I was debating whether or not to watch Bedtime Live on Channel 4 this week. As I have had a dream sleeper since she was around 8-10 weeks old I didn't want to tempt fate. I can count the fingers on one hand the amount of times she has had a disrupted night and by disrupted I don't mean running amok, just awake for some reason but easily settled back down or now as she is older I have got her up for a few minutes, then back again after a few minutes and straight back to sleep. Jo Frost would be slapping my wrists but my parenting works for me.
I have had the non-sleeper, it.is.exhausting and sometimes having a non-sleeper resolves itself with careful handling and sometimes not. From the programme trailer I see exhausted, fraught parents who are simply at a loss at what to do. If a child doesn't have any medical problems then I believe that it is the early handling of the sleep situation that helps to smooth the way.
HUH! Easy for you to say I hear you cry! Well no, I do have the t-shirt, but with TC I had already decided that we would (well me and her anyway, it doesn't take 2 adults to settle a baby) stay put and put a good routine into place until she was in the swing of sleeping (mostly) through the night.
The first 8 weeks were not at all easy (are anyone's??) and at times she was waking every 2 hours or less to feed (remember I was not the spring chicken I was when I had my first!) and 4 weeks in I was flagging and felt like I was past tired. The pregnancy had been incident-free but at 39 weeks my bump was huge and as many of you know, it's not easy to sleep in the last few weeks. Mother Nature didn't think that one through or was she preparing us for no sleep once the baby came??
Anyway, around the 6 week mark she started going longer and longer between feeds at night and by 8-10 weeks we were settled into a routine that still sees us through now. At just over 2 half years old she asks to go to bed between 7 and 7.30pm and is a sleep astonishingly fast most of the time. She only has around 3-4 day time naps a week now, I thought I would miss her 2 hour naps but it does give us more time in the day to go out and thankfully now it isn't dark by 4.30pm!
So, what is the answer to those children who play up every bedtime, I know having one is easier, 2 or 3 children feeding off each others bedtime mischief must make things a whole lot more complicated!
I'm off to watch Bedtime Live, I have no idea of the magic formula having had one of each albeit 20 years apart, but happy TC is of the sleeping through the night variety!
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