To watch a Ninja sleep is a beautiful thing simply because Ninjas aren’t easy to put down. The work begins as soon as they wake up. These are the weapons that aid me in sending my Ninjas off to the land of nod.
* Keep ’em busy! Ninjas won’t go down easily if they still have energy pent up inside, and I’m not a fan of trying to put non-sleepy Ninjas to sleep. Wear them out!
* Stick to that schedule! Routines are a big help for my Ninjas. They know what to expect every hour of every day, which means their bodies are attuned to nap/bed times and will start to slow them down about an hour before they hit the hay. Brilliant! Routines also help bring regularity to the irregular life of a military family.
A big part of my Ninjas sleepy time routine is story time. Every kid loves a good story. I’m a big believer in reading to my Ninjas to connect with them. I also feel it will help with their language development, and their imagination – something I hope they never lose. Finally, I’d like to think that reading to them now will help them grow into book-loving adults so that we’ll have something in common when they’re at an age when we have nothing in common. Both Ninjas get a short story (or two, if you’re Ninja #1), a few kisses and a cuddle, and then the lights go out.
* Ambience! Lighting is everything. Ninja #1 has his friend, Sleepy Turtle. Sleepy Turtle is a nightlight. A fun one. The stars Sleepy Turtle shines on the ceiling are constellations, and can be identified via the booklet that accompanies Sleepy Turtle. While he’s too young to grasp the concept of constellations, Ninja #1 has fun trying to pick out different shapes made by the stars on his ceiling. If all else fails, counting the stars is a favorite pastime too.
Ninja #2 has a magical nightlight too, which paints a rotating picture on the ceiling (ooooh!). Ninja #1 was a bit jealous when Ninja #2 got this nightlight. It was a battle he lost.
* Sound! My Ninjas don’t sleep to silence simply because I don’t want them waking up at every noise they hear. When my Ninjas are sleeping, I’m busy finishing up some pretty noisy chores, such as vacuuming and washing dishes, which would never get done if my Ninjas kept waking up.
Ninja #2s nightlight plays music and a few sounds, but because Ninja #2 is nit-picky, he occasionally gets bored with the standard music/sounds. Enter, the app Sleep Pillow Baby Lullaby. Brilliant! The app also has a timer so you don’t have to worry about it running all night. Ninja #1 likes listening to the whales on the regular Sleep Pillow Sounds app. I’ll admit, it was very hard not to laugh when I heard whales singing in my Ninja’s room (thoughts of Dory’s varying whale dialects come to mind), but it works so I can’t complain.
* Comforting Cuddles! Ninja #1 has Mr. Elephant and Mr. Frog to keep him company at night. They’re a couple of soft, squishy Scentsy Buddies, that send Ninja #1 safely off to dreamland. Ninja #2 has a cuddle buddy of his own, by Carter’s, which he squeezes the life out of each night.
* Bedtime attire! Both Ninjas have their pajamas (100% cotton because of their Eczema), but Ninja #2 also has a Halo SleepSack (also 100% cotton), so I don’t have to worry about him strangling or suffocating himself in a blanket. If I’d known about SleepSacks when Ninja #1 was a baby I probably wouldn’t have spent so many nights constantly peeking in on him to make sure he was still alive. Yes, paranoid mother, that’s me. When Ninja #2 started to wiggle his way out of a swaddle all of those fears returned and I scoured the Internet for a solution. The Halo SleepSack was developed by a couple who lost their firstborn child to SIDS. It’s amazing they were able to channel their pain into a possible solution and help protect other children from SIDS. This brilliant product helped ease my Ninja-nap-time fears. It will be a baby shower present for everyone I know from now on!
So that’s what it takes to make sure my Ninjas snore the night away. What do you do to tuck your Ninjas in at night?