So my Baby Dude will be 11 months old next week. He still loves to have a bottle and snuggles with Momma when he is sleepy. Don’t get me wrong. I love this cuddle time. He’s so active now, it’s the only time I get to hold him for an extended period of time. On the flip side I LOVE how active his is. His activity helps him learn and lately it seems as if he is learning something new every second he’s awake.
Tonight we started to make a change in our bedtime routine. Instead of Baby Dude’s usual bedtime story, then bottle with Momma while he falls asleep, I decided to flip it on its head. He got his usual bedtime story and bottle. I held him after the bedtime story but not in the comfy, cozy cradle I usually use. Tonight it was simple. Baby Dude you are going to sit on Momma’s lap and finish your bottle. After that lay down with your Mickey Mouse doll and go to sleep.
My initial thoughts of doing this were so negative it’s ridiculous. After the bottle was finished I lay Baby Dude down on his crib mattress with Mickey and the battle begin. I have no clue how many times I said “No, it’s time to lay down and go to sleep. Lay down with Mickey and go to sleep”. It seemed like a 100, now that I think about it I’m positive it was 100. He sat up. I lay him back down. He sat up, and would I lay him back down again. I was lying down next to him on a body pillow, repeating those words and actions.
When Baby Dude decided he was sleepy he started reaching for me when he sat up. This honestly broke my heart. I hugged him. I kissed him on his chubby cheeks and he kissed me on the forehead just above my eye. Then… He wrapped his little arms around my neck, with Mickey being squeezed in for a little extra warmth and he wouldn’t sit down. I know my kids very well. At this point he realized a change was happening and the words of his little embrace said “I love you too Momma, please let me sneak a hug before a go to sleep’. After about a minute of this awesome little hug I told him to lay down with Mickey and he did.
This started at 8:30pm. At the beginning of our bedtime routine I did not take anything into his room that had a clock, i.e. tablet, phone. Eventually he started his eye rubbing routine and the rubs started to slow as he would lay down as he was told. At that point I covered him with one of his favorite blankets and tucked Mickey in with him. Sure he was still awake but he was finally giving in to the Sandman.
Finally back in my bedroom I checked the time. The clock on my smartphone read 10:30pm. It didn’t feel like 2 hours passed. Tomorrow night we shall repeat. I hope it goes ok.