Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Taking the sleep by the horns

Things are changing in this house! We are going to solve this sleeping situation once and for all. I'm determined!

The boys have always been such good sleepers. But not anymore. They take forever to go to sleep at night, despite the same routine. They also wake throughout the night and come running into our bedroom and our bed.

The problem isn't really them; it's us. We're inconsistent. Some nights we are firm, resistant to their cries, and return them to their beds. Other nights we are just so bloody tired we either don't have the energy to resist, or, sometimes, don't even realise they are in with us until hours later.

It's been going on for so long now that neither T nor I can remember the last time we had a full night's sleep. I've also developed what must surely be an axiety-related insomnia issue. The minute I wake up, that's it for me. I can't get back to sleep for hours and hours, despite trying so very hard to. My brain starts whirring and that's it. I usually manage to drift back off, sometime around 5am, which is when Hamish usually decides to join us, and I'm awake again.

The most difficult part of parenting for me was always going to be the sleep deprivation. I've always needed a lot of sleep, and I'm not great without it. I get overly emotional, more highly strung, and rather a bit too shouty. And teary. It's not pretty.

Anyhow. No more!

Enter the sleep reward charts.

I took the boys shopping yesterday and let them pick out two rewards each and a packet of stickers. The idea is that they earn a sticker each morning they wake up after sleeping in their own beds for the whole night. When they've earned seven stickers, they get the first reward. Then after the second week, they get the second reward. Hopefully two weeks will be enough to create new habits.

Last night was night one. Both boys earned their sticker. That's not to say we slept uninterrupted all night. Oh no no no no. We were awake. A lot. In fact, I have been awake since 3.23am. But the important thing is the boys stayed in their beds. They tried. They woke. They called out. They got up. But we didn't give in. They were really excited to earn their stickers this morning, and maybe the light at the end of the tunnel just got a bit brighter.


  1. I really feel for you reading this. We are in a similar situation. I am a "fan" of attachment parenting. I don't like leaving babies to cry so have always had to lay with my boys to get them off to sleep. We sorted this out with Tom by the time he was 2 - I had to as number 3 had arrived. So now Tom goes off to sleep well and up untill a couple of months ago he is now FINALLY sleeping all night in his own bed. Now wee George sleeps in our bed (his cot is gathering dust) I have to lay with him to get him off to sleep. I do it because it is comforting for him and to be honest easy for me - no strife. But I want my bed and my lovely man back. So we have a long road ahead I think with sorting George out as he is a stubborn one. I look forward to hearing updates of how you go. Lots of luck to you. Stay strong! Elaina xo

  2. Oh, good luck! Sleep deprivation is torture. Torture, I tell you! It makes everything harder. You will get there. xx


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