Rules for Putting a Baby to Bed

Tonight my husband re-learned the rules for putting a baby to bed. Or at least I hope he did. So, through the narrative of tonight disastrous bedtime I will share my rules with you.

But first, a little background:

My husband and I moved into our apartment back in December. Somewhere in the midst of all that chaos my now 7 month old (we’ll call him EJ here) went from having an 8pm bedtime, wakening (if you can even call it that, sometimes I think he just cried in his sleep until I fed him) around midnight for a feeding, then sleeping until 6 or 7 am and having 2 naps during the day to now going to sleep between midnight and 1 AM, maybe waking at 4 to eat, getting up between 7 and 9 am, and taking naps at 10 am, 3 pm and 6 pm.

I finally decided that enough was enough and in an attempt to get him to have a normal bedtime, I did not encourage him to take him to take a late nap and succeeded in keeping him awake from about 3:30 until 8 pm. He became what we call a “fuss-bucket” around 5:30 and boy was he a crabby baby (My original plan was to write a post called “how to know your baby is beyond tired” to laugh off the difficulty of getting anything done with a baby that is beside himself, but because no good deed goes unpunished, I’m find myself writing this instead)

Unfortunately, he and my husband both fell asleep on the couch. When this happened, I suggested that we all just move to the bedroom for the night.

And this brings us to Rule #1

Rule #1

He who is not carrying the baby makes sure the bed is ready for him

EJ sleeps in a pack n play as we currently don’t have a crib for him. This is what it looks like:

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As you can see, it has a changing table thing that folds over the top of it. It makes it a very handy pack n play (especially during the move), but it does have a disadvantage, if it is across the top its a little difficult to put the baby down without waking him up.

As I was carrying a sleeping EJ, I expected Hubby to make sure the changing table was folded back and there weren’t a bunch of blankets and other stuff left in the sleeping part. Instead, I found Hubby laying on our bed and EJ’s bed nowhere near ready for me to lay him in.

This brings us to Rule #2

Rule #2

DO NOT talk until the baby is laying in his bed and enough time has passed to ensure he won’t wake up.

Now, because I had the baby in my arms I had no way of getting his bed ready myself, so I had to tell Hubby to do it (who was face down on the bed). No matter how quiet we were, EJ was already in a light sleep from being picked up and carried through the apartment, so between my whispering to tell Hubby to take care of the bed and the commotion of him doing so, by the time I put EJ down, he rolled over, sat up and giggled. At this point he was awake.

Obviously pissed, I handed him to hubby and said “you get to deal with him now” and went to turn off the lights and lock the door.

When I returned EJ was resting his head on Hubby’s shoulders and I had high hopes he would fall asleep. So I very carefully and quietly went to the other side of the room and started to change into my jammies. After I took my jeans off I muttered “damn it” to myself, as I had misplaced something that I thought was in my pocket. It wasn’t that important, just frustrating. I was thinking to myself where the item might be as I continued to get changed when Hubby broke Rule #2 again.

In case you need reminding like my husband did:

Rule #2

DO NOT talk until the baby is laying in his bed and enough time has passed to ensure he won’t wake up.

He asked me what was wrong, and given that I was lost in thought, I answered without even thinking. Of course, by now EJ had his head up and was looking around, and any attempts to get him to lay his head back down on Hubby’s shoulder were met with wiggles and squirms, the kind that mean “I want you to put me down”

So Hubby put EJ in his stroller and took him for a walk. Once they got away from the people playing loud music, he fell asleep pretty quickly. As expected, the process of getting EJ out of the stroller had him in a light sleep, so I was not surprised when Hubby stopped at the foot of the bed and started rocking him instead of trying to lay him down. What I did not expect was for him to break Rule #2 AGAIN by trying to have a conversation with me while rocking him. And once again EJ was wide-eyed and ready to go.

So Hubby took him for another walk. And this lead to the breaking of rules #3 and 4

Rule #3

“Fuzzies” (Blankies) are comfortable and necessary for falling and staying asleep (particularly during the transition between someone’s arms and the bed)

Rule #4

Keep movement to a minimum, and any movements that are done should be smooth and gentle (like rocking/swaying)

EJ only dozed a little on this walk, but Hubby thought he was starting to get hungry, so, as it was almost midnight, he brought him back to nurse.

As I nursed EJ, I tried to pull the fuzzy he was wrapped in over his head so he would feel cozy and comfy. Unfortunately, the part of the blanket I tried to use was soaking wet. Hubby tried to convince me that it was because EJ had been chewing on it, but the wet spot was large enough that I suspected he had soaked through his diaper. So I unwrapped him to check, however diaper and pants were dry. The blanket must have fallen in a puddle, or so Hubby figured. But at that point EJ was wide awake and ready to play again.

And so now, at 1AM, the exact bedtime I was trying to avoid by I spending my afternoon trying to please a crabby baby who wanted nothing but sleep, EJ is finally asleep.

I however, am wide awake and probably will be for a few hours.

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2 thoughts on “Rules for Putting a Baby to Bed

  1. Dianna S. February 3, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    And you still have a husband?! I would have killed mine.

    • NaptimeBlogger February 3, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      LOL, yeah, if he had expected me to put him to bed each time, I probably would have, but the fact that (despite his errors) he kept trying to get EJ to go back to sleep kept him out of the doghouse.

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