Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Toddlers don't sleep

I'm pretty sure that my toddler doesn't know what sleep is!! Maybe there is some midnight group somewhere full of sleep deprived parents, if your a member tell me where I sign up. I'm currently going into the fourth month of sleep deprivation surviving on coffee, thank god I got a Tassimo for Christmas or else I would struggle to even pour a cup. I'm well aware I'm not the first parent to be in this situation and as much as I would like to be the last I know I will not be. My son is very bright maybe this is why he can't sleep I don't know but daddy and me have tried everything we can find on the internet to try and get a good nights sleep. Here is what we have tried and not succeeded with so far.

Cut out naps 
We honestly thought this would be the solution quick and easy to do. Well we were very wrong on this one it made him over tired on a night. Also come dinner time he didn't want to eat anything he would cry and scream and get all worked up resulting finally going to sleep at 10 then waking up during the night for a drink of milk. So naps stayed but we have limited them to shorter naps.

No sweets after 5
What with Halloween then Christmas this was hard to do but we did it we ignored the tantrums and hid as many sweets and biscuits as we could. He doesn't eat a lot of sweets or chocolate but after his dinner we would let him have some chocolate and a biscuit and maybe a sweet or two. It made sense that all the sugar he had consumed would affect him going to sleep so it was one yoghurt or a jelly after dinner and nothing else. This also hasn't solved our problem although we do stick to the a yoghurt or a jelly after dinner.

Bath, brush, bed 
Although he has always had a routine of some kind we tried the whole bath then brush your teeth then off to bed to rest your sleepy head. I read that this should last no longer then two hours and that after your little angel was tucked into bed they would drift off into a lovely sleep. So we gave him a bath brushed his teeth and tucked him in. What is that silence?! No it is him kicking and screaming and trying to climb over the stair gate. This is when I tried the next bit of advice.

Gradually leave
So I have tucked him in he has his teddy, cushion, blanket and milk plus a digger and a car which he apparently can't sleep without. I give him a kiss and say good night this is when he starts to cry and get out of bed so I tuck him back in and sit there in his room and gradually move towards his door. Now this did work eventually but it took two hours for him to fall sleep I ignored his every request to go downstairs. Now it was half 10 and time for my bed which was short lived as he woke up at 3 then 4 then again at 5 where I shoved him in our bed as I could hardly keep my eyes open. 

What do you mean you don't read to your child at night. Ok so we never used to do it and this was because during the day when we played we would also read about 100 books. My son gets very excited when reading a book he looks at all the pictures and points out letters. We use reading to make him learn and not bore him to sleep. But we tried it anyway three stories later he was asleep it looked like we were onto a winner with this one. Night 4 and 6 stories later he was still wide awake talking about diggers, no diggers were present in the stories but he added them.

Sleep where ever 
This tip isn't exactly what the experts will tell you to do but we saw and thought you know what lets just try it. He always asks to sleep in mummies bed so mummies bed it was, when he is asleep the transfer happens and he is back into his own room. Of course he still wakes during the night but this means me and daddy can spend an hour together before going to bed. 

So this post is more of a plea for help then advice for any other heavy eyed parents searching for a good nights sleep. Our next step is to by him a bigger bed it's all we can think of now nothing else works for us. I just hope the new bed brings something even if it means daddy gets a bed rather then the sofa after being evicted from his bed by wide awake club.  

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