A while ago I shared a post about how we were trying to implement a new bedtime routine, and how we were getting on after week one. I set myself a goal of having it sussed by Christmas and in the run up to the holidays, it looked like I was on track! I’d take Pickle upstairs for story and a feed about 7 o’clock and then he would sleep until about 10.30pm when LPD and I would usually go to bed. It may not sound a lot compared to babies who wonderfully sleep all the way through the night, but for us, it was a bit of a breakthrough. It meant LPD and I could have a nice dinner together, we could snuggle up and watch TV, I could spend time getting blog stuff done and we kind of had a bit of normality back. But then Christmas happened, and oh, how it disrupted bedtime routine.
We were out a lot more, sometimes getting home a bit later than normal. There was lots of excitement, flashy lights and socialising, and it all affected getting Pickle to bed. Suddenly, he just wanted to be awake all hours. A serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). When I shared a photo of him still awake at 11:30pm on New Year’s Eve, I was pleased to hear I wasn’t the only one with a wide awake baby! The fun didn’t end there though. I thought that once Christmas and New Year were out of the way, things would start inching their way back to that holy grail of normal 7 o’clock bedtime.
I know it’s only been a week into 2017, and I shouldn’t expect miracles, but I had thought we’d have gotten back into our ‘routine’ by now. Instead, we’ve had lots of going up and down the stairs between 7pm and 8.30pm before we’ve admitted defeat and just brought him back downstairs to hang out with us until our bedtime. I know, I know… that’s really not helping matters but right now, the easiness of the short term is outweighing the long term benefits.
I really do want to get this sorted. And I know that means we’re going to have to stand our ground a little more. Pickle is still sleeping in our room at the moment and part of me thinks that it will be better and easier if he was in his own nursery, but at the moment, I just can’t see how he’s ever going to settle in there on his own.
I did try an experiment and attempted to put him in his big boy cot for his morning nap. He had a feed as he usually does around 10.30am and promptly fell asleep which usually does. Ordinarily, I just let him sleep on me, making sure I’ve got a drink, a book and my phone nearby to keep me occupied. He can sleep on me like that for anything up to 2 hours really. But for the experiment, as soon as he fell asleep, I snuggled him up and took him upstairs, laying him into his big boy cot.
Obviously, he woke up at soon as I tried to put him down but I just covered him with some blankets, gave him a little kiss, placed my hand on his chest and hoped he would drift back off. That didn’t happen. I tried singing to him (lots of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – the song I’ve tried to associate with sleep), played nursery rhymes really quietly, rubbed his little belly… but he just wasn’t gonna go back to sleep. I left him on his own, ran downstairs to make myself a cup of tea, hoping that my absence might do the trick, but I could still hear him whingeing. I sang some more, I drank some tea, I sat beside him but just ignored him… he just wasn’t having any of it. When the whingeing became more like crying, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I scooped him up and I took him back downstairs and we had a snuggle on the sofa instead.
I wish this blog post ended with a magical solution, but I’m afraid I’m still on the hunt for it. I’m very much hoping in a couple of weeks I can report some successful sleeping news but in the meantime… send tea, chocolate and a very large glass of wine.