Jason and I have always loved our sleep. We are those people who love to sleep late on a Saturday morning, have a late afternoon nap, and still go to bed at a reasonable hour that night. Don’t even get me started on a mid-week afternoon nap. It’s glorious!
Naturally, while going through our adoption process, we were aware of the very real fact that sleep was probably going to be a rare treat once baby arrived. We understood that and tried, as best as possible, to mentally prepare for that.
Enter Noah – our beautiful, chubby, rolls-for-days, seven month old baby boy. And much to our pleasant surprise, he was a relatively good sleeper. He never slept through every night, but did wake up once or twice. Sometimes, a bottle or dummy would do the trick and get him back to sleep almost immediately in his cot. When that didn’t work, we would put him in bed with us, and that worked too, in getting him back to sleep quickly. I can honestly only remember two nights where where he was awake in the middle of the night, showing no signs of sleeping any time soon. And that has pretty much flowed through as he got older. Yes, we do realize how fortunate we are!
Our biggest sleep issue, especially over the last year or so, has been getting him to sleep early enough, so that he will manage at school the next day. And it has been especially difficult since we stopped the dummy.
When Noah first came home forever, we really had no clue about most things baby, and especially sleeping, He was also quite ill in those first few days/weeks, so it took us a while to find our groove as a family of three. It was only after about the first month or so that the three of us found the sleep routine that worked best for us. And that included the gong-to-sleep routine.
Our evening routine has basically been dinner, bath, bottle, stories, prayers and sleep. Most nights, Jason would bath Noah, and I would dress him, give him his bottle, read some stories and say our prayers, then lie with hm on our bed, until he fell asleep.
I have always loved that time with Noah. Jason’s special time with Noah has always been bath time, and my special time has always been bed time. It is time that both Jason and I treasure.
Some nights, we get it right and by 7pm, Noah is in dreamland! I couldn’t believe it, when just a few weeks ago, it was 6:56pm and he had fallen asleep mid-story! I felt such a sense of accomplishment! Plus, I had an entire evening free, to do what I wanted to do – bonus!
However, this is not the norm. Usually, Noah is in bed between 7pm and 7:30pm, reading stories. By 7:30pm, stories are finished, prayers are said, he is in his own bed and it is time to sleep. Which is when he decides it is time to to chat and catch up. Is this normal for almost 3-year-olds? Some nights, by 9pm, he is still wide awake. We’ve tried leaving him alone in the room. We’ve moaned. We’ve bargained. We’ve threatened to take toys away. Sometimes, something works. Sometimes, none of it works. Also, bearing in mind that most days he does not have a nap – his choice! So he is pretty tired, come bedtime. Please can someone help a mama out!
Do you have any tried and tested bedtime tricks, to get your little one to sleep? What does your evening routine look like? I’d love to hear from you!