Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The journey from a cot to a bed

When we took the side off Peaches' cot, I wrote about my hopes of her going to the potty at night and sending herself back to bed. It turns out my fears were misplaced.

Instead it's been a problem getting her into bed at all. Fortunately, I've been suitably philosophical about this and it appears that my solution is working out.

The first night, she went to bed at 7.20pm. I read her stories and she snuggled up. After turning out the light and singing nursery rhymes she complained loudly and jumped out of bed. After a bit of argy bargy refusals to get into bed, Recaro offered to take over.

Okidokee I thought. I'd prefer to have let her simmer down and try again, but if he wants to give it a shot, I won't say no to some shared parenting endeavour.

I sat down and read the paper. The next thing I know, Recaro brings Peaches into the living room and tells me she's not sleepy. 'Pmph', I thought. Parenting, schmarenting.

Having tidied up the toys, I stop Peaches playing with her toys and tell her I'll read her a story instead and then it's back to bed. I told her there's no playing after bedtime - it's very very dull and the only thing to do is to sleep.

I take her back downstairs and go through the bed time routine again. I put her to bed and she gets out. I hold her while she wails and tell her, 'no playing, it's sleeptime, you can have a cuddle on my lap'. She wailed and wailed. Recaro comes back to the bedroom. I think he was concerned that I was about to lose my rag. I wasn't though and I told him Peaches was not going to go back upstairs (we have an 'upside down' house). Reassured that I'm really very calm - and very determined to crack bed time difficulties - he retreats to a safe distance behind the laptop...

After a sip of water (he he, I've banned milk after toothbrushing because I'm paranoid about wrecking her teeth) she calms down. She tries getting me to read books, but I take them from her and put them on the floor saying, 'no. it's time for sleep'.

She tries the book thing three times. Next time she goes for the door, but I block it with chair, sit down and put her on my lap again. There are tears but she accepts water and calms down again. One last attempt at a book.

And then she goes to sit on her bed. She gives me the bewildered look of a broken spirited toddler who realises that mummy has more patience than she realises. Regretfully she tucks herself up and goes to sleep at 8.45pm till 6.30am the next day. Despite my 'success' I feel rotten for having got my way by adult perseverance. How unfair is that?

The next day, we did a simpler shorter version of the above. From a 7.2o bedtime, she was settled and sleeping by 7.45am. Today, it took 25 minutes again. I'd like it to be quicker, but I can deal with this. She is at least asleep by 8.

I have been checking on her at 10.30. In her bedtime dismay she goes to sleep on her tummy. Having read of toddler cot deaths, I have to check that she's rolled over before I go to bed. So far I've not been tested with the need to turn her over - and risk waking her.

I've had to go for this slow patient route to bedtime, because I fear the picking her and returning her to bed just gets us both cross. I hate the thought of being tempted to lose control when dealing with Peaches in a tantrum. My preference is to encourage a calm attitude in us both. I'm sure there are people who can manhandle their children into bed without getting cross - it's just that I'm not one of them.

IN OTHER NEWS... I was on a train during Barack Obama's inauguration. Just after picking up the parking ticket left on my car (I forgot to put the parking ticket on display...) I listened to the last three sentences of his speech. At least I'll remember where I was - damn those efficient car park attendants.


Amanda said...

I think you handled it perfectly. Good for you for not losing your cool. That's a tough one for me.

Don't feel bad about enforcing the structure, though. It's really important and they NEED it, badly. We're parents because they don't come out of the womb knowing all of these things. It's our job to teach them. That's my philosiphy, anyway.

Also, I think the tummy thing may just be for younger babies. All of my kids have slept on their tummies since they were able to roll over. That sure would be a nightmare to wake her to roll her over.

Good job, mama!!

We're going to Disney again in March and I've got a Minnie in mind for a certain precious little gal.

Reluctant Housewife said...

You are doing great! Keep up the good work and in no time she'll go to bed quickly and with little fuss.

PS: I'm totally impressed your calm and patience.

Yes and like Amanda said, I've read and been led to understand that once a baby can roll over from their stomach onto their back by themselves that it's find to let them sleep on their stomachs. I think the worry mainly comes from them being stuck like that.

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