With the exception of the past few days, as teeth are being cut and all sense of normalcy has been flung to the winds, nights are a lovely and calm time here. We struggled mightily with routine over the course of the first year. We read all about putting babies to sleep, and nothing seemed to work. Sometime around the year mark, we turned a corner. We sleep trained using Ferber's book, and we also developed a great routine. The sleep training took 5 days or so, and the routine fell right in place once Julie had a set bed time.
Bath time is every other night, and we usually start that around 6.30. It's a typical bath time. After bath time, or at 6.45 on the off nights, we start our bedtime routine. First, we get into jammies. She often picks her own jammies out; favorites are soft, warm fleece footie jammies with animals on them. Right now, that would be her santa monkey pajamas. During the dry winter time, there's also a lotion rub down. Julie loves to get some on her hand and rub lotion into her tummy.
After, she gets books. Normally, daddy takes this on. They read anywhere from 3-10 books, depending on how tired she is feeling and how early we got started. At some point, she gets droopy and asks for the "boppy." The boppy is our nursing pillow. At 19 months, we still nurse twice a day (morning and night), at her request. I've thought about weaning, but she gets so darn excited, and it doesn't bother me too much to nurse.
After nursing time is teeth brushing. We have a little song we sing. I brush her teeth, and she will either brush mine or try to help with hers. We do the tongue last. Then, it is time to hug daddy goodnight. Finally, we rock gently while standing and sing a few songs. Finally, I lay her down in her crib, lay a fuzzy blanket on her, and say goodnight. No nightlight, but we do have a fan and a humidifier running.
Recently, it's been rough with teeth cutting. Some kids aren't bothered by their teeth; mine is. She is also a bit on the late side for teething, it seems. She only has 8 teeth, and she is cutting 2 more. No molars yet, and I am not looking forward to those. It takes about two weeks for her to cut a tooth, so I appreciate that we get big breaks between teeth.
I hope the sweetness of our evenings comes through. It is such a calm and lovely time of snuggles, and I really relish the routine. Even on my duty nights, I run over from the dorm for about 20 minutes to do my part. I know that, someday, my little girl will not be so little, and she won't want mama's help. Until then, I soak up every bit I can.