As a parent, you’re no doubt inundated, overwhelmed and practically barraged with a virtual mountain-high list of
things that everyone is trying to sell you.
The product pitches sometimes even imply that if you do not own it, you and your child will surely suffer the irreversible life-long effects of such deprivation.
There’s a technical term to apply to this: ‘Phooey!’ (Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s the correct technical term. Or it might be ‘thbbbbbbbpt!’ – the ol’ raspberry!)
In any case, here are the items that I DO consider essential to getting bedtime accomplished with at least a few shreds of your sanity and dignity intact:
This device, which costs on average about $26 projects a night sky of stars (with a little moon, too!) on your bedroom walls and ceiling. Some of the constellations are real, the rest are just random stars so you can make your own constellations.
It also functions as a dim nightlight. We put a shelf up, out of our girls’ reach, to place it on. It also shines the stars in your color of choice: red, blue, or green. Battery operated, it has a timer of 45 minutes, and then quietly shuts down.
2) Ye olde MP3 Player! And some little speakers. This can also go on the shelf next to the Twilight Turtle (or Ladybug) we have ours loaded up with soothing music that we played for the girls while they were still in the womb. We figured it would (hopefully) stimulate their brains or something, and make the transition to the outside world easier if they could hear the same music they heard while floating in amniotic fluid.**
**(Remember, water carries sound pretty effectively, so if you prop those earbuds or headphones on your pregnant belly, make sure it’s not on loud, or it will hurt their developing ears. It’s not like they have a broomstick to tap on the ceiling to get you to turn it down!)
3) The Heart of Reiki CD by Merlin’s Magic or other soothing music.
My husband and I were on a church retreat which featured a moonlight labyrinth walk and this music was playing in the background. It was very soothing and quite conducive to meditation and relaxation. I imagine it’s also good for reiki practicioners.
I also had this playing in the background when I went thru some of the IVF proceedures, and had it playing in my hospital room after the twins were born, so they would feel more comfortable.
4) Dixie Cups
Yes, you read that correctly – these are just the right size for those bedtime drinks of water, and lessen the chance that your child will flood the bed from an overfull bladder.
5) Child’s Favorite ‘Lovey’
If your child has a favorite lovey it might be a good idea to buy a spare. God help you if it gets lost, or is too soiled for use at bedtime!
If your child hasn’t attached him/herself to one yet, I recommend the Snoedel (“SNOO-dul”)
That was a pretty short list, wasn’t it! Of course there are more bits & bobs, doodads and whatchamahoosits you could shell out some more cash for, but I consider these the bare-bones essentials.
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