One of my favorite times of day is 8:30 pm. That’s usually when I scoop up my 10 month-old son and we say good night to his didi and mommy and go upstairs to start our little ritual.
Second, we turn off the lights and turn on the Twilight Constellation Night Light.
Then, we put on a song and have a cuddle. We tried the cry it out thing, and after a couple rough nights, it worked ok. But then teething, ear infections, and general lack of parental constitution landed us at this new process, and it’s worked pretty well (at least for our first shot at getting him asleep at night). I know that without a doubt we’ll have a drag it out sleep war in our future, but I’m not much for grand parental theories about getting them to sleep. Both my wife and are I pragmatists, for better or worse. We’ll try to be systematic and think about the consequences of the decisions… but we’re not much for short term sacrifice when we don’t have much faith (no matter what other parents say about sleep training) in the long term returns. Besides, this process is the opposite of onerous.
Usually, my boy’s asleep before the end of a couple songs. Often, he gets real drowsy, and I put him down and rub his back until he falls asleep. The whole time he’s chilled out and adorable, and I absolutely love this time we spend together. Sometimes, when the music turns off, I use a glowing seahorse (that plays Handel’s Messiah) to transition him.
When my 6 year-old daughter was his age, before she developed stronger opinions than Robert Hughes, we were able to choose the music that she listened to, and used it as an opportunity to expose her to sounds we really liked. We’re trying that again with our second. He doesn’t need any particular song, so I’m fortunate to be able to try different tunes out.
Below is a playlist of songs that have recently been in the 8:30 pm rotation at our house. Maybe they’ll bring some smiles and peaceful zzz’s to yours. Hope you enjoy.