Sweet dreams…

Like most parents, since having children a good night’s sleep has become a distant dream and the constant parental yawns have become a normal daily occurrence.

If you have children you will know that it’s no easy task getting them to sleep at night. In fact it’s easier to get them to nod off when you don’t want them too. Old wives’ tales such as singing a lullaby or keeping them awake for longer during the day just don’t seem to have that desired effect.

Even bedtime rituals such as a bath, milk and a story don’t seem to give us a ‘sleep through the night’ experience with Betsy. In fact they just make mummy and daddy feel even more exhausted!

Children’s TV, as long as it’s nothing scary, helps both Alfie and Betsy-Ann calm down a little but I’m afraid in our house it only delays the inevitable – going to bed.

CBeebies bed time hour always makes me laugh – whose children are actually raring to go straight to bed without a tantrum after the channel finishes airing at 7:00pm? If your child does, any tips would be much appreciated, especially if they sleep through the night until its back on air at 6:00am in the morning!

I remember going to bed so easily when I was a child. All dad had to say was ‘bed’ and point to the ceiling ‘above’ and my sisters and I would climb up those apples and pears.

Kirstie and I would then argue over the light being left on, on the landing between both our bedrooms. Kirstie always wanted it off but I wasn’t too keen on the dark. Being the youngest I used to win the argument until Kirstie put her foot down and told me that the light would be staying off all night. I argued that if I was going to give up the light she would have to give up sucking her thumb – so that was the deal! Needless to say I gave up the light but Kirstie failed to give up sucking her thumb!

I think it’s karma that when you’re little you never want to go to bed but as soon as you have children you wish you could go to sleep…

Every night I try my hardest to get to bed early. I get everything ready for the next morning and aim for that recommended 8 hours sleep. In reality however, it’s normally about 4-5 hours max.

Like most babies Alfie wasn’t great at sleeping in those new born months but as soon as he turned 6 months old he became a really good sleeper. He’s not the quietest or stillest of sleepers and he’s often found to be happily snoring the night away…

At nearly two, Betsy’s love for waking up and staying up at night has therefore been somewhat of a shock to the system for both Darren and I.

If I get to bed early, it’s guaranteed that as soon as my head touches the pillow my Betsy Boo will wake – it’s a mathematical certainty! So much so that I often go to bed with a milk bottle and my mobile primed with a lullaby app.

As it’s become a ritual most nights, Darren and I have got ourselves into well-rehearsed routine. I get the bottle ready and Darren appeases the gremlin. I can hear the A-Team theme tune playing in my head and when it’s time to get back to sleep I almost smile like Hannibal (minus the cigar) and whisper: ‘don’t you just love it when a plan comes together.’

I will admit that there’s something quite comforting about those night time cuddles though. Although I groan when I get woken up in the middle of the night by Betsy’s hunger cries by the time I’m cuddling her in my arms I’m completely loved up.

Probably because those cuddles are precious and secretly I know that these moments won’t last forever!

Friends, family and colleagues will often tell Darren and I that we ‘look tired’ but I’m pretty sure this is how we’re supposed to look now with two children. Isn’t it? Zzzz….

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