Sleep. I like my sleep but over the past couple of years, we’ve had a bit of a turbulent relationship. As a first time Mama, I always knew that having a beautiful baby boy would mean long nights filled with night feeds and nappy changes and I was more than happy to give up any precious hours of sleep for him. Fast forward twenty three months and the nappy changes are thankfully less frequent but sleep and I are still distant friends.
It’s my own fault though and one that I will wholeheartedly admit to. Over Christmas, I thought Little Mr was ready to make the transition from cotbed to toddler bed. I stupidly rushed the process and he wasn’t ready. I regret it.
I thought he was ready. He was settled at night and he was sleeping well. I stupidly thought that as other children his age were ready, then Little Mr was too. Little Mr has never been a climber, if he woke up in the morning he would read a book in bed and when he became bored he would call to both his Daddy and I to get him out.
We had managed (with Fi Star-Stone’s brilliant advice and support) to get Little Mr to self settle at bedtime. He didn’t need us in the room with him to fall asleep and he was consistently sleeping through the night. I miss those nights.
A week ago we took the sides of the cotbed off, replaced one side with a bed guard which would protect him from falling out (kindly gifted to us by BabyThingz) and Little Mr was excited. He jumped on the bed and loved that he could slide on and off the bed. Bedtime went well and Little Mr fell asleep in the bed. We put up a baby gate on his door so that he couldn’t just walk into our room during the night and also as a second line of security between him and the steep stairs.
The second night came and it all went horribly wrong. Little Mr got terribly upset and he sobbed. It was awful to see. He wouldn’t settle and it took three times longer for him to fall asleep. We didn’t change anything else apart from his cotbed, he still had the same toys, the same mattress, his bed was in the same place in his room. He hated the gate. He hated being trapped inside his room so the gate had to go.
The third night was just as bad. He wouldn’t settle at all so we took the bed guard off the side of the bed to see if that made any difference. We popped a spare mattress just under his bed so that if he did fall out he would have a soft landing. After an unsettled couple of hours, he fell asleep and we breathed a sigh of relief. He fell out of bed at 11:30pm and didn’t go back to sleep until 3am! Tired, emotional and concerned for all our wellbeing, we decided enough was enough.
Yesterday the sides of the cotbed were put back on but our little boy didn’t sleep. It was a long and tiring night for us all (both hubby and I have been back at work since Monday) I’m really annoyed at myself for pushing the move on him when he clearly wasn’t ready. I’m not sure I’ll know when he’s ready but for now, we’re readjusting to sleep filled nights in the cot.
Tonight he’s fallen asleep without drama thanks to a secret weapon I pulled out before bedtime; a brand new Thomas The Tank Engine bedding set. He loves it. He’s only been asleep since 8pm so I’m hoping for a long night full of sleep. We all need it.
I’m sorry Little Mr, Mama thought she was doing the right thing and I regret it. I’m so sorry for disturbing your routine. I hope you sleep well tonight my darling.
To be continued..