Being a parent brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘bed hopping’. At university this had other connotations. Every morning you could spot the bed hoppers as they did their ‘walk of shame’ back to their own rooms.
However, times change and as a parent if you spend the entire night in your own bed you are doing really well! Consider that an achievement!
When children won’t sleep you will do anything to get them to – and depending on the child you might have to try a range of things. My dad tells everyone he used to have to drive me around in the car at night and then put my car seat in my cot, because if he moved me I would wake. He tells me that he doesn’t know how he survived the early years with me as I was beyond exhausting! Apparently I didn’t sleep all the way through the night until I was three.
All my children have been different with regards to sleep patterns and generally my attitude is that what ever it is will pass and it won’t be like this forever. With my eldest, I used to have to rock her continuously in my arms whilst saying “shhhhhhhhhhhhh” in a very particular tone of voice. If I changed my tone or dared to try and lower her into her cot she would wake up and the routine would start all over again. I used to curse the creaky floor boards and late night telephone calls from family and friends. As she got older, I progressed to sitting beside her bed and stroking her head. As soon as she was in a ‘big girl bed’ she thought it was great as I could climb in with her, which I did – night after night, and I would often doze off beside her.
The purchase of a cabin bed advanced things somewhat as I told her I could no longer climb into bed with her. Now she is generally the best at bedtime but she will still call me back several times to tell me or ask me something, which is of course more urgent or important each time and really quite cute.
My next eldest is the most comical but he is overall not a fan of sleeping as he tells me it is boring and a waste of his time…the thing is,I sort of see his point. He is one of those children who ends up in VERY strange positions both in and out of bed. We have found him upside down in his bed, hanging out of the side, naked, dressed in a range of costumes, asleep on his sofa and even behind his curtain and underneath his radiator, snoring his head off.
He is also able to sneak into bed with us and when we are really tired we don’t even notice, that is until stray arms and legs are going everywhere and I end up being pushed out. There was a time when by the morning, everyone used to be in our bed…except me!
Our 18 month old went through a phase of waking up at 3am and not going back to sleep…let’s say this was interesting…He is too little to take into our bed and cuddle at the moment as he just wants to bounce and play. He’s on a reasonable run of sleeping quite well at the moment but things change so quickly with children who knows what is around the corner. Our smallest little man who is 4 months and who I still feed a couple of times in the night much prefers to sleep on me rather than in his own bed and the grin on his face when I lift him out tells me he’s having a good laugh about that. I’m certainly prepared for anything now but maybe we will need a bigger bed…I wonder if anyone makes beds bigger than super king? Anyway…whose bed did you wake up in this morning?