If you’ve seen the new programme “bedtime live” you’ll know that sleep is something that doesn’t come easily to babies and toddlers. Getting a baby into a good routine is essential for your own sanity however it’s amazing how hard this can be for some.
My brother has twin boys of 3 and a boy of 6 and when meeting last week he told me he still gets up with them on average of four times a night. He even shares a bedroom now with one of my nephews as the master bedroom just doesn’t have space for him anymore.
This made me feel very lucky for the sleeping patterns of our three, yet it hasn’t always been like this. Mitchell, now 12, took 2 years before he’d sleep well through the night, whereas Poppy, although a great sleeper as a baby and toddler, began finding excuses to get out of bed from the age of 3 onwards.
We think we’ve learned with our third. It’s her second birthday tomorrow. In her first weeks we were judged as she’d sleep on my chest and others derided us for co sleeping, telling us it would produce bad habits in the future.
We learned recently that she has underdeveloped lungs and this was her way of being able to breathe soundly, being alone on her back in a cot would not have been very good for her at all.
When she did move to a cot, she began sleeping through almost immediately so we moved her to her room which unlike our friends was completely devoid of anything except her bed, a chest of drawers, a chair and curtains. We’d learned that although we would have loved a brightly coloured nursery full of her favourite toys, this only keeps kiddies awake.
She’s two tomorrow and we’d love to fill her room with planets and moons, clouds and the sky as this is her latest obsession, yet we’re being quite selfish as she knows it’s for sleeping only, and we really don’t want to chance breaking that pattern again. So we’ll have to wait a little longer as for now her room is ultra-minimalist with magnolia walls and hardly any personality in sight – completely unlike the rest of the house!