Bedtime is very special. No body wants to skip that beauty sleep and go to the office the next day with those ugly under eye circles. But when you have a baby, everything changes. You will have to steal sleep for yourself when the baby is sleeping. That is the reason why it is so important to have a specific bed time ritual for the baby. Like Paulov's bell and the dog the baby too will be programmed.
Initially when I began to plan a ritual for the bed time of my baby, the baby outsmarted me. (After all it was my baby) While attempting to make the baby go to sleep, I slipped into deep slumber and the baby kept on playing on the bed. After an hour or so I became awake and realized that the baby had devised its own program to make its father sleep.
But with patience (parenting is all about patience) I was able to devise a nice bed time ritual for me and my baby. A ritual which both me and baby enjoyed. A ritual which helped both of us to create a bond and then strengthen it. A ritual which prepares the baby for the future. A ritual will relaxes it and teaches it to value its natural peaceful state of mind.
The first thing I do before taking my baby to bed is to take him to the toilet and empty his bladder. Then I lift him in my arms and both of us go to the bedroom. I play with him for sometime. (That ensures that he gets exhausted physically and goes to sleep early) Then I tell him all the happenings of the day. (That relieves my stress and enhances the baby's linguistic faculties.) Then I ask the baby which song he wants me to sing. The baby does not talk yet. So he only smiles. He likes the feeling that his opinion matters. His opinion is respected. I go on to sing the song which I have been singing for him since he was in his mother's womb. You may be surprised to hear that the baby recognizes the song. The song has been associated with relaxation and soothingness.
I know now that the baby will soon go to sleep. So I too sleep next to him and pat him gently. I thank God for blessing me with such a wonderful child and ask the Almighty to protect him and bless him. I guess my prayers read God for the baby is in blissful sleep and a smile breaks on his face. I realize what is my most prized possession and I too sleep with gratitude in my mind.