I have memories that have stuck in my mind like oatmeal hardened to a pot about getting my kids to sleep when they were babies. Some were easier than others, but David was by far the most difficult. Many times, my life with him as a baby reminded me of that old "Lucy" episode, where every time she put the baby down, tiptoed back to her bed and gently laid down, the baby woke up screaming. I think about this now, because having a granddaughter has made me realize that, although, getting a baby to sleep is STILL very important (and at times difficult...), modern inventions have made it quite interesting, to say the least.
When Parker Ann spends the night with us, there is a bedtime "ritual" of sorts that must be followed if one intends on putting her to sleep...and KEEPING her asleep. When my kids were little, just like other parents, we FOUGHT putting the kids to bed. As babies, it was the pacifier. If the baby dropped it out of his mouth...or in David's case, threw it across the room like a baseball once the lights were turned off...we found ourselves crawling around under the crib searching for it. Justin and Sarah have eliminated this problem by loading the bed down with 5 PACIFIERS! Yes, you heard me right (and I wonder why we never thought of that ourselves...); One starts out in her mouth and then one goes in each corner of the bed just in case she drops the one out of her mouth, she is within reaching distance of another one. OH...and a couple of them are GLOW IN THE DARK pacifiers! Needless to say, the pacifiers are definitely one of the necessities required when "getting baby to sleep and keeping her there".
The second item needed in order for Parker to sleep soundly is her "LOVEY". If you don't think THIS item is important then just attempt to get her to sleep without it! Her parents have forgotten it a couple of times when they left Parker with me for the day...the child is NOT going to sleep without it. So, now when packing for her to spend the night, they pack not one, but TWO "LOVEYS" that are just alike. She falls asleep with one in her hand and once again, the other one is placed within reaching distance in her crib with all of those pacifiers!
Finally, equally as important as the 4 pacifiers and the 2 "Loveys" is...Her very own i-pod! We simply had those little musical mobiles that hung over the baby's crib that had to be rewound over and over during the night to keep putting the baby back to sleep. Justin had eliminated that problem by programming an entire i-pod just for Parker. I'm NOT kidding you!...When turned on, it says, "Parker's Lullabies" and it sits in a port with speakers that allows the music to be easily heard in the room...all night long! You heard me right! You don't even have to get up and go restart it; it just continually plays all night long.
These new parents have really got it going on and I wonder WHY IN THE WORLD we never thought of some of these things ourselves! Well, once asleep, we STILL tiptoe around, turn the television volume down and threaten the dogs (and believe me...THEY understand not to wake that baby up either!) about barking. We leave her bedroom door open and everyone in the house does the same; we need to be able to hear her on the off chance that all of that "stuff" somehow doesn't KEEP her asleep. And just as memory serves me...I am STILL so startled out of my sleep when that happens, I don't know my name or where I even am. Someone else ends up standing over my bed, tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "Mom...Parker is awake." OH MY GOSH! Very disoriented, I pry my eyes open and see that it is only 3 a.m.! "Robby...The baby is awake and it is only 3 a.m....What am I supposed to do with her?!" Of course, he only lays there and continues to snore as though he doesn't even hear what is going on at this unmerciful hour. And so I do exactly what I did many years ago when my children were young...and I must say that it STILL works. I change her diaper, put that pacifier back in her mouth, "Lovey" in hand and...lay her down right between Robby and me! She immediately quits crying (as though an on-off switch has been pressed...), snuggles down next to me and falls fast asleep. Oh well...So much for all of the "new-fangled" gadgetry; sometimes the old tried and true ways work just as well!
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