SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK MUM – HOW I GOT HIM BACK IN HIS OWN BED
This post is brought to you by MiniJumbuk
Do you remember what it was like to have a newborn? I can vaguely remember. The details are patchy, but I do remember stressing about two things – How do you know they are sick or in pain and how on earth do you get them to sleep. Turns out I didn’t need to worry about either of those things. Hubby is a paramedic, he had the health side of things covered. And I was one of the lucky ones. The stork delivered me a baby that slept.
But that baby who slept, soon turned into a preschooler who wouldn’t!
At about 4, bedtime turned into a battle ground – us vs him. Who would break first? I am sure the neighbours were wondering what the hell was going on with all the yelling! He was constantly calling out – so we’d yell back, needing to wee 507 times, coming out of his room and apparently he was dying from thirst every damn night. How the kid could suddenly be so thirsty is beyond me.
By the time he got to sleep, everyone was exhausted. We would throw ourselves into bed because we knew the night ahead of us was going to be long. Mr 6 suffers from night terrors. Waking him every night in a pool of sweat, he would come into our bed and climb in, where the night terrors would continue along with sleep talking and teeth grinding and the occasional wet bed.
Enough was enough. Every one was tired and cranky. He was about to start school so I told him big school boys don’t sleep in their parents bed and we set about making some changes to help him sleep better and encourage him to stay in his own bed.
➕ One of the first things we did was ensure his bedding was right. We purchased a woollen underlay for him from MiniJumbuk that was reversible – so perfect for summer and winter. And we bought him a winter doona to use when it got colder to ensure he was warm enough. Even though he is a ‘hot’ child, he has slept much better with the underlay on and we feel it was worth the investment.
➕ We banned devices before bedtime. We had gotten slack in regards to iPads and we got into the habit of letting the kids have their down time before bed on the iPad. Did you know iPads emit rays that affect your sleep rhythm? They do! And it has been proven that too much screen time before bed does not make for a good night sleep. So no more iPads.
➕ We bribed him. This kid can be bribed into anything. Toilet training? Here have a matchbox car every time you poop! Sleep in your own bed for a week? A toy of choice! It worked. And it didn’t cost me that much. His toy of choice was something for $20 from Kmart – money well spent!
➕ We didn’t let him in our bed again. Once we made the decision to do this, when he came in, we would take him back to his room. We were firm and consistent.
➕ Now that he is older and at school, we use bed time to have a chat about his day and help him relax into sleep. The kids love their little chats at bedtime.
We still have nights where he wanders in, but overall since making these changes his sleep is much better. I have found that because his little body is at the right temperature and not overheating, his night terrors are all but gone.
Its safe to say, we are all getting a lot more sleep now!
How do your children sleep? Do they suffer night terrors? How do you deal with them?