Bedtime

27 06 2006

Last night was an ordinary night for Eliana and me. We played around a little, while I tried to get some things done on my computer. After a while, it was time for her to go to bed, which is now triggered by the call to “brush teeth”. After some fun bathroom antics with the toothbrush, we head to her room, change her diaper and put on her pajamas. Nowadays, Eliana doesn’t want to fall alseep alone, which is definately understandable. But, last night, as I was calming her to sleep and going over her fun day at school, I was reminded of the several different ways I have put Eliana to bed over the last couple of years.

When Eliana was a small baby, she would sleep in her Mom and my bed.  I was opposed to it, but eventually became used to it. Eventually Eliana started kicking, tossing and turning all night, at such point I opposed it again. When she was 6 months old, we tried to move her to a playpen inside our room, but out of our bed. On the first day it took about 3 hours of fighting our parental instinct to pick her up and calm her, but we let her cry  herself to sleep.  As new parents, this probably wasn’t the best thing we could have done, but weren’t sure what else to do at the time.

Only a few weeks later, we moved her to the crib in her bedroom. She cried just as much, but we changed our tactic to go in every few minutes to reassure her that things were ok.  She went along most nights and went to sleep in 30 minutes or so, but some nights she went in kicking and screaming. Those nights were no fun. This lead to the next phase of Eliana’s bedtime ritual.

Before I started working at Intel, I was able to rock Eliana to sleep using a rocking chair my mom gave us as a baby gift. We would look at each other and smile. Eliana would get extremely comfortable in my arms and although she still fought he sleepiness, I think she would feel comfort and security, which helped her to go to sleep.  Sometimes she didn’t fall quite asleep when I was ready to put her in her crib, and as soon as she hit the mat, she would cry. My immediate reaction was to pick her up and rock her for another 10-15 minutes, or until she finally fell asleep and I could put her in her crib.

After I started work at Intel, for the first year, I was not home during the week, so I’m sure Eliana and her mom had many fights to get her to bed.

Once everyone moved up to our new house in Gilbert, Eliana was able to sleep in a large bed with no problem. She would change into her pajamas with no fuss, and I would read her a story before bedtime. She would fall asleep with no problems.  Those were the days.

Over all, Eliana has been a great kid, and very understanding when it comes to going to bed. I look back on these memories fondly, and look forward to many of the upcoming bedtime memories we will share together.

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