I have a dirty little secret. I have kept quiet about it because of pride. I have been quietly prideful of my children's sleep habits for 13 years. And quietly disdainful of those parents who couldn't get their kids to go to sleep (and stay asleep) on their own - in their own beds on a regular basis.
I have had reason for my pride, but I usually do not share it as people might take offense to my blatant bragging, it is a sore spot for many. My eldest started sleeping 5 hours every night by 5 weeks, by nine weeks it was 8 hours. It wasn't long til he regularly slept 12 hours a night. We started a wonderful bedtime routine of baths and clean-up, stories and songs, prayers and cuddles at a very young age and never had any trouble putting him to bed as a result.
The other children followed suit with variations on this theme. Number 2 took a few weeks til he would stay in his big boy bed when we made the switch from crib to bed. He would immediately get up as soon as the door shut. We persevered though and I sat outside his room and just kept putting him back in his bed. Within a few weeks he went to bed without a hitch. He needs less sleep than his older brother and has always been an early riser.
My younger two were no harder. In fact anyone who is at my house at bedtime just marvels when I come back downstairs after a minute of singing and praying and my babes just go to sleep. (Got that 1 hour bed routine with ds #1 down to approx. 1 minute with ds #3;) Even when we made the transfer to big boy bed for my Monkey Boy, he didn't give us an ounce of trouble.
For a while.
Now for my confession.
My Monkey Boy is not a perfect sleeper. And his Mommy is so tired. Now I realize after all I just shared that not one of you feels any pity for me and that is okay. The sleep fairies have given far more than my fair share of sleeping babes over the years. I get that. But man am I tired.
My little boy goes through periods of time where he gets up in the wee hours of the morning and crawls into bed with me. He then proceeds to kick and push and pull on me for a few hours til I can't stand it anymore and get up. Now sleep is something that has often eluded me, even as a child I suffered with insomnia off and on. I go through long periods where I have a difficult time falling asleep, especially when sleeping alone. Like right now. (After my oldest was born and was sleeping so well, I didn't sleep for 6 months. ) So I don't fall asleep til a little bit before my Monkey Boy comes a calling, so I am a bit tired. And a teensy bit surly my kids might tell you.
Now I have no one to blame but myself. A couple of weeks ago my dh and I woke up in our bed alone. We realized that we had been doing that for quite some time. Juju was not even coming in to say good morning when he woke up anymore. He was going downstairs with our other early riser and watching treehouse or playing. We felt a bit sad at missing out on a few morning cuddles, as well as the wake up call so we were aware of him wandering the house.
So my dh called our Monkey boy to come and see us and he came bouncing up the stairs. He immediately crawled in with us to cuddle and I mentioned how he didn't come and cuddle with us anymore and we missed it.
The very next morning, before the arrival of Mr. Sun, there was our Juju Monkey taking over my spot in the bed, snuggling in and pushing me with those cold little toesies. And there he has been every morning (and I use that word loosely) since.
Silly Sleepy Mommy.