Last night was one of those nights where I thought I was winning this parenting game. We came home from a beautiful walk through our suburb around 5.30pm and I could see Pickle’s little eyes getting tired. I took him into the shower with me and talked gently to him while the beautiful warm water flowed over both of us. My Pickle loves the shower and it’s the first ritual to our night time routine; he relaxes completely and gently sucks the water off my shoulder.
I dried him off and gave him a beautiful massage with almond oil and a couple of drops of a beautiful aromatic oil that my midwife had made for us – by now he’s completely relaxed and well on his way to bedtime. After putting him in his nappy, we sit down together for a breastfeed and his little hand rubs my chest affectionately while his eyes stay on mine. These are some of my favourite moments – there is something so intimate and special about this time together. A time that only he and I can share. I love it.
When he finished eating I held him close in my arms and walked around the house gently humming to him. His little body stills and his eyes begin to close. Shortly after, he is completely asleep and I lay him gently on the bed. It’s the perfect way to put him to sleep; he is happy, relaxed, feeling completely calm and loved.
I am excited too because I foresee an evening ahead where I might actually get to eat dinner with my husband and enjoy some adult conversation. Not that this is completely uncommon but it is completely unpredictable – sometimes it happens early, other times late and sometimes its very much ‘eat on the go’ alternating with Pickle.
Looking at him asleep in bed, I stood there for a while looking at his perfect little face, his mouth already doing the phantom sucking and his gorgeous little hands making tiny fists. What is it about sleeping babies? There is just something so special about them – they are so tiny, so soft, so vulnerable and they look so sweet laying there by themselves.
As I walk out of the room my heart is filled with love for this tiny little being and I just want to pick him up and squeeze him and tell him just one more time how much I love him.
It’s one of those perfect nights; while I had been going through this beautiful sleep routine with Pickle, my husband had been in the kitchen making us a beautiful home cooked meal. The kitchen smelled amazing and as I walked into the dining room, dinner was served. We ate together, talking and laughing about silly things, enjoying a few beautiful moments together. It was only 7.30pm when we heard a little rustle from the bedroom. I looked at the clock… he had only been asleep for 40 minutes. We had both finished eating but I said I would go check this time. As I walked into the room I could hear Pickles little voice as he was moving his head from one side to the other; this happens a lot and usually ends up with him finding another comfortable position and falling back asleep. I’ve learned not to disrupt him too much while this is all going on as he is usually still pretty well asleep.
Last night however…. he saw my face and his eyes lit up, a big cheeky grin spread across his face and he let out a few of his irresistible little sounds. It was pretty evident that this kiddo was wide awake. No plans of going back to sleep no matter how many times I stroked his hair. After about 10 minutes of mucking about, I picked him up and rocked him gently on my shoulder. He was starting to get unsettled and seemed to be more and more awake. It was in those moments that I had the saying “if you cant beat them, join them” running through my head. What it really meant for me was that I knew I had no hope of putting this hard headed little Pickle back to sleep so I figured I may as well give in, let him enjoy some more time awake and tire himself out again – what did it matter? I was up anyway.
That was probably the critical moment where a decision needed to be made… whether I made the right one or the wrong one remains to be decided… but before I knew it, he was out of the bedroom and in the lounge room with my husband and I. He was sitting on my lap, listening to the music we had playing and looking around the room…. Did I do the right thing? Isn’t it better that this happens now than in the middle of the night? Trying to put this particular kiddo to sleep when he doesn’t want to sleep is a challenging task at best – he gets so upset and his little sobs into my shoulder and his quivering lower lip are enough to melt my heart.
Well….. my brilliant plan perhaps wasn’t so brilliant as I didn’t get him back to sleep until 10pm. Is that too late for a 7 week old baby? Are there rules to this game? I don’t know what the ‘right’ thing to do in this situation is but I figured that its not like he has to get up for school the next day.. is it really going to make such a big difference? If he is tired today he can just have another nap right?
There are some nights when everything goes to plan and others where it totally fails; but for me, winning at this game is when I can slide into bed at the end of the day knowing that my Pickle is happy … after last night’s events I have a little hunch, he is feeling like a bit of a winner today. I just hope that this isn’t a pattern that goes with him into his school years …by then though, I hope to have some sort of a plan….
Would love to hear your comments and suggestions on your sleep routines, wins, losses and ideas on this topic … thanks for reading.