I’m writing this blog with unexpected energy and enthusiasm given I’ve only had 3 hours sleep! Before children I was unable to function on less than a solid 8, and boy did people know it in work when I rocked up on any less.
I jumped out of bed this morning, threw the kids into nursery (they have just started doing full days this week so that may have some influence on my current mood), chucked the dogs into the grooming salon for a morning of pampering, whizzed around Sainsburys and came home and did my best Mary Berry impression preparing tea for the family later whilst listening to the Greatest Hits of Whitney Houston…. Ok you got me, I was also doing my best Whitney impression too, but surely that’s standard practice for everyone home alone and cooking, right?
I’ll stop wittering and get to the real point of this piece, before I crash and burn…
When we adopted the boys we had a good 12 months of 2 hour naps in the afternoon and 11-12 hours sleep on a night. I was on top of EVERYTHING! But the boys turned 2 ½ and something changed… probably Karma given the amount of smugness I exuded to other parents who I spoke to about their sleeping nightmares!
It seemed to start when Haribo caught the dreaded strep throat and was really quite poorly for a week or two, so it was no surprise that he wasn’t sleeping well and was waking up and crying throughout the night. So, for the first time I was letting him sleep in our bed when he woke up… which worked for him… me not so much!
Once he was well again we have never recovered. Naps went out the window, he was starting to play up going to bed, at times looking genuinely scared and upset at getting into his bed (at this point he was still in a cot) and then the waking up was starting around midnight, sometimes earlier, and can be every hour or 2.
I took the hard, but tiring approach, of resisting putting him in our bed, with the ‘I’m not making a rod for my own back’ attitude. But some nights its just too plain hard and into our bed he goes.
We’ve reflected quite a bit on this, especially given that the boys are adopted, and feel that he probably needs that closeness and security so I’m going to cut us some slack and not worry about what might happen in a few years time if it continues… lets cross that bridge when it comes to it! I am however praying that Jay, who sleeps through ANYTHING, doesn’t cotton on or my next blog will be about the sleepless nights with 4 in the bed!
I’ve been doing a bit of reading on sleep and 2 year olds and found it quite reassuring, in some respects, that’s its not just us and that its probably not an ‘adoption issue’ that we need to worry about. At 2 years their imaginations are really coming into play and in turn some children start to experience nightmares or night terrors. Understanding the difference between the two is quite important and I would really recommend the articles I read recently on babycentre.com
It certainly seems that what Haribo is having are night terrors, as they tend to take place in the early stages of sleep, he is still a sleep and is crying, often sweating, but is easily comforted and back off to sleep at this point. He doesn’t appear to be affected by these in the morning, so I think I’m more shuck up by them.
Whilst nightmares/terrors can take place, I think its fair to say that from 3am onwards we’re dealing more with “I’m awake, everyone’s awake”. This morning about 3am Haribo started wailing in a way which made me fly to the boys room in a sleepy panic, expecting to find Freddie Kruger in the room. Alas he wasn’t, fortunately it was just that the lamb teddy was no longer tucked into bed correctly and needed my urgent attention… totally worth the stubbed toe, wouldn’t want the stuffed demon lamb teddy to get cold.
Its amazing how my other half manages to sleep through it all… nothing a sharp elbow or a dramatic return to bed cant solve though.
We recently moved the boys from cots to toddler beds in hope that this might help, which it definitely has! Any anxiety he was having about going to sleep seems to have gone and our bedtime routines have gone back to normal.
I would love to hear of other people’s experiences and any solutions in this area… but not right now… its time for my nap before the nursery run!