Another tricky post – the one about your sleep

December 8, 2011

Dear Max

Once upon a time, you slept in a cot, surrounded by fluffy bears and a cot bumper. You slept like a baby. Literally. And only occasionally woke during the night for some milk or cuddles. Thanks to Gina Ford, you used to go to sleep without any rocking or tricks, and you were in a great sleep/wake-up/feed routine.

Cue a few months, life and house changes later, and well, you’ve become a bed sleeper. And I’m not talking about your bed. I’m referring to the slumber haven of your mom and your dad respectively. Somehow, from sleep-through-the-night in your own pad, it’s become you’ll-only-sleep-in-another-bed-with-a-parent-in-it-with-you.

And it’s not to say I haven’t tried. I have incentivized, I have moved you to your bed when you’ve fallen asleep, and I’ve also left a bottle of milk next to you. I’ve moved you to the couch thinking you needed a bit more space, and I’ve tried putting you in the spare bed for that reason too. I’ve tried to wait out your wails as you’ve hollered to be let out your cell room, and I’ve even surrounded your bed with about eight trucks and cars for company.

But somewhere in me, I realise that you just need to be close to one of us, and while that goes against the routines, rules and structures I thought I’d always implement, it’s what you’re needing. We were advised by a pro to keep it like this, and to not try and implement any more changes to your life. And it’s sometimes hard. I get woken up, kicked in the ribs, and sometimes I’m even told “go” when I somehow encroach your space. Which is not hard Max, because you lie horizontal not vertical, so try as I might to keep to my corner, you tend to shift more and more horizontally.

But there’s nothing like waking to giggles, “mama” and a beaming happy toddler. And that’s worth every kick and early-morning hobble to the kitchen to fill your bottle with water or milk. I hope you find your way to your own bed when you’re ready, dude. Until then, I’m here.


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  • NickiD

    Whatever works, right? X

    December 8, 2011 at 7:14 am Reply
  • Kim

    Oh my little boy is exactly the same. Also won’t sleep alone and must have one of his parents in bed with him. He is sleeping inbetween hubby and myself and even though I would love to get my bed and my space back, I am loving having this little body tucked against mine most of the night 🙂

    I also believe that he will move into and stay in his own room when he’s ready. So for now, I will join you on those late night hobbles to the kitchen!

    December 8, 2011 at 7:17 am Reply
  • Emy

    Jae is the same. She sleeps in her own bed and occasionally I will wake up with her in my bed with me. I think that the best is to just go with it. If that is what he needs then that is what he needs.

    And lets be honest, those extra snuggles are just the best.

    December 8, 2011 at 9:24 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Shew, the sleep thing is tough sometimes!

      December 8, 2011 at 11:45 am Reply
  • Lize

    My boy is 5 and he still wants to sleep with us. He know sleeps on a matress on the floor next to our bed. I also believe that he will eventually grow out of it. My daughter of 2 years does however sleep in her own bed in her own room. Maybe it is a boy thing?

    December 8, 2011 at 9:24 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks for sharing – good to know there are others out there 🙂

      December 8, 2011 at 11:44 am Reply
  • Sharon

    Like you, I’m also a firm believe in rules and routine, having said that, I agree with the pro’s advice T, perhaps Mr Max has been through enough change for now and all he really needs is the comfort and reassurance of having his mommy or daddy close by for now.
    Hang in there, this is a phase and it will pass!

    December 8, 2011 at 9:55 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks Shaz!

      December 8, 2011 at 11:44 am Reply
  • TJ

    Oh, don’t I know this one too! Not even Supernanny’s Sleep Seperation Technique worked anymore. We moved from Jhb to Rustenburg – I was 7months pregnant, My son had to change school twice, home, domestic and from a cot to a bed. He slept fine in his new bed for a short while – then I left 2weeks before I was due to stay in Jhb and then the new baby was here. This was more than enough changing and finally reached it’s peak – It’s been almost 4months and because we stuck to Supernanny’s technique and the same routines everyday – we are seeing progress. It’s almost back to the way it was – slowly getting there. Last night he didn’t even climb in bed with us and slept an hour longer!

    So yes, it may be impractical at times – but worth it for the sake of Max.

    December 8, 2011 at 10:34 am Reply
  • Elisabeth

    My oldest was the same – he wanted to be with us and we let him. I was always fairly relaxed about these things – he was rocked/carried to sleep for a long time and we co-slept until he was over 2 years old, through a new baby and a new house. He needed it and I couldn’t refuse. But then, when we got him a new big boy bed, things changed. He suddenly felt secure enough to do things on his own, and now I put him to bed, kiss him goodnight and he sleeps soundly all night by himself. For us it all worked out perfectly.

    December 8, 2011 at 11:29 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks for sharing. i hope Max will feel safe to go in his own space soon. At least before he’s 18! 🙂

      December 8, 2011 at 11:43 am Reply

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