Blogs,  Lifestyle,  Parenting

The Sleeping ‘Rod’

Finding a parent who hasn’t had or who isn’t currently experiencing difficulties with kids and sleep is rare, and when you do find one, there are two things you can say to them;

  1. “LIAR” – You need to shout this and point at them (or just use an outstretched finger in their direction if you don’t want to shout ‘liar’- can be equally as effective)
  2. “Good for you” (said with a sarcastic tone that lets them know you’re calling them something unspeakable in you’re head!)

It is really tough and so easy to get yourself in a mess over, because I’m pretty sure sleep deprivation is the biggest killer in parents and kids know this… they do I swear it!

Sleep patterns/routines are something everyone has an opinion on, but when you’re living this hell, survival is the name of the game and screw everyone else!

Sleep is definitely my number 1 (2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7…) rod. After 12 months of being smug about our perfect nap and night time routines/patterns, it all came crashing down. I first blogged about it in ‘Cooking on Gas’ and since then it’s evolved no end.

It started when I went away for 3 nights to visit a friend, Jay had been poorly with strep throat and whilst I was away it had seemingly come back and he was running a fever. He was waking up, mid-fever, and screaming out for us. When I got back and dosed him up on antibiotics again, I hoped we would get back to normal… but no, and 3 months later we’re still in the same boat. People keep telling us it’s a phase, but I’m not sure if it is an adoption related attachment issue prompted by me leaving for a few days for the first time in nearly 18 months.

Anyway, for the first few weeks we did the trying to settle him back down, but this could happen 4-5 times through out the night and could take 30-60 minutes to get him back to sleep, so needless to say it was killing us. Then we spent 6 weeks of Craig and I taking it in turns to sleep with him in the spare room once he woke up and kicked off.

But then we had guests one weekend and the panic set in because there was no way we’d survive a night of the three of us in the same bed because he also comes with a giant bear, sleeps horizontally AND mooches round the bed. I had the genius idea of putting the old travel cot up in our room. Sure enough that night he woke up screaming out for us (that’s not an exaggeration), we put him into the cotbed and he slept all night without a fuss… best night sleep we’d had in ages.

Now another 6 weeks later the travel cot remains up and I don’t think I even open my eyes now, I go into his room to get him, whatever time that is, stagger back across the landing and chuck him and bear into the cot, back to sleep and BOOM, a good 7 hours solid(ish) sleep a night. He’s definitely too big for the cotbed and we definitely need to resolve it but it’s so hard when all you want to do is get some shut eye.

It’s working for us and I’m sticking to it for now! #CelebrateThatRod

Where to start… my back is blue with this rod, and there’s so many of them, if I shared them all I’ll be shunned as a mother. So rather than spill the beans, I’ll keep a little dignity and share just the one rod.

This one started when the clocks changed, and it was still light outside at bed time (19:00). Something I’ve also talked about in a previous blog Spring Forward… Goodbye Sleep 

After our normal routine of tea, bath, story, bed… Fin-Bob would still not go to sleep. Between the two of us we were up and down the stairs all night long until at least 10pm in the evening on some nights. As you can imagine it killed us, and we’d soon start arguing with one another about whose fault it was. It was neither to be fair but someone needed to take the brunt of our frustration and for obvious reasons, it wasn’t going to be Fin-Bob.

That’s when nap time came to an abrupt stop for Fin-Bob. Gaz would message/call/text whatever way he could reach me to ask before he came home from work – “he’s not slept today has he?” Guess who was getting the blame for the failed bedtime routine… ME!!!

It was hell… because naturally by tea-time Fin-Bob was goosed!! He’d been up since 6am like any normal kid is – he needed his sleep! So out came the hoover, and the impromptu cleaning. Followed by the sounds of Dua Lipa, blasted out of the Bose speaker. Bath time was moved to 15:00ish, if we were at home, to wake him up because I noticed he always had a second wind after bath, then tea… yes sometimes he went to bed with food probably still in his teeth… but hey ho oral hygiene is the last thing on my list! #badmom

Then to finish the boy off… milk, settle on the couch with my phone and his favourite YouTube video… Russian Alphabet… don’t ask!! Now I know you’re probably thinking that surely letting him watch videos on my phone would keep him awake, but it actually sends him off!

It’s SURVIVAL PEOPLE!!! And it works…

6am comes and he’s hopped out of bed and into ours. On comes the telly and Hey Dougie (Cbeebies) is in my bedroom, and it’s three in the bed, till Teddy wakes… and trust me we’re ALL up when that happens… the boy is LOUD.

Admittedly its not the best situation, and a far cry from the idealistic bath, bed, story and straight to sleep like you see on the telly – I wish right. I’m sure Super Nanny would have a field day with our routine, but its something we’ve found that works for him and us. Now he gets a full 12 hours kip, and that’s the most important. 

It really is so difficult, when it comes to sleep then survival is definitely the word. Before kids I’d have well judged parents with ‘different’ bed time routines, but when you have lived for weeks on end on next to know sleep you suddenly have a new understanding for why parents do what they have to, no matter how odd it seems. 

Tell us yours in the comments below! #CelebrateThatRod 

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  • Merrell-Ann

    The one thing I said I wouldn’t do, im doing…I put my son in the bed with us. When he is teething he can wake up to 5 times a night! I like and value my sleep so if that is what I have to do, so be it lol! Thank you for sharing your experience

  • Louise Buckley

    Where do I even start……….. I’ve had NO SLEEP FOR 12 B****** YEARS 😭😭😭😭 My children have functioned on zero sleep for years. I’ve tried everything. I’ve driven the streets in my pjs with screaming baby in the car seat with music blaring, putting them in front of the washing machine, under the extractor fan, rocking the vibrating chair with my foot until cramp set in or I was rocking back and forth with it, bought that book from a woman who probably never had kids of her own. …… the little contented baby book!!!! Yeah right. Controlled crying until I cried uncontrollably. Blamed myself for not buying black out blinds and bombing about lunching with my friends and showing baby off rather than sticking to nap times in bed in darkness and silence. I’ve commando crawled out of bedrooms probably 1000 times after falling asleep beside them until 11pm. Goodbye evening for myself. I’ve done light shows on ceilings, calming music EVERYTHING. Both kids have slept in our bed and I’ve counted that I once put Conor back 74 times before I thought oh **** IT!!!!!!! Gave in about 4am to get up at 6am with him full of energy. This is traumatic writing this……the memories. They’re 12 & 9 yrs old now. Im typing this with Conor at the side of me in my bed. He keeps knocking my arm as I’m typing he is that close to me!!!!!! I am his comfort blanket and I made that rod!!!!!!!! I’ve rewritten this so many times now. Steven and I are walking zombies. I write this as if it is only me dealing with it. He gets up the most with Conor. I don’t know how Conor functions on so little sleep because we don’t. The ONLY thing that works is a calm bath time, I tip lots of so sleepy lavender bath soak in it. Spray (drench) his bed in so sleepy pillow mist, do a story and then sit for 10 mins on his bed. I do well to resist the fumes myself to not fall asleep but it knocks him out!!!!!! I’m rubbish though. I don’t stick to it each night. Conor is asleep now……….. 21:48!!!! Reading your blog and writing this has made me focused. I need to take control and have routine (and a never ending supply of sleep spray). OR just ride the storm out ………. he will sleep when he’s 18 ………….. MAYBE????? xxxxxx

    • pips@parentingphils

      Oh Louise, reading your comment makes me feel ‘normal’ because I’m in the same boat as you. FYI – great tip on sleeping mist spray and lavender!! I’m hitting the shops tomorrow!!🤣 X

  • Louise Buckley

    I’ll laugh about it when they’re older!! No I won’t. That’s a lie ha ha. I can’t ever leave Tropic now as that’s where I get my stash of sleep spray from!!!!!!!!! I told Conor that Susie made it especially for him. It’s magic sleep spray to him. Good luck and keep going xxx

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