Bedtime Hostage Negotiations

Our daughter has grown more independent since my last bedtime post. Let’s be real, though, we’re still doing a dance, it’s just not the cha-cha.

We’re at a phase when bedtime tends to feel more like a hostage negotiation. We are probably breaking every rule, but this is where we’re at with bedtime these days.

And we will do anything.

Water? Check. Toddler-size Minnie Mouse? Check. Dolly? Check. Random fluffy dog from grandma? Umm, sure I guess. Plastic Mickey Mouse from daddy’s childhood? This is getting weird. More water, please? And how about another book??


I kid you not, each of these items is critically important. Like a recipe, every ingredient is required.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely progress here. But some most nights we need to remind ourselves because, well, after the third trip to the bathroom for more water, it doesn’t always feel like progress.

When this whole thing started (and by “thing,” I’m referring to my daughter’s life), she couldn’t sleep unless she was on someone. This evolved to co-sleeping and then the ever-so-careful transfer to the crib. And now we’ve made it to what has always felt like “the promised land”: falling asleep awake.

For the longest time, it felt like something I’d only read about in books or parenting Websites. I would literally think, ‘She won’t need me to fall asleep when she goes to college…’ to reassure myself, but as a new parent, I had no idea how it would all come together (heck, I have no clue what life will look like when we attempt to kick the binky habit, but one thing at a time, right?).

Ultimately, like many times in parenting, as proud as I am that she’s becoming more independent, I don’t feel like we can take any credit for it.

It wasn’t some calculated plan to “train” her. It wasn’t our “bedtime routine.” We just took a chance on having her fall asleep in our bed alone one night and it worked. And not just once! Trust me, we are still amazed.

Has this success been linear? Nope, we’ve had our ups and downs. Have here been nights since where she’s cried until we laid with her? Absolutely.

It was a total experiment that, on the whole, it worked. It also validated my growing suspicion that much of this whole “parenting” thing is an experiment and, somehow, that makes me feel better. Like we’re all just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what’ll stick.

Good thing I like pasta. 😂


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