* I'm currently working on making our goodbye at bedtime shorter. We have a pretty scripted routine when it comes to bedtime, the predictability of it is comforting for all involved. Bath, Pjs, Books, Bunny and toddler take turns turning off the lights... but sometimes she's extra sad... and I wonder if it's because I'm just too much fun (joke/sarcasm). But seriously, perhaps the goodbye is too long- making her sad. Like when my brother and I would go away to boarding school each year- it was more painful when my parents would come in and sit with us at our boarding gate (back when one could)... I preferred a quick goodbye at the curb, like ripping off a bandaid. Thus our bedtime routine is still the same, but once the light is off, she gets one or two songs and then poof a kiss goodnight and to bed. She doesn't really want to be rocked like when she was smaller... so I'm taking that as a hint and not pushing it. She's much happier and not so sad, seems to be working (for now!).
* A fun new bedtime thing I've been doing- when turning the lights off, I'll make a face, then quickly turn it back on sharing another wacky facial expression... I repeat this until I run out of silly faces (which doesn't take long). And the toddler giggles and loves it...
* Another bedtime philosophy- fill them up with fun, imagination, and wonderment. Por ejemplo- I sing her a goodnight song (from our music class) where you sing goodnight to everything. We pick out things in the room, she'll make lots of suggestions, some get repeats... We'll sing goodnight to things from our day- the ocean, the bike, the helmet... and then work towards all the people and pets she knows. I like to think this is a fun way to reflect on her day, while being grateful, and feeling so loved that when she has to be alone in her bed- it's a comfort to think back on all the people and things from the song.
* While my cousin was visiting this past week with her 12 month old, her biggest goal was to help her daughter feel comfortable taking a bath on her own in the tub. After a bad spill, where the baby tried to stand up and fell on her face in the tub, my cousin would take baths with her (we did this with our daughter which is very comforting when they are tiny, plus it's adorable). I'm not sure if it was the baby's time spent in a kiddie pool in the backyard with our daughter where the water was very shallow and full of toys, or playing in the ocean, or the baths she shared with our 20 month old... but I've heard that she is now sitting on her own in the bath. SO if you have a similar issue- try having a play date where your little one plays with another little one who is comfortable in the water. And take it slow with them, if they want to get out- calmly remove them for a little bit and then calmly put them back in the tub... good luck!
* The toddler's language is developing like crazy- her newest word is "Hydrangea". She still needs a translator and there are moments when even I don't know what she is saying, which can be frustrating for all parties involved. It's a constant reminder to be patient and attentive, letting her know she is heard, if not understood. This helps us avoid any toddler-esque meltdowns, etc.
* She is really into bows and jewelry at the moment. So last night at bed when I explained to her she can't wear them to bed and I started taking them away from her, she was getting a little worked up and I could see a storm on the horizon. So I acted quickly and asked her if she would want to put them away herself in a special bowl on her dresser. She adamantly agreed, we did this, and all was well. Sometimes they just need a proper goodbye, on their terms that feels respectful. ; )