Since James was little, Chris and I always put him to bed together.
When we has a baby -and I mean in infant nursing mode - I would nurse him to sleep - sometimes it took two hours for him to fall asleep. I happily sat in his room with him - snuggling, cuddling and admiring.
After he would fall asleep, I would carefully swaddle him and put him into his bassinet. Chris and I slept in the same room with James - in a single - yes you read that right...a SINGLE bed for the first four months of his life. After that, he was moved into his crib and we went back to our Queen size.
Much didn't change with his bedtime routine. He would get a bath from Daddy, and then I would take him to his room, nurse him, swaddle him and again - C A R E F U L L Y out him into his crib. He was sleeping through the night by 6 weeks. He was an angel when it came to naps and bedtime.
I can remember when he somewhat stopped nursing before bed. He would nurse for about 15 minutes and then would be ready for bed. I would encourage more nursing but he refused. He really didn't know how to soothe himself - so Chris and I would both hug him tight, give him kisses and put him down together. We would pat him on the bum and then leave. The first night was rough, but the next night - he just fell asleep. It was magic!
There were nights where he wouldn't let me leave. I would do everything I could to settle him. Bed share (which he HATED), sing his song to him... Smile by Charlie Chaplin. Here is my favorite version. Sometimes I would give up and lay down right beside the crib on the ground.
I can remember when he was like two - we would all be standing in his room - I would hug him, then Chris. I would give him a kiss, then Chris would and then he would pull our faces together and make us kiss. It was so cute. He stopped doing that - then one night a few months back he did it. I burst into tears - it was a fond memory that came rushing back. Back from a time when my not so little toddler was a baby.
Recently, he's been wanting me to put him to bed. Chris still does bath time with both the boys - I take Graham after - nurse him to sleep and Chris puts him to bed - then I go in and cuddle with James. He always asks "Mum, can I just cuddle your bum?" It's slightly odd, but it's cute. He doesn't actually 'cuddle' my bum. He just lays there next to me. He asks me to sing to him..."Twinkle Star" and we sing it together. Then he asks for me to sing Smile. After that he gives me goodnight kisses and a hugs and falls asleep.
Little moments like those are the ones I want to hold on to. Tightly. I will never get these times back and I want to remember them as clearly as possible.
Do you a have bedtime routine with your little one(s)?