Squish’s sleep is something that worries me every now and then. He still nurses 2-3 times at night. He doesn’t wake up fully, but he will stir and lift my shirt up to latch.
We’re also at a point where I’m the only one who can put him to sleep. When I leave him with his Lola Myrna in the mornings, even if he’s sleepy, he won’t nap until I come back. Mikey can’t put him to sleep either. Even if he’s on the brink of sleeping, he fights it. But as soon as he gets on the boob, he’ll close his eyes. Sometimes he’ll only latch for a few minutes and then he’ll fall asleep.
Thankfully, Squish sleeps pretty deeply at night. Mikey moves around a lot (and so does Squish), and he stays asleep through most of it (except for the night of the great snore fest). Unfortunately, he’s a lighter sleeper during the day. I don’t know what it is about him, but he will stay asleep in the most uncomfortable positions just as long as I’m next to him. But as soon as I get up, I have 15-20 minutes at most.
We’re still not sure about what to do with the whole weaning situation, but we’re trying to consistently enforce a bedtime routine so that Squish will start associating sleep with these activities. Here’s what we do:
Bath time. There’s an old wives’ tale here in the Philippines that highly discourages bathing babies at night. There’s absolutely no science behind this (especially in our tropical country—it’s not like the temperature significantly drops at night!) so we choose to bathe Squishy at night. By the time we give him a bath, Squish is done with all his meals, so we get to wash off all the hidden food particles lodged in the funniest places. My favorite reason for bathing Squish at night is that Mikey gets to give him his bath. Squish loves the water and his Papa is gone for most of the day. I love seeing him have fun with his father. We recently started using Johnson’s bedtime baby bath. It’s supposed to give you an extra hour of sleep, but it doesn’t really work for us. It smells really good though.
Lotion/Balm + Diaper + PJs. I usually end up scooping up a crying Squish from his bath. (We’ve started signalling the end of bath time with the clean up song and we start to put away his bath toys. It helps a little.) After drying Squish up, the first thing I do is slather Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy lotion on him (or on nights when his skin is acting up or seems extra dry—Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Balm). And then I put Ihle’s Paste on his butt. Put on his diaper and then his pajamas.
Last playtime. If he still seems energetic, we let him play a little bit. We turn off the main bedroom lights and leave a lamp on. We try not to do anything exciting anymore. He usually plays with his toys on his own. Sometimes, I’ll play his sleepy time playlist. I usually sit in bed and after a few minutes, Squish will want to join me in bed.
Bedtime Story. The first thing we do in bed is read to Squish. Right now, we’re reading How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight and Goodnight Moon. Usually, we’re doing this while he breastfeeds. He’ll unlatch when he wants to engage (like when he wants to point at the red balloon or wave goodbye like the dinosaur at the end of the book).
Baby Massage. It’s not really a massage, but we like to put Vick’s BabyRub on the soles of his feet, his forehead, and his chest. The rosemary and Lavender scent is so comforting. It’s our new favorite!
Bedtime Story encore. Sometimes, Max will reach out for one of his books and make us read it to him again. Sometimes, he’ll make you skip to the part he likes. Haha.
After the stories and massage, Mikey and are quiet and Max is usually nursing. If he’s quietly nursing, he’ll be asleep in 10 minutes. But sometimes, when he’s still pretty amped up, we turn off the lamp and let him roll around in bed in the dark until he’s ready to nurse to sleep.
We’re hoping that if Max learns how to associate sleep with these activities (rather than nursing and being close to Momma), it’ll be easier to put him to sleep. So far though, he just seems to enjoy the activities. We’ll wait and see if it starts to work. Haha. After all, this is a marathon and not a sprint.
Happy sleeping everyone!