literally rips off her own diaper like she’s ripping off a pair of tear-away-pants (if you remember those). She then runs from room to room yelling “naked baby! naked baby!” I’ll admit it’s pretty cute, but not when you’re trying to put down your five-month-old at the same time.
- A 20-minute bath, where I constantly remind her not to drink the bath water. Why do kids do that anyway?
- Pajamas, brush her teeth and read several books.
Time for bed right? Close.
We then cuddle in the big cosy chair, and do a quick diaper check (at her request), despite the fact we just put a new one on. Then she’s finally down for bed.
And if that’s not ridiculous enough, here’s a quick run down of what goes in her crib.
- three soothers (one in the mouth, one in each hand). Why three? Because back in the day when we were just trying to get her to fall asleep, we discovered she would fall asleep much faster with a soother in each hand.
- lamb pillow
- monkey stuffed animal under one arm
- lamb stuffed animal for the other arm
- two blankets
And then comes the discussion. It goes something like this:
Me: “Okay, Mommy is going to sleep now.”
Me: “Yes, Daddy is going to sleep too.”
Me: “Yes, Baby is going to sleep too. We are all going to sleep now. Night night”
Which is a complete lie. Daddy and Mommy are really going downstairs to watch Netflix and inhale a bag of chips.
This is now our routine. How it got so out of control, I have no idea. But I will tell you this. If you ever decide to stray from the bedtime routine, be prepared for a night of running up and down the stairs to cater to your little dictator.
Stay tuned for an update on how Layla’s bedtime starts on Monday and ends next Thursday.
Have a routine you would like to share? I’d love to hear it!