bedtime rituals

Like most parents, I typically check on my kids before I go to bed. The Potato has a tendency to climb out from under the covers, and I cover him back up. The Bee gets to read in bed for a half-hour or so, and she falls asleep while reading at least once a week.

Lately, I’ve developed a new bedtime ritual.

My daughter has really dry skin, especially in the winter. Her hands are sometimes so chapped that her knuckles crack and bleed. Landisdad and I supply her with lotion, and remind her to put it on constantly, but she hates having lotion on her hands, which makes it worse.

A few months ago, I started sneaking into her room at night and putting Vaseline on the backs of her hands while she’s asleep. I thought I would do it once or twice, and then tell her about it, to prove to her that using it would actually make her feel better.

After a couple of days, I asked her if her hands were feeling better, and she said yes. I told her that I had been putting on the Vaseline, and suggested that she keep it up.

About three days later, she said, “Mom, you need to sneak into my room and put Vaseline on my hands again.” When I asked her why she couldn’t just do it herself, she said, “It’s gross! and it gets on my book!”


So I’m left doing the midnight Vaseline treatment a couple times a week.

What kinds of things do you do in your kids’ rooms at night, while they’re sleeping?


March 25, 2008. thoughtful parenting.


  1. Susan replied:

    Skin lotion, now that you mention it, as well as putting away laundry that I forgot to organize her to do while we were awake, and sneaking out books/toys that are ready to be parted with (b/c they are not used), but which will become Very Special if spotted again.

    And sometimes I just have to peek to look at how adorable she is while she sleeps.

  2. MetroDad replied:

    Bee feels the same way I do about her books! I don’t let any lotion or moisture get anywhere near them.

    As for what we do in her room when the kid is asleep? Pick her up off the floor and put her back in bed.

  3. Jeff replied:

    My wife will clip toenails and fingernails while I put away the laundry…but most nights we leave ’em alone for fear of something dreadful happening, like them waking up…AHH!

  4. CamiKaos replied:

    since the day she was born I have checked on K each and every night to make sure she’s still breathing. Then I kiss her on the forehead.

    Now that she’s older she kicks her covers off so I have added tucking her back in.

    I also often come in to put away her laundry since I tend to fold it at night.

  5. the end of motherhood replied:

    Mine are gigantic teenagers now, but I will still check in on them on the rare occasions that they are asleep before me.

  6. the end of motherhood replied:

    I loved this post so much I filched it today. Hope that’s OK!

  7. Jody replied:

    Well, I have to turn out the mini light in Elba’s room before I go to bed at night. It’s a little 7-watt thing, but doesn’t need to be on once she’s asleep. I straighten the covers on all three kids — Elba and Wilder in particular thrash quite a bit. And I do sneak chapstick on their lips and lotion on their hands, when I remember, but mostly I feel guilty that I don’t do that more often.

    I sometimes think my kids’ dry skin is an indictment of my parenting. V. foolish, but there you go.

  8. amanda replied:

    That’s so sweet. I rest my hand or face in their swells and hollows, behind a knee, in the palm of a hand, along a neck. The evolution of fit, from inside me to beyond, never ceases to overwhelm me.

  9. Kate replied:

    I always go into Alice’s room before I head to bed myself, and rearrange a pillow beside her. So she doesn’t fall out of bed. I know it’s silly, as the bed is a double and she’s been in it for ages. But I still have the need to do so.

    So there’s that, oh – and taking her to the bathroom for a dream pee…

  10. PunditMom replied:

    What a great story and a great idea! PunditGirl has the same problem and hates lotion, too!

  11. byrningbunny replied:

    Have you tried a Vitamin E supplement?

  12. MommyWithAttitude replied:

    That’s sweet. Every night I go in and fix their covers (I’m a little anal about covers and they make such a mess of them before they fall asleep!) and then I give them a kiss. One day J told me that he knows I go in and kiss him when he’s sleeping because sometimes I wake him up a little. I asked him if that makes him feel like Mama loves him and he said yes and crumpled into my lap. I never skip a night, because I know it’s only a matter of time before I won’t be allowed to do it anymore!

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