I have come a long way towards trusting all of those wonderful parents who have gone before me. At the beginning, there was so much advice that I shut down and basically said "we are going to have to blaze our own trail." My aversion to advice left me not embracing food introduction order or bedtime routines. I ignored keeping her away from people and not exposing her to animals. Again, we decided to blaze our own trail and we did in ohh soooo many ways. Ducky ate spicy foods and fed herself right from the beginning. We had her at her first outdoor concert at 3 weeks old and she was at the Bristol Ren Faire by a couple months old. She flew to both coasts in her first 6 months and through it all was a happy, well-adjusted baby about whom we had no serious complaints.
More than anything, Ducky had always been a sleeper. She started sleeping through the night at just a few weeks old. She slept so much that we had to wake her up every night to feed her until her doctor was happy with her weight. At times, she slept so deeply that I would have to put my finger below her nostrils to make sure I could feel the warm breath coming out. During the first 5 months, when she was rock-sleeping, Ducky was sleeping either in the pack and play infant holder in our room or in our bed a la Dr. Sears' Method. Around Thanksgiving, we decided it was time for her to move to her own bed. Since I was staying at home with her, I volunteered to handle the transition which took 3 or 4 nights of gut wrenching crying. I swear I went in at 5, 10, 12, 16, and 20 minute intervals but it seemed awful even though I knew she was OK. Dr Ferber's follower's helped me get the first night down after about an hour and then we were at 20 minutes or less every night. Within a few nights she was sleeping in her bed and fussing for no more than a few minutes.
This all ended after Christmas. We were blessed that year to go to Washington State to visit Allie's parents for 10 days and while there, Ducky was forced to sleep with me because we didn't have her crib with us and Allie was ridiculously sick the whole time. Convenient, I thought, since it meant she got the nice comfy bed while the baby and I shared an air mattress on the floor... Just saying. This was a terrible idea. When we got back, after a wonderful trip, we were exhausted and had to get back to our daily lives. Ducky, on the other hand, was used to sleeping cuddled with me and not keen to give that up. So for the second time in a few months it was time to sleep train. We punted. For several months, we took the baby back with us and all seemed fine. Eventually, with some Nyquil for Allie and Ferber-ization for the baby, we got her back in her crib and she started going to sleep after some fussing every night. We took this as a win.
It was a win, seriously, but here is where it got interesting. In the last couple weeks, I got the baby into what everyone has been suggesting.... A Routine. at We read books or play blocks for a while then at 8 PM we're in her room with the lights off and we sing songs until she calms and goes to sleep. It seemed like a nice way to get her to bed and magically, it has started to work. Tonight, when I brought the baby to bed, I started singing and immediately her head was on my shoulder. A few minutes later, laid her down and there was no fussing, just sleep. We have been enjoying Puff the Magic Dragon, Lullaby by Billy Joel, Your Song by Elton John and a bunch of others including some wonderful hymns from my childhood.
So here is my question for all you parents out there. What are some songs you remember singing to your kids before they had their own taste in music? I know we will end up singing Barney or her equivalent thereof someday, but I am looking for some fun, wonderful songs to share. Help me out!