Our little board book of Goodnight Moon is a little battered and has a masking tape spine, but is currently serving as bedtime routine material for our third child.
When our son Liam was about eight months old, and we first got hold of a copy of the No Cry Sleep Solution, we also got a copy of Goodnight Moon, to incorporate into our new bedtime settling programme. Liam enjoyed looking at it, but he also enjoyed chewing on it – hence the masking tape spine! Nonetheless, we read it to him every night before bed for months, if not a year or more.
Our second child, Mikaela, was not so interested in books at that young age, so she missed out on hearing about the great green room night in, night out like Liam did, but it was still a regular part of our routine with her. Just not quite so regular.
When I was pregnant with our third child, I read that baby’s have been known to respond to books or songs that they have heard frequently in utero (books being read over and over to an older child, for instance). So for the last few months of my pregnancy I recited Goodnight moon to my belly before I went to sleep. Now, this may be a co-incidence, but when Eliane was a week or two old and was crying, I started reciting it quietly too her, while finding a comfortable place to nurse. Well, she stopped crying almost instantly! It never worked again, however.
We introduced it this well worn book as part of Eliane’s bedtime routine a few months ago, when she was perhaps 10 or 11 months old. But after the first few nights she would just want to grab it and toss it around, so it got put away for a while. However, during the past week I have been finding it harder to settle her down at night than usual. She wants to nurse for a while, but then go back to playing instead of drifting off peacefully. So, I have gotten tougher about having a clear bedtime routine, from dinner, to PJs to the rocking chair and bed.
And part of that routine is again looking at Goodnight Moon. So far, Eliane usually looks attentively for the first few pages, until we get to the kittens – then she just wants to keep going back to them, and seeing “eeoou” in a cute little high pitched voice. However, we finish with our own little rhyme, saying goodnight to some bits and pieces in her room, which she seems to like. She waves goodnight obediently to her zebra mobile, and then settles down to nurse and go to sleep.
Goodnight Zebra hanging over the bed.
Goodnight light, in the colour red.
Goodnight cot, goodnight beads.
Goodnight nobody, goodnight seeds.
And goodnight to the bee who is looking for weeds.
Goodnight stars, goodnight air, and goodnight noises, everywhere.