I think I’ve probably mentioned before that both Amelia and Wills are pretty good sleepers. Before you look at your screen like I’m the devil woman, I’m not here to rub in the 10.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep I get every night. In fact, far from it!
I wanted to put it into perspective a bit. When I say my kids sleep well, I mean that they have a pretty decent routine ingrained into them. I mean that they usually go down without too much fuss. I’m saying they generally don’t wake up at 5am or stay up past 7:30pm.
The key to all of that, though are the words ‘usually’ and ‘generally’. When I refer to my kids as good sleepers, I’m in no way suggesting that they never have bad nights, that they never crawl into our bed at 1am (every. bloody. night), or that they never wake up in the middle of the night and cry. I wouldn’t dream of pretending they don’t argue with me or try to barter over bedtime, or that they drift off to sleep like angelic little cherubs whispering “nunight mama”.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re pretty damn lucky when it comes to our kids sleep. You might be reading this thinking;
“Well for fuck’s sake, I wouldn’t mind just one night like that!”
I get that. I know, for various reasons that lots of children and babies do not sleep well, and I would never want to make anyone feel any worse about that than they already do.
For me, it’s more about the perception of what a good sleeper entails. At nearly 4, Amelia gets into our bed at some point during the night every night. That’s normal to us, and when people ask I do say that she sleeps through from 7:30am-7:30pm. Because she does. Alright, a third of that might be in our bed, and I don’t count the 1.5 minutes it takes for her to sleepwalk to our room because it doesn’t seem to disturb her sleep. We’ve become used to it, and it rarely wakes us up.
Wills is 18 months, and sleeps once after lunch for anything from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours (I never wake him) and then through from 7pm until about 6:30am-ish. We’re very lucky that for the first half an hour or so that he’s awake he tends to lie in his cot chatting happily to himself, so I don’t usually get him up and dressed until about 7. But of course he has bad nights (like tonight as I’m trying to write this). He often stirs in the night, has a little cry and then soothes himself back off (if he has his comforter). He just as often cries until one of us goes in to soothe him, and he occasionally wakes and stays awake for what feels like forever.
Just like most mums, I’m fully aware when I go to bed (eventually) that my sleep will probably be of the broken kind. Again, that’s come to be my normal, and I function ok-ish, so I don’t see it as much of a problem.
It feels like there’s always someone ready to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing, when your kids should be sleeping and for how long. If we were to listen to all the advice out there we wouldn’t think any kind or amount of sleep was normal. Too much sleep in the day, not enough in the day, not going to bed early enough, going to bed too early. It’s all subjective. Our kids are individuals, and so will their sleep patterns be.
I’ve found what works for me and mine, regardless of whether it fits with ‘expert’ advice. So yes, my kids sleep and I would describe them as good sleepers. But it only really felt like that once I stopped listening to what everyone else thought they should be doing and accepted that what they are already doing is working for us.
I’d love to hear what’s ‘normal’ sleep in your house;
Tweet me and let’s spread the word that having our own normal is ok!
I was not sponsored or paid by Teether to write about the kids new PJ's, although they did very kindly send the kids a set each to try out. Literally the softest PJ's they own. Don't just take it from me, a 3-year-old
neverrarely lies! Amelia woke this morning and declared "My blog PJ's are soooooo warm... Can I wear them to nursery?!"