Walker sings “Itsy Bitsy Spider” — age 13 months

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Tonight we went on our very first date night. When Larry and I were pregnant, Grammy Jane was so excited. She claimed that Wednesday nights were hers for babysitting. And when Walker came home, I think one of the first calls was Jane, wondering when we were going to start our Wednesday date nights. Before Walker was born, I was thinking this was fantastic, that we’d love to go out and take advantage of our wonderful family babysitter. But it’s been 14 months (to the day) and we haven’t gone out.

Tonight we did. And everything was fine. We came home and there was no crying (Walker or Jane) and apparently Walker fell asleep while reading books. Hardly knew we were gone. I, of course, had visions of a meltdown similar to the one at the end of Indiana Jones (unclear who was melting down but did put odds on Walker). However, despite my anxiety, we did manage to spend too much at a multi-course meal at the Cliff House.

Being that Jane and I are Women Who Like To Be Prepared, I did write a detailed letter to help Jane with Walker’s evening ritual and thought I’d share it with you…

Walker Young’s Manual

Playtime 6:15 – 6:45 / 7:00
Walker enjoys playing in the living room with his blocks (he likes to knock things down that you’ve built) or play with his stacking rings (he has two kinds) or put things in boxes. He may want to sit under the bar chairs by the window. Or, he’ll walk around with you or his walker. I generally see how he’s feeling but start to talk about bath time around 6:45. I may not take him in to get undressed until 7 if he’s active and doesn’t seem terribly cranky or tired.

Prepping for bath
I fill up his bath before I get him undressed. Sometimes he comes in to help.

Getting undressed
Walker doesn’t always like to get undressed if he’s cranky. He’s not a big fan of his changing table. So, sometimes I’ll get him undressed in his room on the floor (he will often help) and then put him on the changing table just to take off his diaper. If his diaper is not poopie, I may undress him all the way on the floor. If you want to keep him happy on the changing table, I’ll give him his paci and/or something to play with like his book or spoon or Bunny Foo Foo.

Bathtime
Have a good time. We just play in the water and there will be a lot of putting the toys in the bath and taking them out. He has started to like to have a drink in his bath so I’ll leave a cup with water in the bathroom (along with a towel and washcloth). I generally let him play for 10 or 15 minutes but get him out at 7:15.

Ready for bed
He uses Triple Paste for his diaper cream (the big white tub) –- he has sensitive skin and has been having a lot of diaper rash. It’s good to try to distract him while he’s on the changing table. You can put on the CD player or give him a toy. He may try to stand up, and that’s OK as long as you support him. If he doesn’t want to sit down again, I’ve put his jammies on him while he’s on the floor. (Jammies will be on the changing table.) After jammies, he puts on his “sleep sack” which zips down from the top to the bottom. We generally read a few books (or he looks through them and then throws them on the floor) while sitting in the rocker. Then I’ll take him over to the window and say “Goodnight Garden” and put down the shade. I then put on the iPod. All you need to do is hit the “play” button. I’ll set it all up. The ocean waves should just repeat.

Going to sleep
Make sure he has his Bunny Foo Foo and a paci nearby. Then turn off the light and give him a sippy cup of milk. When he’s done, give him his paci. Rock with him with his head on your right arm. He may fidget a bit. Once he starts drifting off, put him in his crib. No need to give him a blanket.

Good luck.

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