I read the parenting sleep books. I brought a lavender mist bottle. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in five years, one month and nineteen days. Since the dawn of time parents have been sitting gritty eyed, infant on lap, trying desperately to get them to doze off.
During my time as a mummy I have read so much about ‘training’ your baby or child to sleep. I am not a fan of the word train…a bit too clinical and what I do with my cat. Train your baby or child to use the litter tray. Train them to walk off the leash.
‘Babies shouldn’t sleep on their front’ I was told many sleepless nights ago…my son can’t sleep on his front, side, back, in the light, in the warm. He can’t sleep when the monster that lives in the cupboard is talking to him or when he needs a late night sandwich with the crusts cut off. Or when his hair hurts.
We tried hot milk. We put on classical music and audio cd’s but he just played imaginary cello and laughed himself crimson listening to Roald Dahl.
We tried extending his awake periods. Epic fail, if I keep him up later than seven I get a bundle of Spiderman onside wearing hyperactivity that soon slips into tears and gets ‘tangry’ (tired-angry).
Keeping a loose evening routine does work, since January little man had been going to sleep in fifteen minutes rather than our usual hour battle. *Does a successful parenting celebratory sound*. We found its best not to let our little one watch TV or have any screens after 6pm, too many flickering lights gets their little brains doing the Macarena.
Have a warm (but not hot) bath and have calming music on in the background, don’t turn it into a water fight…or have a panic because Lego batman’s head went down the plug.
Keep your child’s room light in the day but dark at night.
Put lavender oil on the bottom of pillows and add a super soft blanket over the sheet. Starwars covers seem to help too. Read a book to your little one, avoid tales with trolls, pirates or disgruntled rabbits.
We had a good routine in place…but then Summer happened; with its beautiful warm 5am shining-through-your-windows sunshine. My son has taken ownership of the Frozen quote, ‘The sky is awake so I am awake!’
I wish it was December.
I have always encouraged my little boy to sleep in a dark room because the hormone that is responsible for good sleep and is produced mainly in darkness. Imagine the bat cave and those are my sons preferred sleep conditions. Minus the bats. To avoid sleep deprivation and having to move underground I have been on the hunt for some decent black out blinds.
In my search I found VELUX blackout energy blinds that provide total blackout and as an added bonus for wintertime they provide high insulation of up to 26% to keep in the warmth. I prefer this type because they have no cord to pose a safety hazard, come in 12 colours (blackout does not have to be black!) and are not fixed to the bottom or top of the window – allowing 100% flexibility so it can be positioned anywhere. It also installs in minutes with VELUX Pick&Click so save me any angry mummy sounds.
I think I will get some for my room to avoid being woken by the light at five and thinking, well I should really go for a jog. It will save my knees…
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.