Annelise's favorite bed time story lately is Pajama Time! I sing it in a jazzy tune, and she really loves it. The last page is all about her getting tucked in bed and hushing down to sleep! I did some research online, and found that there's actually a song written already. As it turns out, my version is pretty darn close to how they sing it here: http://www.myspace.com/sandraboyntonmusic/music/songs/pajama-time-81010623#!
I try to read her a bed time story each night so it sort of become routine. We not so great at routine around here, though. But at least I try? I've been trying to sit her down in her rocking chair and have her hold a book that I read through with her. She's almost got the attention span for that now. But even if she wanders away for a bit, I keep reading the story and eventually she comes back to see what I'm doing. I think it's working to just read and let her figure out whether she wants to sit there and listen. Sometimes when we're reading, she tried to pull forward to other pages, or just go to the end and she says "ah-eh", like "The End"... but it's not over yet! She just gets excited? I have to force her to let the pages go in the correct order so hopefully she'll eventually understand that we're going to read it all through before "The End".
I've been trying to brush her teeth each night, too, but it's hard to do that since she always wants to rip the brush out of my hands and just gnaw on it. The toothbrush was one of her favorite teething toys, and it's still somewhat of a comfort item for her just to hold it. She got a Baby Pooh bear toothbrush for Christmas, and I've designated that to be her regular toothbrushing brush. Hopefully it'll stick.
I try to do a bath time every few nights. If we did every night, I think her skin would dry out too much. But she really loves bath time! Especially with the new squirty toys she got for Christmas! Starfishies, penguins, whales, walruses... they're all cute and Annelise thinks they're awesome. She's also got her little yellow ducky as usual, her Cheat Commando toys, and a couple of bath books. Sometimes she has so much fun, she doesn't want to get out. But she's all pruny, and really needs to. So I drain the tub, and she gets kinda bummed. But then looks forward to the nice fluffy warm hooded towel! That hooded towel she got for her birthday is the best. I should really make her a couple more of those now that I have a sewing machine of my own.
Once bath time is over, we usually have to calm down a bit by playing in her room, reading a story, or coming down for one more light snack before bed time. Bed time is usually between 8 and 9pm, but it just depends on how hectic or lazy her day was, or if she got a good nap in. We're not totally strict with routine, and try to follow her cues as much as possible. But she sometimes doesn't want to go to bed at all! Even when it's almost 9pm! That's when we know she's either hungry, or overtired and we have to let her deal with it and complain up there in her crib until she figures out she's tired and falls asleep.
She's a good sleeper, and I'm incredibly grateful for that. Even with fussy bed times, she usually falls asleep within 15 minutes of laying her down. I can only really remember a couple nights over the past few months where she just wouldn't go to sleep. Poor baby... I think she was probably teething at the time, and nothing was really helping.
So there you go. Our bed time routine, or lack thereof, as we currently have for now.