Why Sleep Routines Are Awesome but I Might Be Done with Them

March 21, 2016

It’s possible for Husband and I, as parents, that our favorite word is routine. It has kept us on the same page when it came to bedtimes, sleep training, food, and most other kid-raising things. There were always the few friends who told us that we didn’t have to be so stringent about our sleep routine but we liked it and it worked, both for the kids and for us. We’d give crazy amounts of hugs and kisses but when it was bedtime, we were business. Limited rocking, some bouncing and we were setting them down in their crib – they’d put themselves to sleep like champs. There’s no denying that both kids have been silly good sleepers and I attribute that to our sleep routine – no one can convince me otherwise; it has been a blessing and has kept us sane. But more and more these days, as I look at their growing bodies and changing faces, I’m tempted to throw all of the routine out of the window and rock, bounce, and snuggle the crap outta them.

What I am seeing these days is how very big they are getting and how very fast it’s happening. Rafaella talks to me like a business woman making me offers I can’t refuse. She uses me against me giving me the “options” on the table. “Mami. We can either go get ice cream or go to the pool. Which one?” I’ll admit, she drives a hard bargain. Santiago explains things to me stone-faced serious while nodding his head and pulsing his Latino hands as if making me understand his ideas with just body gestures. Rafaella, draped over me the other day, is three quarters my size. Santiago opens the fridge, fetches his own water and, for all I know, can probably drive stick shift. Both of them are way too grown. When did this happen?


My mind sprints into the future, seeing all of the times they’ll opt for sleepovers with friends instead of sleepovers in my bed. They’ll be adults before I know it and will sleep in their own apartments, let alone their own bed. And those thoughts make me feel like I’m running out of time, like any day I’ll wake up and they will have stopped asking me to sleep next to them. Being so busy trying to survive and thrive in this phase, I forget how quickly they move on to the next phase.

For the last month we’ve been away at the beach with my parents. Husband has been able to use personal days and come for longer weekends but, mostly, it’s me and the kids and a lot of room in my bed. These days, more confident as a parent and more trusting that their sleep habits are well in check, I’ve been a little less concerned with the pragmatics of sleep and more absorbed in the sentiment of snuggle.

There’s a time for everything, sleep routine included. There’s also a time to throw routine to the side and let the chips fall where they may. Every parent has their decisions to make; knowing when to stay on a road and when to get off is all part of that journey.

Was there something you changed your mind about?

P.S. Losing the family bed war and a day in my stay-at-home, writer life

    1. Can’t wait to talk about parenting in person. Hahaha. Next school year we will make that happen for sure. But yes. It’s all something. If it works for you, it works! Right?! We are lucky that our son still loves his crib because he doesn’t even try to get out and he certainly can. And our daughter has now stopped coming into our room in the middle off the night like I wrote about in the Family Bed post but every once in a while she wants to sleep with me and I’m all about it… until I wake up at 3am because she’s hogged the whole thing. hahahaha. oh well. I’ll sleep again… someday.

    1. Are we the same person?!? 😉 I could have written this (I know I have said that before on a post!). I go through stages of thinking, “Gosh, I need to get these kids on a sleep routine” (and also out of our bed) to last night thinking, “What the heck for?! Family bed snuggles for life!!!” 😉 At least one always starts the night in their bed.. and the other sometimes sleeps some of the night in their bed.. kind of in the middle part.. haha that is something right?! One big plus is here in the DR there is no pressure for kids to sleep on their own or have routines. No one does. So I think we need to embrace our island lifestyle more and say goodbye to sleep routine silliness!!

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