Parenting and Bed Hopping: Navigating Night-time Challenges

Being a parent brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “bed hopping.” In university, this had a different connotation, often linked to the “walk of shame” back to one’s room in the morning. However, as a parent, spending the entire night in your own bed is an achievement worth celebrating!

The Night-time Struggles of Parenting

When children won’t sleep, parents will try anything to help them doze off. My dad often shares how he used to drive me around at night and then put my car seat in my cot to avoid waking me. He survived those early years, despite the exhaustion, as I didn’t sleep through the night until I was three.

Each of my children has had different sleep patterns. My approach is generally that whatever the phase, it will pass. With my eldest, I had to rock her continuously while saying “shhhhhhhhhhhhh” in a specific tone. If I changed my tone or tried to lower her into her cot, she would wake up, starting the process all over again. As she grew older, I sat beside her bed, stroking her head until she fell asleep. Eventually, when she moved to a “big girl bed,” I would climb in with her, often dozing off beside her.

The introduction of a cabin bed meant I could no longer climb in with her, and now she’s the best at bedtime, though she still calls me back several times for important or cute reasons.

The Sleep Adventures of My Children

My next eldest finds sleep boring and a waste of time, and I somewhat agree with him. He often ends up in strange positions both in and out of bed. We’ve found him upside down, hanging off the bed, naked, dressed in costumes, and even asleep behind the curtain and under the radiator.

He has a knack for sneaking into our bed without us noticing until stray arms and legs push me out. At one point, everyone but me ended up in our bed by morning.

Our 18-month-old went through a phase of waking at 3 AM and staying awake. He’s too young to cuddle in our bed without wanting to bounce and play. Currently, he’s sleeping well, but with children, things change quickly.

Our youngest, at 4 months, prefers sleeping on me rather than in his own bed. His grin when I lift him out of his cot suggests he’s quite pleased with himself. I’m prepared for anything now but wonder if we might need a bigger bed—perhaps something larger than a super king.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the nighttime challenges of parenting can be tough, but it’s all part of the journey. Each child’s sleep pattern is unique, and flexibility is key. So, whose bed did you wake up in this morning?

By focusing on practical solutions and sharing relatable experiences, this guide aims to provide helpful insights for parents dealing with bedtime struggles. Stay tuned for more tips and stories about managing life with young children.


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