We are more than halfway through and we have found success. A great deal of success. My sweet little Doodle bug has mastered her sleep schedule. This past week has been tough due to a cold that keeps my tiny human up coughing through the night, but, remove the cold and we have a sleep expert on our hands.
Doodle started out with a three night aversion to the sleep schedule. The first night was traumatic for the both of us, the second night she challenged my authority and the third night she was a bit whiny. Night 4, night 4 however was magical. Magical and bittersweet. Every night the exact same schedule was followed and the pure ease by which we run through it now is fantastic.
Our sleep schedule started as a simple list “what to do, in what order to do it and at what time”.
Brush teeth: 8pm
Bath 8:05-8:10: (toddlers sometimes brush their teeth slowly)
Soap in bath: 8:15-8:20
Soak with Lavender Oils in bath: 8:20-8:30
Lotion & Jammie time in HER OWN BEDROOM: 8:30-8:35
TV with mom and family for a little while to cuddle: 8:35-8:45
Read to babies in bed in HER OWN ROOM: 8:45-8:55
Lights out. Night light on, music on, prayers and a back rub: 8:55-9
Mom departs, Avery sleeps
The timing is not exact. We start at 8pm. Book reading starts at 8:45pm. Mom leaves at 9pm. The rest is fluid. Baths can take 10 minutes or 20, TV and cuddles could be 5 minutes or 15 minutes. There is beauty to our routine now, beauty in the minutia. Avery expects the lavender oil, she knows I lotion her legs first, runs into her room, lays out her towel and lays on it for lotion time, sticks out her arms like a cross next, runs to my bed and waits to get her hair brushed, cuddles into my crook and climbs into her own bed with a baby to read books. She is sweet, she is quiet, she gets it.
This terrifying journey of removing my baby, from my bed, has actually been magical. There were a couple middle of the night wake ups and one falter on my part, I let my sick baby sleep with me from 2:15am until morning. That aside, it’s been magic. Seeing her journey through her routine with ease and seeing how confident it makes her to accomplish her routine, the sadness I feel regarding not cuddling her late into the night, has been completely squashed.
Let’s not kid one another either… I feel accomplished. I feel like a good mom for providing her this independence, security and self esteem. I feel like an adult that actually has adult time. Moments to do dishes, do laundry, read my book, watch my DVR shows (friends, the chew, etc), catch up with the adult in my life, my partner, without children. It feels good to have accomplished this for me as well.
Doodle will soon earn her toy and I will soon reward myself with something (a new pair of shoes I presume)… And then we will move on to potty training. For now, I will relish the final days of charting my Doodles success and dancing with her over stickers and throwing excitement at her like a unicorn spitting rainbows. Today I relish how far we’ve come and how much we’ve learned from one another. This mom thing is pretty awesome!