Sunday, January 12, 2014

Taking Back The Night.....How Thats Working Out

It doesn't matter how tired she is, she hangs in there
I didn't set many goals for myself this year, but reclaiming my evenings was one of them. While Sebastian's a pretty good sleeper (he has his moments) Lorelei was taking hours each night to settle.

Hours of active, present, parenting.

It was sometimes midnight before she fell asleep, and with a 5:30 start the next day on work days, my best parenting skills clock off a few hours earlier than that.

This year our goal has been to get her settled and sleeping better at night time. So far we've got some wins. Definitely more wins on our side of the tally sheet than on Lorelei's. But damn, we are nowhere near where I really need us to be.

Each night, without fail, 8pm sees her bathed, book read, massage given, drink bottled supplied and blanky in hand, in bed. Doesn't mean she is even a little inclined to go to sleep but we are committed to a regular bedtime again. Honestly, I think she needs to be in bed earlier than that given how early we start our day, but 8pm works seeing how we don't get home each day till 6pm.

We make sure her daytime naps no longer exceed 1.5 hours, and in fact we are completely eradicating them if possible. Fair enough preschool wants the nap (with 20 2 years olds in a room I'd be hanging out for nap time too) but we make sure we are not travelling anywhere more than 5 minutes away after 2pm each day, otherwise Lolly is guaranteed to fall asleep.

No matter what else we have on each night we make sure we follow the same routine, at the moment we are avoiding socialising because our busy lives in the last quarter of 2013 is partly what led to the horrible sleep habits we have right now.

And most of all we are wearing this kid out. We make sure she gets up early. We take her for a swim most evenings, as well as what she gets up to during the day. It's not always great for her behaviour during the day because is obviously overtired, but I pray hope that its a case of short term pain for long term gain.

In order to keep Lorelei in her bed I used to have to stay in the room. Now I say goodnight and tell her she has to stay in bed and leave the room.

And she gets straight out of bed and comes down the hall to find me. I take her back to bed, lots of firm parenting, sometimes she has a tantrum, sometimes she tells me off (I don't like chew mumma), but eventually she stays in bed.

Tonight she was asleep before 9pm and only got out of bed once. That's a first. But I've noticed she drops off a little earlier each night, so we are getting there.

I've watched TV this last week. I've packed bags the night before, and made lunches. I've even showered! Alone! We are nowhere near where I want to be, but I'm realising now that the problems we were having before was partly because we had given in.

I'm reclaiming my nights and it feels good. On a related note, I met the mother tonight in HIMYM. I'm finally catching up on seasons 6, 7, 8. and almost caught up to season 9! AND I had a cappuccino and didn't have to share the froth. Small wins.

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