Welcome 2013!This year I am excited to work hard, grow as a family and watch as my little one develops and changes.
When we came home from the hospital I quickly observed that Kumquat had his own schedule, he would be awake and alert for part of the morning and most of the evening; from about 7 PM until 1 or 2 AM. He would also sleep all afternoon and the rest of the night. That was his own schedule, and for my part it is easy enough to work around.
At this point though I am starting to consider how life will change when I return to work, not to mention when I start taking Kumquat long for daycare. Towards that consideration I am attempting to introduce a bedtime routine. I have been getting to know him, and I know what soothes and comforts him, so I can use that for guidance to meet his and my own needs.
My plan is to begin at seven o'clock by turning off distractions such as TV, turning down the lights, and turning on peaceful music using Pandora Radio. The next step will be to give Kumquat a bath, he loves the Tummy Tub so this works to relax him. Bath time is followed by infant massage or baby yoga, which I am still trying to get the hang of, I am not sure yet what he enjoys. With the rub down over, I put him in a cozy sleeper and we move the party to the bedroom where I feed him while singing lullabies and bedtime prayers, which ideally puts him right sleep.
Realistically he does not go right down so enter my fitness ball where I bounce while I sing and he does slowly drift off. If that does not work, but I can see that he is ready to sleep, my last resort is to lie down in bed and nurse him, which he enjoys so much that it is a near guarantee he will sleep.
My success with this has been spotty, so I am trying to be persistent without letting my expectations be too high. He's only four weeks old! I believe that in time and with thoughtful modifications he will learn regular sleep. When we do get the hang of it, we can do a modified version for naps.
It feels like he is very young for me to be expecting a routine to matter, but even if he only falls asleep for an hour, I will have that regular hour to meet some of my own needs, such as eating dinner, taking a shower, or sleeping myself. Additionally by making a ritual of this, it will be something we can share when I am not with him all day every day, and I treasure every minute I do get with him.
What rituals and routines do you and your family have?