Many parents can relate to the lack of sleep that haunts you during child-rearing. It’s written in stone that once your offspring enter this realm, “YOU’LL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN!” IF you happen to be one of those rare breeds birthing kids who actually sleep, know that the rest of us want to throw snow cones at you while you stand naked in the middle of a blizzard!
Okay it’s not that serious and I’m partially kidding but… hmph.
I’ve relentlessly searched for advice from other parents, books, the internet, and God. I’ve tried every method except using a rolling pin! Both of my girls have their own deceitful sleep patterns that I’m desperate to decode. Lack of sleep has caused us to fall asleep anywhere our eyes will close, with or without kids.
I’ve always been a fan of co-sleeping for various reasons and my fiancé doesn’t mind from time to time. However, after almost a decade of having little bodies in our bed, we’re over it! Tips and advice for getting kids to sleep all sound monotonous and exhausting now. So instead of simply and boringly focusing on sleeping more, we added an incentive.
Our objective became to rediscover the passionate, sexual beings now bullied to crouch within us!
Naughty time is next to nothing when no one in the household is sleeping. It doesn’t matter how much you and your partner flirt throughout the day. Even if your precious littles fall asleep promptly and you find yourselves alone, the lure of your pillow is a powerful entity! The next thing you know, groping has turned into a whole lotta snoring!
Don’t believe me, ask another parent.
Our glimmer of hope in this area has been the weaning of our toddler. She’s now unattached to my chest and in her own bed! My fiancé and I can actually touch legs and cross ankles again. We can spoon, fork, knife, and spatula all we want to on a good night!
The girls still find their way into our bed at least once per week. That’s a huge improvement! We’ve developed a wannabe schedule that seems to work fairly well. Here’s what it looks like:
3-5pm - After school break, snack, homework, playtime
5-6pm – Dinner
6-7pm – Bath, teeth brushed, bedtime story
Now… add about 30 minutes to each time slot and that’s what we’re working with. The girls are typically sleeping by 8:30pm. Having a regular routine which includes a relaxing bath gets them in the perfect mental place for bed. The bedtime story makes their pillows comfy and their musical teddy charms them to dreamland!
Following a routine, limiting sugar intake, and canning t.v./entertaining stimuli before bedtime, helps our girls fall asleep much easier. Keeping them active throughout the day also gets them good and tired. All of this has backfired on us at some point but it’s trial and error right? Also, if I’m honest, advising you to not co-sleep, from the start, may be a wise decision.
Co-sleeping is a great way to have snuggle-time and to allow your newborns the “mommy connection” they need. However, it can also lead to dependence on your close physical presence to fall asleep. This was evident in our experience but I wouldn’t change our decision. As I mentioned, we enjoyed it for the most part.
Focusing on your “objective” should be a good motivator if you’re routine allergic. If lighting your fire intimately isn’t an issue, by all means find your own objective. A decade for us has been long enough. We’re ready for more action!
I like to think that it all gets better. In some ways it has as our girls have grown. Still, as parents, we find ways to sabotage ourselves by staying up too late or worrying about tomorrow. I’m happy that we’ve found success with our routine so far and maybe our methods will give you more insight. If all else fails, rolling pins are an option… but I strongly advise against them!