Read any book out there on baby sleep and you'll likely learn about the importance of establishing a routine. So when Caroline was two months old, the first step was to establish a routine with her before bedtime and naps to signal that it was time for her to fall asleep. Here are three things that I have included in her routine that I would highly recommend:
1. Stories. We have always included books in Nate's routine and I wanted that for CJ as well. At nap time we read something short and sweet like Peek-a Who, an old favorite of Nate's as well. For bedtime we always read the classic Goodnight Moon. I am sure we'll mix it up as she gets older, and start reading classic literature from Stephanie Meyer, but right now she seems to enjoy these and I like them too.
2. Loveys. It's funny how some kids are really drawn to comfort objects and others are not. Nate didn't really connect with anything (other than his hair and mine) until he was older - maybe around 3 years old. CJ, on the other hand, LOVES grasping and sucking on fabric. So I embraced that natural inclination and got her these blankets from Aden and Anais. Since she is only 5 1/2 months, I haven't put them in with her at bedtime. But she regularly uses them to fall asleep and while she's in the car.
3. Music. Nate still starts the night with a round of music, often U2 (obviously). For Caroline, I've been using her mobile as a way to signal the shift to sleep. We started off with this mobile, which is portable and really easy to use. But the song was 30 minutes, which I felt was too long. We now use this mobile, which was Nate's, because the songs play for 15 minutes instead.
We are working on Caroline falling to sleep independently at nap time right now. It's so interesting to see the ways in which she is similar to Nate and the ways in which she is different - so far anyway. One thing is for certain...
Few things are more precious than a sleeping baby.