Shortly after Harlan got her toddler bed, her bedtime routine changed drastically. She considered herself a big girl and wanted to do away with all of her “baby” routines. One thing she considered that only a baby does was rocking her after reading our bedtime story. Now that she had her bed, she wanted to lay in her bed while we read her the bedtime story.

As much as it broke my heart to quit our nightly tradition, I knew she was becoming more independent and didn’t want to take that from her.

So from then on, we sat in her bed together reading whatever book her heart desired. Rather than rocking her, I quietly turned off the lights and kissed her goodnight.

If you’ve been reading any of my Babble posts, you might have read that sleep has been a big topic of discussion in our house lately. Avery is finally sleeping through the night, but hates naps. When it rains, it pours in our house and Harlan has also been having trouble falling asleep at night.

Every night last week as soon as we put her down she would scream for either myself or MacKay to come in her room. Once we would finally get her down she would wake up screaming again. I don’t know if it was bad dreams or if she just sensed the sleep tension in the house, but she just wasn’t her usual sleepy self.

On Friday night she was doing the same screaming thing that she had done for the past week, so MacKay went in her room to soothe her. I was trying to get Avery to sleep at the time but noticed through the monitor that he calmed her pretty quickly. Five minutes later he came out of the room and Harlan slept perfectly that night. MacKay mentioned that he rocked her a little bit when he went back in there to try to calm her down.

The next night Harlan wanted me to put her to bed. I made my way over to her bed to get ready to read her a story and she was standing over by the rocking chair. A little bit confused, I asked her to come over to her bed because she needed to get ready to go to sleep. She said no and that she wanted me to read her a book while she sat in my lap on the rocking chair.

As I sat down she climbed up on my lap and we read books together. Rather than putting her in her bed right away, I turned her around and she rested her head on my shoulder. With the lights turned off and us slowly rocking back and forth, I began to sing to her as she slowly began to fall asleep, just as she had done nearly a year ago.

She slept like a little angel that night.

It was in that moment that I realized all she wanted was a little comfort. In order to prepare her to Avery’s arrival, we’ve been in such a rush to get her to grow up. As much as she loves being a big girl and a big sister, she is still very much a little girl at heart.

We’ve been boasting about how much of a big girl she is, that we’ve failed to realize that she still has a little bit of that baby in her. And I am perfectly ok with that. Because she will always be my baby.

I’m chronicling my adventures on! Check out some of my Babble posts at Baby’s First Year.

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