Once babies learn how to sleep through the night they apparently don’t stay sleeping through the night forever. Who knew? I didn’t. I thought we did all that work teaching the little critter how to sleep so that this sort of crap wouldn’t happen but apparently it is a fool’s game. They do not stay sleeping through just because they could do it before the non compliant little rascals. You can do all your fancy sleep training; do whatever damn technique you like because it won’t make any difference. Sometimes those damn kids just stop sleeping. Now I’m not talking about the odd night here and there where kiddo wakes up a few times because of teething or being too hot or cold or whatever. I’m talking about consistent waking up that goes on for nights on end that result in said child wanting to be in your bed.
Sorry if this sounds mean but I have no interest in having my kid in my bed. I just don’t. I have no idea why this is such an attractive option to the co-sleeping fans. I can only assume that their experience is far different to mine. On the occasions that my son does sleep in my bed he flails about and kicks me and whacks me in the head and almost always wakes before 6am. It doesn’t really seem to me that either of us is getting our best quality sleep when we share a bed. So I would prefer he stays in his own. I have plenty of time available for cuddles during the 12 waking hours we spend together each day.
I willingly admit right here and now that I should never ever have done it. Letting him crash in my bed at any point was a big mistake. I have made a rod for my own back without a doubt but what’s done is done. Even though I have never had him in with me frequently it has happened often enough to create desire and the older he gets the more aware of that he is.
Anyway we have tried a few things in an attempt to eliminate any issues. It is winter at the moment here so we have tried changing the bedding to be warmer in case he was cold and with a proper pillow and duvet so it’s more like mummy’s bed. That combined with the port-a-cot trick (putting the cot up in my room for him to sleep in instead when he wakes) worked for a few nights and I thought I”d nailed it. Big mistake. That’s Parenting 101 stuff right there. Never, ever, think you have nailed something when it comes to parenting as you are guaranteed to get the problem back but only bigger and better than it was to begin with. So we’ve had wakings again the last 3 nights and NOW as soon as you walk into his room to resettle him he just puts his hands in the air and says “This way” and points out the bedroom door. That is code for: “Your bed please mummy”. This is new.
Last night I tried the port-a-cot trick again but he wasn’t having it. He did eventually settle in there but woke again after 2 hours and started saying “Stuck mummy”. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds. I checked and it turns out that all he meant is stuck in the cot. Yeah, well that was deliberate darling.
It is turning me into mummy zombie again. Mummy zombie was previously featured during the newborn phase except I’m now the evil version of her. I cannot cope at all. I mix up my words, can’t get simple sentences out of my mouth and feel tired and grumpy almost all of the time. I don’t have the resilience for it that I had when Monkey was a newborn. I expected to be woken back then. Now I just feel interrupted.
I asked his dad what we should do about it as I’m really at a loss now. His comment? “Oh these things just kind of have a way of sorting themselves out don’t they?”. Right. Yes I guess it feels that way to him. Mummying is a thankless task.
What tricks do you have for keeping your toddler in their bed at night? One of my friends tried everything and then ended up using bribery (you can have a new car tomorrow if you stay in your bed all night – it worked). I’m totally up for that approach when Monkey is old enough but right now he doesn’t really get it. If I said that to him he would just look at me and say “Car” in a very excited voice. Right on kiddo. You got the important part.