Thursday, 29 October 2009

A wooden fried egg and other unusual bedfellow requests

Thanks for all the sleep solutions and hilarious stories! My favourites were:
  • Angels&Urchin's children sneaking out of bed while she boasted about their fantastically successful bedtime routines and sound sleep
  • Mandy and her other half trying to stealthily creep out of their little one's bedroom like ninjas
  • Hilary arriving at the top of the stairs to check on the situation only to find her husband inching out of their baby's room on his stomach, trying desperately to stay out of the baby's line of sight, 
and last but not least:
  • D wondering why his wife was taking so long settling the baby, and walking in to find her sound asleep inside the cot-bed with the baby

I'm sorry to say there's been no improvement on the sleeping front, despite our best efforts. Last night Elliot woke up at 11:15 pm - we were nearing the end of a nice little indie film so looked at each other hoping one of us would say "the best thing would be to just leave him". Anyhow we went to take a peek and the poor little guy looked so stuffed up, red-cheeked and generally miserable that we gave in and took him out of his cot. After giving him a little drop of nurofen and some teething gel, we thought maybe we'd pop him back into his cot, but then he snuggled into my husband's chest even more, and our hearts just melted.

Did we stay up in his room with him, comforting him and rocking him back to sleep? Sorry, no. Stupidly, we decided that if we brought him downstairs we could watch the end of our film and he would just snuggle up and eventually drift off to sleep. What on earth were we thinking??

Obviously as soon as we arrived at the foot of the stairs, he perked up and was suddenly right as rain, smiling and pointing at the TV shouting "ba! da! da! da!". My OH tried to cuddle him back to calmness, but there's little Elliot sitting bolt upright smiling. Damn.

We eventually had to admit defeat, and brought him back upstairs to bed, whereupon he decided it was most definitely the right time to escape my arms and play with his toys. Finally we wrestled him back into his sleeping bag and I patted his back and sang until he fell asleep. My version of "Wheat Kings" by the Tragically Hip's Fully Completely album always works wonders. My other half says it's because their music is so depressing that it makes anyone who isn't a Canadian hippy want to saw their own arm off, or at least fall asleep to avoid it. I beg to differ though I guess calling me a Canadian hippy wouldn't be too far off the mark. Anyhow, it worked and off to sleep he went.

Amazingly Madeleine slept through the whole affair and we didn't hear from her until 4 am when she woke up wanting a pee. I eventually managed to fulfill all her bedfellow requests (an enormous Thomas the Tank Engine flip the flap book, her orange felt trick-or-treating bag, a wooden toy saucepan lid, and a wooden fried egg) and let her drift off with the help of a Nirvana Rockabye CD.

Wish me luck for tonight, and don’t forget to read this blog about Ready For Bed Week. It’s an incredibly important cause, and there are some great reward charts for you to download too.

PS - If you've always wanted your own wooden fried egg (who wouldn't!!) you can get it on Amazon.

P.P.S. - These are some great books for understanding and establishing good bedtime routines, dealing with sleep issues, night terrors, night waking, getting baby to sleep through the night, etc. Teach Your Child to Sleep (Millpond Sleep Clinic) is particularly good and you can expect to use it on and off from about 6 months old to about 6 or 7 years old - I've lent it out to many of my friends during times of crisis and I honestly think every family should own a copy!

Friday, 23 October 2009

They're so lovely when they sleep - too bad they're rubbish at it.

Every night before I go to bed, I tiptoe into Madeleine’s room, wade through pink clothes, stuffed animals and little books (she insists on having them in her bed and then throws them out) and give her a little kiss on the nose while she’s sleeping. She wiggles it like a little rabbit.
I sneak out again and nip into Elliot’s room to do the same to him, although I need to perform some acrobatics to reach him over the side of his cot. He sleeps on his hands with his little bum up in the air, face firmly pressed into the cot. Relax - it’s one of those fancy coir baby mattresses the guy from John Lewis insisted we should have. I usually just manage to brush a bit of his tufty blond hair with my lips before losing my balance.
There is nothing so wonderful as a sleeping baby. Even on days when I’ve been at my wits end and have really struggled to make it through the day without actually murdering anyone, once they’re asleep I just totally fall in love with them again.

Too bad they’re so rubbish at it.

The past few weeks have been an absolute nightmare. Madeleine has only been potty trained since August, so she is up a couple of times in the night needing a pee. Nothing like being jolted out of deep sleep by a toddler shouting “I NEEDS A WEE!!!”. Meanwhile Elliot is sprouting some little teeth and spends half the night groaning miserably wanting his mummy. Poor little guy. I would feel sorry for them, but I’m too exhausted.

I spend all day being the grumpiest woman on the planet. I’m short tempered. My parenting skills are questionable. And I certainly don’t see the humour in Madeleine stretching pink pants onto Elliot’s head singing “Pants on your head when you’ve gone crazy!”. 

I have photos to prove Madeleine can sleep, so I know I wasn’t imagining it, but how do I find my way back to a good night’s sleep??

To celebrate Ready For Bed Week 2009 and the launch of my blog, I’m inviting you all to send me (janis [at] reallykidfriendly [dot] com) your grumpy morning anecdotes, your sleep solutions and the funniest sleeping photos you can come up with. I’ll post my favourites here.

In the meantime, don’t forget to read this blog about Ready For Bed Week. It’s an incredibly important cause, and there are some great reward charts for you to download too.