Sleep is one of
those things that parents ( and the not parents) like to discuss with anyone
and everyone. Its always the question - oh does he sleep well? Does he nap
well? What time does he go to bed? You co slept? The list is endless. Its also
one of the things that parents (in my experience) have "competition"
with each other. I got 4 hours sleep last night, I was up 3 times last night,
my day started at 5am. My twitter feed is quite often full of the early rants
from sleep deprived parents. Its something that I need to remind myself
(daily!!) that (fingers crossed) this will not be forever. I will soon have to
drag my boys out of bed I'm sure.
Back in January last
year I wrote about my then toddler and his sleeping. The big one has never been
a great sleeper. He is an early riser (like me) and in his toddler years we
would quite regularly start our days at 6am (7am to me is a lay in!!). We had
so much trouble getting him to go to sleep too. We would spend hours and hours,
sitting with him in a darken room, or laying with him on our bed. Anything to
get him to go to sleep. I would dread bedtimes. I would hate it. The battle to
get him to lay still, not move, shut his eyes, stop playing with this and that.
To just go to sleep. I would make me grumpy, I would lose patience. I hated
getting angry at him - I may have even resented him some times as all I wanted
was my evening. I wanted to sit on the sofa - I wanted to be able to relax. I
wanted some me time.
It was not long
after I wrote that post last year that I found out I was pregnant. And the
sleep situation I knew I had to tackle. I could not spend hours getting the big
one to sleep when the small one came. I needed to change this. From a young age
we have taken the sides of the cot and turned it into a cotbed - M learned to
climb out of the cot from an early age!! With the new arrival on the cards we
made the decision to get big a single bed (which just about fits in the room
with the cot) We opted for a full size single - with a bed guard. Since making
that switch bedtimes have been so so much better.
When M turned 3 the
nursery stopped giving him naps during the day, and we definitely found days
that he did sleep during the day made bedtimes a nightmare. So as a rule now he
does not have scheduled naps during the day - however he does occasionally have
a sneaky car sleep!!
Since being in the
single bed (and little one arriving) we would go in his room, tuck him in, read
him a story, leave him some books or toys in his bed and then he has to stay in
his room. I do not mind if he is awake reading or anything - but he must stay
in bed. Thats it. 9 times out of 10 he is asleep with 15 minutes anyway.
The one thing about
my big son is when he is tired sometimes there is no waking him. We quite
regularly get him falling asleep on the sofa or floor anytime between 5.45 and
7.00. Trying to move him is difficult - hes getting heavy. Sometimes it happens
so quickly that I don't even realise its happening. He can be sitting next to
me chatting away and literally a minute later he is snoring. He will, when
tired, fall asleep anywhere and sleep in the strangest positions that do not
look comfy what so ever. He will fall asleep sitting up, he will fall asleep
holding a toy, he will fall asleep on the floor taking off his shoes -TRUE STORY.
And yes we do still
occasionally co sleep. He does creep into our bed and snuggle down next to his
daddy - or curl up down the bottom like cat. And yes it is not always the most
comfy for us. And yes we do sometimes wish that we had a sleep in our bed without
children clambering all over us. But it will not be forever. And why should I
feel worried or ashamed when we provide them with such comfort and safety. With
both boys as soon as they lay down next to us in our beds they fall straight
back to sleep. Happy in the arms of their parents. What's the harm in that.