Thursday, 10 November 2011


My toddler is in a big boy bed.  Or rather, he's not. He's mostly out of it. I've waved a bitter sweet goodbye to daytime naps. I don't really see the point of trying for an hour and a half to get him down for a two hour nap so we are ploughing through the day without naps.
Bedtime is another matter. Charlie has always slept well. We have always been firm that bedtime is bedtime. We sleep trained at 6 months and it seemed to work. He goes down at 7pm and gets up at 7am ninety-nine per cent of the time.
I thought I was a tough Mum. Not tough like "You there, kid, shut up!" but tough with pragmatism. I am not a soft touch and I do use the naughty step but I know that what I do is providing good lessons that will help them later in life. People that push, throw and scream tend not to be so popular!
The big boy bed came about because he could basically get out of his cot in seconds and he was up, out and on the floor before we were out the door of his room.
First of all we tried the Super Nanny approach. That lasted four days. Then we put up a gate at his door and let him get on with it. He would get to the door and just cry. Sometimes for me, mostly for Daddy. I felt like I was caging him in. I wanted to teach him to make the right decision to stay in bed, not have that 'choice' forced upon him. Part of me wondered what the big deal was. After all, what was a cot but a smaller version of a room with a door gate? And we'd have him cry out in his cot, so why not his room? But always there was the nagging feeling that else where other parents are tirelessly traipsing up the stairs carrying their protesting children and doing it the 'proper' way. But no! It seems that globally the door gate is 'a method'. Dads at play groups use it. Mums on Twitter use it. I am not alone. I am not a terrible Mum for letting my son cry himself to sleep on the floor and then scooping him into bed. This is just another life lesson that he has to learn. We all had to do it and don't seem too scarred by the experience.
The little boy in question has just gone quite after 30 minutes of extreme protestations. I sat it out (with a glass of wine!) feeling terrible and searching for support. With validation received I say, bring on tomorrow night!

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