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Bedtime for Babies? Not a Problem in This House

Vivi’s food for babies hand signal in action

Somehow, some way, there’s justice in this world. Or maybe it’s Karma. Either way, we got pretty lucky with this second kid of ours. Don’t get me wrong, we are lucky with the first kid too, but this second kid has the going to bed thing down.

Casey and I both loved hanging out with Addie when she was a baby/toddler. The kid was a pretty easy baby/toddler for 99% of the day, but when it came to naptime or bedtime Addie got a bit difficult.

There was a period of about six months where Addie could have been considered a decent napper. Outside of those six months we’d send Addie to her room for naptime and there she’d play for a few hours. She absolutely refused to go to sleep during naptime and she’s still that way today.

I’m pretty sure she got all of that from me too. I hated taking naps as a kid because I didn’t want to miss anything. Why sleep if I could spend the time playing with my Matchbox cars? Why sleep if I could pretend to be an Indian riding through the forest? That seems to be the same stance Addie has taken with naps.

Bedtime for Addie wasn’t much better. Casey and I used to argue and fight over who had to put Addie to bed. Oh boy, how long it took to put that kid to bed. We used the same nightly routine each night: a bottle of milk, a book, and a whole lot of rocking. If we didn’t rock Addie to sleep, she wouldn’t go to sleep. If we were lucky, we’d get out of Addie’s room an hour later.

Vivi’s different. This kid naps like a champ. As in a two or three hour nap each and every day. The getting Vivi to nap routine? We change her diaper, walk her up to her room, and, wait for it, put her in her crib and walk away. Done.

Her bed routine? It isn’t quite as quick as her nap routine, but it’s pretty darn efficient. Recently it’s gotten even easier.

Since Vivi was a baby, whenever it was time for bed, I used to mix her milk and I would raise her bottle above my head and shout, “Food for babies!” About two months ago, Vivi started using a sign based on that routine to let me know she was ready for bed.

Because I put Vivi to bed about 90% of the time, Casey struggled to figure out what her little hand signal meant. One evening I got home from work just before Vivi’s bedtime. Casey couldn’t figure out what Vivi wanted, so she tried changing her diaper, putting her in pajamas, playing peek-a-boo, and on and on, but she couldn’t figure out what Vivi’s hand signal meant.

When I got home Vivi looked at me and raised her little hand above her head. I said, “You’re ready for food for babies?”  That’s when Casey realized what Vivi was doing.

Each night, and it doesn’t matter what time it is, it could be 6:45 or 7:45, Vivi will raise her hand above her head and signal that she’s ready for bed. I pour some milk in a bottle and we head up to her room where she drinks the milk and then lays in her bed and falls asleep.

Putting Vivi to bed is as easy as that, and I have to say I feel pretty lucky about that.

Read more about my family on Moosh in Indy or follow me on Twitter!

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