Just when you think you've got something nailed in the realm of parenting, you child goes and throws a wrench in things. This is exactly what Signal has done to us over the past week with his bedtime routine.
It used to be that we'd change his diaper and put him in PJs, brush his teeth, and the head to the bedroom. There, we'd give Signal a bottle while rocking him to sleep. On a good night, the bottle and rocking to sleep would take in the area of 15 minutes. On a bad night, it took more than an hour.
After three really awful nights last week where Signal was clearly adjusting to being back from our vacation and not having Mama around all the time, he decided to throw us for a loop. All of a sudden, he no longer wants us to rock him until he's sound asleep. We go into the bedroom, rock while giving him a bottle, and after a little bit he will say "Night-night, pillow." Down we place him onto his mattress, and within 10 minutes or so he's asleep. We need to stay in the room with him until he's asleep (I tried leaving the other night and was met with cries of "No, no Mommy stay!"), but he's clearly on the road to a more independent bedtime routine.
There you go. We're not still going to be rocking him to sleep when he's 4. He's growing up and deciding what's right for him in his own time, and we're really happy with that. Now if only he'd decide to sleep through the night...