Like most parents of young children, I don’t get as much sleep as I once did. I’ve kind of got used to it, but am starting to think that something needs to be done – nobody should get used to thinking that four or five hours constitutes a good night’s rest! Xander is 19 months old now and still doesn’t sleep through. Things have got even worse lately as, whatever we do, he refuses to go to bed. There have been quite a few instances of late in which Kate and I haven’t been able to sink into the sofa in crumpled, swearing heaps until gone 9pm. Even then, our evenings and nights of sleep are short lived – three or four hours later, he’ll wake up and won’t go back to sleep in his own bed thereafter.
Consequently, neither of us sleeps brilliantly and we’re always aching as a result of him sleeping between us – once he’s woken up and declined our kind offer of going back down in his own bed – and skillfully pushing us to the edges of ours. It’s a never-ending nightmare! We try everything too; the boys have a good end-of-day routine that we stick to, neither of them want for anything and Xander sees that Dylan goes to bed with minimal fuss. He copies everything else his big brother does, so why not this?
I think our problem relates to space – or lack thereof – and, for this reason, our house is on the market at the moment. We did want to move anyway, but the need for an extra room is too great! Dylan learned how to get himself to sleep in the first instance and back to sleep if he woke up in the night because he had his own room. It happened quickly and he was sleeping through the night from about eight months. Unfortunately, we only have two rooms and it’s not fair on Dylan to let Xander keep him awake at bedtime, so we have to take him away, get him to sleep and then make like ninjas and sneak him into his bed. And the cycle continues.
Perhaps some of this is our fault for giving in too easily when he was really little and hardly sleeping at all in case he woke Dylan, but I think we can be forgiven for that. This cycle has to stop though!
So, dear readers, I’m appealing to you… until we get a bigger house, what the hell are we supposed to do?! Is there a genius technique that we can employ to break this resistant behaviour? Do I need to chase him round the neighbourhood for an hour before bedtime to tire him out? At least please tell me that we’re not on our own in having an otherwise wonderful little one who thinks that sleep is for the weak!