written by Eric Walker (BBH Dad)
It’s usually around 6:30 a.m. that Lucan wakes. Ella too.
Katie delivers Lucan over to my bed, which is separated from her bed by the co-sleeper. Or sometimes I just reach into the co-sleeper and scoop up my little man.
This is Ella’s special moment to have ‘mum-mums.’
Since night weening, she’s only given access to nursing right before bed, and first thing in the morning. This period of time in the morning between Katie and Ella is special.
I peel back the curtains a few inches so a little bit of light can shine through. It isn’t much, but he lifts his head toward the light and smiles.
I peel off his night wear and wet diaper. He’s all bare. Then I cover him with a baby blanket and firmly run my hands the length of his entire body as if he has just fallen into a lake and needs the friction to prevent hypothermia.
He loves this.
He grunts and smiles. He stretches out his legs, and throws open his arms over his head. This is Dad and Lucan time.
It’s cool knowing that across the “co-sleeper divide,” Mom and Ella have their own special time too. Occasionally, I hear Ella giggle as I say something funny like Lucan-Bucan-Ducan. Or sometimes Lucan will toot, and I’ll say stinky. This always gets a laugh.
These first 15-20 minutes of our day have become a ritual, an important beginning of our day that we all cherish.
Upon reflection, here is why we feel it means so much to our family dynamic:
- This allows Katie (Mom) and Ella (older child) to have one on one time. We’ve found this to be much-needed. It’s a part of the transition process for everyone as a result of bringing a new child into the family.
- This gives me (Dad) bonding time with the new child (Lucan). I’ve already noticed how much of a positive impact it has had on our relationship. Once the day gets started, I’m often deep into work. I might not reappear (despite working from home) until mid to late afternoon, and disappear again until dinner hours. This consistent bonding time is crucial for our relationship.
- It also takes the pressure off of Mom (Katie), and helps preserve the closeness she has with Ella (older child). Ella still needs her Mom time. And Mom’s need all the support they can get
- Finally, our hunch is that this small daily ritual has contributed to the great relationship that is budding between Ella (older child) and Lucan (younger child). They’re off to a great start.
Ella has begun initiating play, showing affection and asking for Lucan to be a participant during random family moments and outings. The rational is that since Ella is still receiving one on one time, we’re proactively defusing any resentment that may arise on her part as a result of sharing attention with her new sibling.