If putting your child to bed takes a ton of work, or your child wakes constantly during the night, or maybe you dread the nighttime routine, you may not want to read this. It may make you envious or a bit resentful, and I don't want you to feel that way at all... I'm not trying to rub anything in your face - I only hope to encourage you. There is light at the end - something will eventually work for you and your family. Yep, it might take a loooong time - but it could be next week. So here's how ours is going. I pray it only brings you hope.
I was in charge of Charlotte. Jude had Joan.
I change the diaper, put on the pjs and rock Charlotte in the dark while nursing to sleep or almost asleep.
I very carefully put Charlotte in the crib and roll her to the side, strategically giving her a blanket to hold.
She quickly falls asleep. Hopefully.
Meanwhile, Jude is putting pjs on Joan, brushing her teeth, and taking her to the bathroom. Then he reads her a story in the guest bed and says prayers with her there.
Once we are sure Charlotte is asleep, he carefully brings Joan to bed in the dark and tip-toes out.
I then creep back into the room right before my bedtime and "top Charlotte off" with a quick nursing. This was to hopefully tied her over until morning.
This routine made us feel like less of a family. Everything was scattered. Charlotte never got a book, nor did she get her teeth brushed (Do you brush your infants teeth? I'm honestly curious.). And I never got to say prayers with Joan. As soon as Jude got home, we both wanted something more out of our bedtime routine.
I change Charlotte and Jude changes Joan and takes care of the hygiene stuff.
While I'm feeding Charlotte in the girls' room with the lights on, Jude is reading Joan a big girl story in the guest bed.
After Charlotte's done, I brush her teeth (with the recommended stuff for her age) and then I bring her into the guest room.
Joan's book is just about done and then we read a board book as a family for Charlotte (who actually dislikes books at the moment).
Then we all go into the girls' room, kneel beside Joan's bed and say prayers as a family.
We turn out the light, rock Charlotte a little while as Jude lies beside Joan and we sing a song of her choice.
Charlotte is placed in the bed, almost always awake, And we continue singing as we creep out of the room.
I no longer go in at my bedtime to feed Charlotte, and she hasn't woken up for a feeding until morning. (That's kind of a miracle.)
This has a few more steps, but makes us feel like an intact family. And sometimes Charlotte stands up and whines a few moments, but she soon settles down, maybe because having Joan right next to her is comforting.
And sometimes I hear laughter and squealing from both of them for a good while (like almost an hour). But this warms my heart and I like knowing that they fall asleep together, as little girls should, sharing their memories and their room.
Good luck to you and your littles tonight, and sleep tight.