Sleep is a touchy subject with parents, especially parents of children aged 7 and below. And if these parents say it isn’t then they’re telling a big fat lie! My children’s night-life in this house is a VERY sore subject some days!
My 6yo was an awful sleeper from day one. Health implications and being born a bit underweight at 36 weeks didn’t help the nocturnal little monster either. I didn’t make a conscious decision to co-sleep but after 3 months of no sleep I couldn’t function anymore. Sleep was sleep. And boy did I need sleep.
He always preferred going to sleep on someone, preferably momma. He was a snuggler. He still is. I love that about him.
He goes through phases. From around 14 months old he would go to bed around 6.30pm and sleep until 8am with a few wake ups. Then he hit two and the wake ups were more frequent and a good 8 on the Tantrum Richter Scale. After a few months he settled and just woke a few times.
Add a CMP (cows milk protein) allergy into the mix too, that really messes with your children’s night-life (and yours!)
Then with the terrible three’s came night terrors. These are frightening and infuriating. There’s nothing worse than a flailing child who is crying hysterically for momma, but can’t see momma right next to him. After research though, we combatted these over a week and thankfully they became a rarity.
My 6yo now sleeps 6pm until 5.30am. The last few months he wakes anything from 3 times during the night upto 15 times. He shares a room with his younger brother, so this is a nightmare. I miss sleep.
My youngest, on the other hand has always slept alone from day one. I think a momma with a c-section wound, a wound drain, a catheter, and a six day old broken ankle didn’t give me, or him much choice. I’ll save that magical yet horrendous time of my life for a future blog post.
He loved his moses basket and he was no problem transitioning to a cot. The only problem was the effects of naps! They made him nocturnal, yet he couldn’t manage without one. It was a nightmare.
He enjoys sleeping. He doesn’t like people by him when he sleeps. As a baby he’d never let you rock him to sleep.
He used to sleep from 6pm until 8.30am. Those were the days! Now he’s up some mornings by 4.45am! Even 3.45am! And it doesn’t matter if he goes to bed at 6pm or 11pm, the child is up before 6am every single day. We average 5.30am the last few weeks.
My two boys share a room. They go to bed at the same time. They enjoy sharing. The only pitfall is that they wake each other up. Alot.
Some days I feel ok. Some days I feel like a zombie. Sleep deprivation is horrendous. It’s a cryable offence. I often wonder if anybody else feels this terrible?!
In my house we have a sensor. This sensor alerts my children whenever my butt hits the sofa, my dinner is ready, and when my head hits the pillow. This sensor is the bain of my life!
I get worried to exhale and get comfortable when I go to bed. I often lie on the edge of my bed, with my hair still in a topknot, just so I feel too uncomfortable to drop off to sleep properly – just so I can have ten minutes of peace. Then once I exhale and snuggle down the sensor kicks in “Mummyyyyy I’m scared! I want you!”.
This is just the tip of the sleep iceberg in this house. I’m guessing yours too? I’m hoping yours too!
Here is a typical night in our house, including bedtime routine:
(D1 – eldest & D2 youngest – 17 moth age gap)
5.45pm – Pj’s, nappy, amd bathroom time. D1 refuses to take a pee. D1 has a tantrum. D1 is ignored. D1 takes a pee. D2 refuses to brush his teeth. D2 brushes his teeth whilst in a martial arts grip by Daddy. D1 brushes teeth. We read a story. We are guilted into a second story. We get wise. No third story.
6pm – Both in bed. Kissed. Prayers said. A billion ‘I love you’s’ exchanged. D1 prays for a Lego Advent Calendar. D2 prays for a cake. Classical music switched on. Lights out.
6.01pm – D1 is thirsty. D2 is thirsty. Lights on.
6.02pm – D2 is crying to have suncream on. Lights out.
6.03pm – D1 has ‘pins and noodles’ aka pins and needles. D2 needs Spiderman.
6.04pm – D2 is too hot. D2 needs Lamby.
6.05pm – D2 is scared of his Gruffalo. Mummy removes the Gruffalo. D2 is scared of the other Gruffalo. Mummy removes the smaller Gruffalo also.
6.07pm – D2 is cold.
6.08pm – D1 has achey legs.
6.10pm – D2 snores. D1 sings The Wheels on the Bus. D1 is told off. D1 sings Incey Wincey Spider. Mummy laughs and says “Go to sleep!”
6.15pm – D1 snores.
7.30pm – Mummy sits down to eat dinner. D1 wakes up screaming. D2 is scared awake by D1. Mummy to the rescue. It’s hard knowing which one to calm first. D1 calms. D2 snores. Both are sweaty. Mummy pulls back both duvets. D1 snores.
8.30pm – Some swine beeps their car horn four times. I freeze. “Mummy! Mummy!”. Mummy settles D2. Both snore.
8.50pm – D1 wakes up coughing. He needs a drink. He refuses a drink. He squawks. D2 remains solid asleep. Cough. Cry. Cough. Cry. Cough. Cry. Sip of drink. D1 snores again. Mummy looks for the indigestion tablets.
9.30pm – D2 screams. Only mummy’s and dolphins can hear this scream. D1 snores away. D2 wants to sleeps in mummy and daddys bed. I say no. He moans. He forgets and snores again.
Mummy decides she needs bed herself.
9.50pm – Mummy lies on the edge of the kingsize bed. She doesn’t take her hair down. She doesn’t exhale. She doesn’t snuggle down. Instead, she lies there waiting for the words “Mummy I want you!”, oh and three minutes later there they are. Those lovely words.
D1 saw a shadow. Mummy convinces him to close his eyes.
10.02pm – Mummy sneaks into bed and gets comfy quickly before the next wake up call.
10.05pm – Daddy sneezes. Loudly. Mummy waits for her name to be squawked. Phew, everyone remains asleep.
11.55pm – D2 screams. He is blocked up. He says he has a bogey. He has no bogey. Mummys vapour rubs his chest. D2 doesn’t want Spiderman so throws him at D1. D1 stirs a little. Mummy holds her breath. D1 snores. D2 goes to sleep sniffing.
1.30am – D1 wakes. He wants mummy to put his dummy back in his mouth. Mummy searches for it. It’s vanished. D1 then announces he has it in his hand but he can’t put it in his own mouth because he’s too tired. Dummy in. D1 back to sleep. Mummy escapes.
3.40am – D2 shouts “Morning time!” Those words fill us with dread before 5am. D2 is bribed with sweets for breakfast if he goes back to sleep. D2 sleeps.
4.45am – D1 wakes up crying. I run like a puma into him pleading with him to he quiet so D2 can sleep. D1 wants to go downstairs. Lego City on the tablet persuades him to chill in mummy and daddys bed. Mummy snoozes. Daddy is asleep. Still.
5.25am – D2 bursts into the room and shouts “It’s time o clock!!” This translates to ‘get up now!’ We persuade him to play a game on the tablet too.
5.50am – D2 has wind. D1 cannot cope sitting next to D2. D1 punches D2. D2 cries before turning into the Hulk. A brawl commences, but Daddy is the only one injured.
6.05am – Mummy has enough. Everybody downstairs.
7am – Daddys alarm goes off for the first time. He hits snooze.