Motherhood: Bedtime Rituals

Monday, September 18, 2017


Sleep, sleep, sleep! That's all baby books ever seem to talk about- a point which annoyed me in my ninth month when I realized we were having a baby and I was actually expected to, you know, take care of it! I thought, sure, that's important, but not all babies do, right?

Wrong.

Let me say that again, louder for those in the back. Wrong. All babies do is sleep (or, if your baby is like ours was,  all babies do is refuse to sleep even when they desperately need it). Read the books about baby's sleeping.

One of the number one tips we read- and have implemented- is having a bedtime ritual. Ellis' bedtimes, while occasionally stressful if he is overtired, have mostly become a favorite time of day for me- and not just because I can go to sleep afterwards too. No, these are sweet memories, and while the rituals may change, I wanted to document what it is now, for prosperity.

We start this process about a half hour before bedtime (which is typically 7:00 pm, but, if he managed a late afternoon nap, might be 7:30). The white noise is turned on.  I put on the same two songs as we get him into his pajamas. We'll listen to the Beatles' "I Will" followed by "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys. As he gets changed, he typically gets lotion and a baby massage. I make silly noises as he gets massaged. I wasn't sure if he actually liked it or cared till one night we tried skipping this step and he got cranky till we did it! The next step is saying good night and drawing the curtains closed. I'll carry him around the room and say goodnight to all the different objects that are there, including the mache paper moon. We also say goodnight to "his" puppies and to daddy last of all.

We'll read books next, always ending with (you guessed it!) Goodnight Moon. Its funny, I never liked this book much before and found it odd how lauded it was. But now that saying goodnight to everything is part of Ellis' routine, I absolutely adore the book (heck, I even read a biography of the author). Life's a funny, old thing that way, isn't it?

Lastly, we'll make him a bottle, and I'll sing and rock him as he eats. I know people feel very strongly about having a baby eat too close to when he needs to sleep (or when he nurses to sleep). But I don't think he will connect eating to sleep; he's happy to eat at all sorts of different times.

7 comments

  1. Well this is interesting. I love that you listen to the same two songs every night- and great choices!

    Priya the Blog

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  2. Typo: prosperity should be prosterity

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  3. These are such sweet rituals! I love the song choices- they seem so Satterlee.

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    1. They are definitely songs I remember my dad liking. Though, I actually chose these two as they were some of the few not on a "Beatle Sleep Playlist." Before Ellis was sleep-trained, we'd play this a list of songs for him to fall asleep to- sometimes several times in a row to make sure he was really sleeping!. I felt like I had those songs on repeat in my head. But now I think I might play them during bedtime as I miss those playlist songs, lol.

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