Get Your Paci? Go Night-Night?

Toby and I went to DC a few weeks ago. We knew we’d be doing a lot of driving and decided that it would be best if we left Em with my parents for a few days. On Thursday night we drove to South Jersey. We spent the night there and left early the following morning. We left Em behind.

Naturally, being away from him was hard, but it wasn’t nearly as hard as I had anticipated. He spent two nights with my parents, just two.

Why does the number of days matter? It matters because we’re pretty sure they replaced our child with an exact replica. Even my mother joked during a text message conversation we had last week. (The flow of the conversation is shown in reverse. Incidentally, does the iPhone do this as well?)

Emory hasn’t ever been a sleeper. He doesn’t like going to sleep. It takes a while for him to do so. And he doesn’t stay asleep for very long. We’ve grown used to it. We’ve gotten used to spending anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour trying to put him to sleep each night. (Naps have been easier for a while.)

Well, the first Friday he spent with my parents, he was down in five minutes. This is particularly funny to me because I warned my mother over and over again before we left that she’d have a lot of trouble putting him to bed. I apologized profusely in advance.

Saturday night rolled around and the same thing happened. He went to sleep without a peep. All they had to do to get him down was say, “Get your paci? Go night-night?” And he’d run off toward the stairs—actually run off toward bed!

I haven’t wanted to mention this to anyone for fear that I’ll jinx the sheer awesomeness of the situation. But the truth is, ever since he spent the night with my parents, all we’ve had to do to get him to go to sleep is say, “Get your paci? Go night-night?” And every time since his stay he’s run off to his bedroom. Sometimes he even grabs his crib and waits for one of us to lift him up. He’s done this twice per day (he’s down to one 2 to 3 hour nap) since we picked him up.

What happened at my parents house? It remains a mystery. But we’re not looking a gift horse in the mouth. If this particular baby is here to stay, we’re grateful for it.

But I’m not bragging. Because he still wakes up two or three times per night. Since he was born, we have yet to sleep through the night. I’m thinking another getaway is in order. Let’s see what grandma and grandpa can do for us in that department as well.


  1. Welcome to a whole new world! Hopefully the sleep continues to go well and becomes even easier. It is amazing the decrease in stress level in the household when the babe goes down and sleeps well.


  2. It’s a really interesting “thing” that some g-parents have with their g-kids. The first time our son slept through the night was the first time he spent the night at my parents’ house. Like you, we had given them every warning and made apologies for their upcoming night of sleeplessness. Yeah, he slept for 9 hours that night, when he’d never made it more than 3 hours before.

    Now, they still didn’t get any sleep, but that was b/c they were up checking on him every 30 minutes thinking something was wrong.


  3. We just left our baby girl (who is close in age to Em) with grandmother and aunt for the weekend…. and she was an angel for them the whole time. No issues eating or sleeping. Not even sure she missed us at all.

    They just know somehow… glad the new habit stuck for you. Hopefully he’ll stop waking up in the night soon. :)



  4. You know… I wonder if they’re like, “OMG! THEY’RE ACTUALLY GIVING ME AWAY!” and then they shape up about it. ;]


  5. I have been weary about talking about this to anyone we know, but Adeline has been doing the same thing for a few months now. Hold on while I knock on every wood surface nearby that it continues. All we have to do during the days is say, “Do you need a nap?” She’ll gather her babies she wants to sleep with and goes and waits by the baby gate. The most miraculous part is…she sometimes does this without being asked! She’ll gather her things and stand by the gate, pointing to upstairs.

    At night, after the bath time ritual, she knows bedtime is close so she goes to the kitchen and asks for milk. No more being rocked to sleep, just a story while she drinks her milk, then gets her teeth brushed, and down to bed with a nuk and her babies with music playing.

    The weird part is that she had given up her nuk cold turkey when she was 8 months old (now 15 months). She recently found one, and refuses to sleep without it. For awhile she wanted it all the time, but for some reason we decided it was only for sleeping time. Has anyone else dealt with a sudden want for a nuk again after a long period without it?


  6. Pascha, Em never stopped using his, so I can’t help you there. But I bet it’s pretty common. And he uses his only when he sleeps as well. So I feel ya.

    Don’t you love the bedtime ritual? I actually look forward to it. I think he does as well.

    Glad to hear things are going well for you too. And I’ll knock on some wood for you as well.


  7. Yes, I do LOVE the bedtime ritual. Adeline loves the time after her bath, which we refer to as “naked time.” She runs around, wanting us to chase her. It’s pure awesomeness, even during the occasional pee on the carpet episodes. :)

    And even though it was sometimes frustrating that she used to need to be rocked to sleep, I actually miss that now.

    She is very consistent with the bedtime ritual, and if something is done even slightly out of order, she gets upset. One of her favorite parts is when we lotion her up before putting her pajamas on. She’s discovered that she can do it herself on her tummy, arms and legs. She always tries to get it on her back, and when she sees she can’t, she hands us the bottle and backs up into our laps—it’s very cute.

    Just curious, Michelle, do you have an age in mind when you won’t let Emory use his paci anymore, or will you leave it up to him?

    And thanks for knocking on wood for me! :)


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