Our little girl began protesting bedtime in early November. Nothing that we seemed to do made the transition into her crib for the night easier. At first I blamed the time change. Once we got her back to bed at her normal time, and the problem still persisted, I blamed her age. Maybe bedtime was just going to be tough.
Everything changed ten days ago when I tried something new. I grabbed a copy of Betsy Snyder’s newest board book, Sweet Dreams Lullaby, which was already a beloved picture book. I put the board book version in Isabelle’s crib at bedtime with the hope she’d enjoy flipping through the pages after I kissed her goodnight. On December 20th, Isabelle was calm when I put her in her crib. Therefore, I grabbed Sweet Dreams Lullaby from its place on her crib mattress and began reading it to her as she stood in her crib looking at the illustrations and listening, calmly, to the soothing rhythmic verses. Once I was finished reading it to her, I turned off the light, kissed her goodnight, and closed the door. Not a peep was heard. Every night since December 20th we’ve been reading Sweet Dreams Lullaby aloud to her right after we place her in her crib. It doesn’t matter who puts her to sleep (i.e., me, my husband, or a grandparent), she goes right to bed after she listens to Sweet Dreams Lullaby read aloud to her!
I had tried reading the picture book version of Sweet Dreams Lullaby to Isabelle, with her on my lap, once this whole tough transition to bed thing started. However, the picture book version didn’t soothe her like it had in the months prior. (In fact, no other book soothed her either!) It seems Snyder’s board book has become the secret to calming Isabelle down and getting her to bed without any tears.
AND, to top it all off, the title page has a picture of the baby bunny brushing his teeth in his pajamas prior to bed. Since we went out to dinner with family last night, Isabelle’s bedtime routine was thrown-off. Therefore, when I got her into her crib to read the book, looking at the illustration of the bunny triggered my memory that we forgot to brush her teeth. I quickly grabbed her out of the crib, took her to brush her teeth, and then put her back in her crib to read Sweet Dreams Lullaby to her. Think that flustered her? Not a bit. She was perfectly content to listen to the board book read aloud and didn’t mind the teeth brushing interruption. Incredible!