How Good Is Your Bedtime Routine?

Bedtime, bedtime, bedtime. The meaning of which changes once you become a parent, don’t you think? It becomes horrific, I know some people have a smooth ride and their baby is a dream and sleeps through etc, but balls to those people! Just kidding. A little! The bedtime routine has aways been such a touchy subject here. I’ve been graced with two very different children.

Child one, never wanted to sleep, not ever. Well, ok, he did. For 45 minutes at a time. Even through the night! It was exhausting. It was excruciating. It was horrid. And no amount of advice could help me out. I tried everything, and I mean everything. My baby didn’t care about advice. He just liked to cry, and in turn it seemed he liked to make me cry, usually on the bathroom floor at 4am when another night had passed us by without any sleep. I was on the brink of losing my sanity totally. I was told it would just last a  weeks, and then a few months, and then years? Years? Were these people actually full on kidding me or what? We tried baths, and lotions, and massages, and soothing music, we also tried yelling. Sleep deprivation makes you angry. It ruins those precious moments. So if you’re going through a time when your kids don’t sleep then don’t despair, you are normal, they are normal (unless they’re in pain then seek GP advice if you’re unsure), and it will definitely pass, one day. When that day will be who knows? Some days I wonder myself and mine are now 5 and 7!

My youngest co-slept with us for three and a half years, it was the only way he would sleep. And when you’re not getting any sleep, any sleep is sleep! This was our bedtime routine. People tell you co-sleeping is terrible and you make a rod for your own back. So, I used to tell them that if they found this rod I could put up my back could they let me know as it would make a lovely stand-up sleep aid! They never did find one!

At three and a half my child then transferred to his own room with his little brother in, and it was a miracle and we all slept happily ever after. Pfft, did we heck! I had to sit in that room until he fell asleep, hours and hours each night, there was no other solution. My child is autistic, it takes him 2 – 3 hours to drift off to sleep. That bedroom floor was crippling, and draining, but a momma has to do what a momma has to do. He’d then wake every few hours and needed reassurance to calm his screams. This went on for 3 more years.

We also had another little boy to get into a routine, but he was easy, he was no bother, he slept through the night from week 3 and on his own too. He was a dream. And then he turned 2, and it brought out the wild in him, a wild that is obviously never going to disappear, but I love his wild streak. Most of the time. Most of the time except bedtime when he thinks he is hilarious being an idiot to try and stall bedtime, but instead just infuriates us beyond furious. Then story time ends up being a circus.

Bedtime here is at 7pm after a bedtime routine of a hot bath and a story. Sometimes it happens at 7, and sometimes I’m chasing a naked Tasmanian devil around the landing, bawling my head off for him to get into bed and stop the nonsense. Bedtimes are often chaotic, and I’m left wondering what I’m doing wrong? We have no electronic devices after dinner, and they don’t have a tv in their room. We have a bath and a story and they have classical music on to go to sleep. And then it hits me. I am doing NOTHING wrong, nothing at all, they’re kids, they’re all different. And this is our routine, an often chaotic one, but a routine. Both kids, once in bed, generally drift off to sleep. The youngest has to shout 25 minutes worth of ailments (I’ve got a rash or I’ve got chicken pox or I have a sore bum or I’ve got something in my eye or I’m blocked up I can’t breathe etc etc) and the eldest lies there whispering for a few hours drifting off to sleep, but they sleep through. Did you read that? THEY SLEEP THROUGH!!! ur bedtime routine worked! Ha! Dreams do come true! Well, they have here, kind of. I mean they still get up early but not at the ass crack of dawn like they did for 5 years, so i’ll take that!

Bedtime isn’t perfect, and people who have perfect bed times, well, I don’t know any people who have, do you? And if you do then don’t believe them! Or maybe I am jealous? Either way bedtime mostly sucks, but is also my favourite time of day! After 7 years I think we have almost cracked it!

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