Sweet Night-Night Routine

Emerson is a sleep fighter. The first few weeks of her life she slept like a champ. You know, like most newborns do! But then something changed. And girlfriend no longer wanted to nap… She wanted to stay awake and be a part of everything. We diagnosed her jokingly with “Baby FOMO.” In case you don’t know, FOMO stands for “Fear Of Missing Out.” And my baby girl definitely has it. 

One trick we learned early on though, is that she loved the sound of running water, or white noise. The first time I tried it out was back when I was still on maternity leave. I turned on the kitchen sink full blast, and just stood next to it holding her for like 10 minutes while she calmed down. It would calm her down & put her to sleep whenever she was super upset and crying. Then we found this video on YouTube, and we still use it all the time when we’re out & about. We open it on one of our phones, and put it in the car seat with her, and it works like a charm every time! So when she moved into her own room/crib (she slept in our bedroom until about 6.5 months old), we knew she needed a noise machine in there. We ordered this one from Amazon, and it works great. One of the settings sounds almost identical to that YouTube video, so that’s the one we use every night. It has a timer for 15, 30 or 60 minutes, and we keep it on the 60-minute timer.

Then when she started daycare around 9 weeks old, she would only take short, tiny cat naps for about 20-30 minutes, around 2 or 3 times a day. They said that was normal, and once she adjusted to her new surroundings, and got used to all the noise of the other babies, she would start taking more, longer naps. Well at 8.5 months old now, she still only takes little cat naps at daycare most days. When she does take the rare hour-long nap, we’re all astonished & proud of her. (Like Thursday, she actually took two different one-hour naps, which was practically a miracle!) 

So by the time she gets home, she’s exhausted! We get home around 6:15, and we let her stay awake to hang out & play a little bit, which also gives us more time to spend with her. Since the time change a couple of weeks ago, she’s kind of pushed back her own bed time. So she really starts getting tired around 7:30, and it’s usually about 8pm before she’s in her crib for the night. But for about 15 minutes before that, we get to spend a few minutes just Mommy &Baby getting sweet snuggles. (Daddy always “lets” me put her to sleep, because 1.) I’m good at it, and 2.) he knows I want extra baby loves.)

{Side note – since she’s still so tiny (2nd percentile now though!), we always wake her up again between 10-11pm for another feeding, to get some more calories in her. Aside from this extra feeding though, which only takes about 15 minutes total including a diaper change, she sleeps through the night! Praise the Lord for that!}

We go to her room, and get a dry diaper and put her pajamas on. Then we sit in the glider and turn on the white noise sound machine that’s right next to the glider. Then I put our night-night song on my phone, and put it on repeat. We listen to “Baby Mine” by Alison Krause (which is a cover from Disney’s “Dumbo”) three times, and I sing her to sleep. It’s a beautiful song, with the sweetest lyrics, and I love that it puts her to sleep when I sing it. My favorite lyric is:

“From your hair down to your toes,
You’re not much, goodness knows.
But you’re so precious to me,
Sweet as can be, baby of mine.”

And this routine works like a charm, 99% of the time. Sometimes she’ll fight a little bit during the first play of the song, but by the second time, she’s calmed down and is starting to fall asleep. Then by the end of the third time, she’s completely out. I squeeze her and kiss her again one more time, then I say her bedtime prayer. 

“Dear Jesus, thank you for this day, and thank you for Emerson. Now as it’s time for her to go night-night, we pray that you would send the angels to her bed to watch over her, and care for her, and protect her all night, so that nothing would get her. Amen.”

My Mama said that exact same prayer to my sister and I every night while we were growing up. And apparently I subconsciously memorized it, because now I say it out loud for my own baby girl every single night before I lay her down in her crib. 

This elephant vibrates & plays Rock-A-Bye baby (then turns itself off after 10 minutes), so sometimes we turn that on if she needs a little extra comfort after laying her down.

I always love these quiet, sweet, precious moments together while I rock her to sleep. I love the smell of her baby head, and how soft her tiny bit of blonde hair is. I love how calm she gets in my arms, and I believe it’s because she feels safe & loved when I hold her. I wish I could bottle up this sweetness, since I know I won’t be able to rock her to sleep forever. But for now, for this season, it’s one of my most favorite parts of the day.

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