09 November 2008

...To The Moon and Back

We began establishing a bedtime routine for Mallory this week. Previously our bedtime ritual consisted of Mallory falling asleep in her bouncy or swing at any given time between 5:00pm-8:00pm and Tony or myself bringing her up to her room, either attempting to change her into her PJ's without waking her or forgoing the attempt altogether and placing her in bed with her clothes on. After reading several articles, parent internet sites and baby books I knew the importance of establishing a bedtime routine and knew at 3 1/2 months it was a bit over due. On one particular parent website I read as parents described giving their infants nightly massages, bathing, singing, reading, and praying as all part of their nightly routine. At this stage, Tony and I felt successful if she went to bed with her pajamas on. I guess we have a lot more work to do before we qualify for any "Parent of the Year Awards".

So the bedtime routine has been established. It includes a 7:00pm start time, bath (if needed), pajamas, bottle, and story. Lights out between 7:30 and 8:00. It's been about the fourth night in and just as the books predicted, it's going great!
On this night as we lay her down in the same crib below the same words written on her wall "Sweet Dreams, Love You to The Moon And Back", I can't help but to think about the countless bedtime stories we will read to her through the years. And as we settle into this new routine; changing into snuggly warm pajamas, feeding her last nightly bottle, and choosing our favorite goodnight books, I think about how someday these moments will be all too fleeting. I look at my baby daughter as those words echo in my head, I can only hope this is the beginning of endless sweet dreams and I love you's....to the moon and back and all!

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