I thought the sleepless nights were over and I could look forward to returning to my beloved 8-hours-straight at night. Before the children arrived, I was spoiled without knowing it and enjoyed marathon sleeping sessions, I mean 12 hours straight at weekends! Alas, it looks like my 2-year old (nearly 3) is determined to keep reminding me of the joys of having a newborn in the house!
She wakes at any time of the night, crying about her lost teddy, about the duvet not being straight or about getting up for breakfast and it can take ages to settle her again. Strangely, her Dad has more success at settling her than I do (which irritates me even more!). Maybe she detects the impatience in my tone and resents my not showing the same concern for the exact positioning of her dolly or for removing every single crease in her duvet!
Theres a mass of online information on the subject but my research has suggested it could be caused by one or more of the following:
- Changes in routines, inconsistent bedtimes or not napping during the day,
- Separation anxiety during the day,
- Overstimulation during the day,
- If the child is ill,
- Sleep Apnoea – a sleep disorder where the upper air passages are repeatedly blocked during the night.
Apparently, an overtired child is more likely to wake at night – I thought the opposite! We are advised to put the child to bed early, to develop a consistent bedtime routine involving 3 or 4 sooting activities and to ensure that the child falls to sleep on their own. I thought I was doing this but when I think about it, we have been busy lately and bedtimes have varied a lot. I’ve been careful to ensure she goes to sleep on her own and this is not a problem.
I don’t know about you (would love to hear other parents experiences), but I think our failure is with the first point so we may have to be more strict on bedtimes and with the routine. Lets see what happens – will keep you updated.
What are your experiences?