Sleep.  Oh how I love thee.

Here’s Peanut sleeping.  It’s not something he does often and I cherish every moment that he does.  

AsleepingPeanut.jpg

You see, Peanut has an aversion to sleep.  He’ll do it, but it’s not something he needs like you or I.  Getting him into bed is immensely difficult.  Worse yet, once we do get him to sleep he awakens after only two or three hours fully energized and expecting the rest of the family to follow suit.  And that’s hard.  Yet we battle through.

In the wake of our chronic sleepiness we have discovered a few key techniques in ensuring some sleep each and every night.  

#1.  Routine.  It has become VERY apparent that a strict routine is a prerequisite for sleep.  If our routine is altered even slightly, Peanut is very likely to remain awake into the wee hours of the night.  Not cool.  I love my kids, but evening time is mommy time and as such ‘bedtime’ is VERY important to mommy.  She NEEDS to rejuvenate. So sticking to a routine is a must.  

#2.  Full Tummy with Minimal Liquids.  Peanut sleeps longer when he has a snack before bed.  Nothing with sugar.  Nothing with caffeine.  Just a little healthy snack to keep his belly satisfied till morning.  I have also found that restricting fluids prior to bedtime helps as well since peeing wakes him up.  And by restricting his fluids I mean no chugging down large quantities of water with his snack.  I still nurse him to sleep.  It’s the only way to get those sweet little eyes to close, so obviously he’s still getting plenty of fluids and not going to bed thirsty.

#3.  Weighted blanket.  I have not yet purchased a weighted blanket, but I have seen the positive effects of weighing him down by placing numerous blankets on top of him and tucking him in tightly.  Since I have started doing this, Peanut sleeps for an extra 2-3 cumulative hours.  Amazing!  I am currently in the market for a real weighted blanket, so if you know of any good ones let me know!

#4.  Temperature Stability.  Remaining at an ideal temperature is very important to Peanut’s sleep.  If he gets too hot, he wakes up and then refuses to go back to sleep.  If he gets too cold we suffer the same fate.  Our home is heated with a wood furnace, which in most regards is perfectly fine, however the fire tends to die out by 4:00AM and unfortunately Peanut is  very quick to notice the significant decline in temperature.  Sigh.

#5.  Darkness.  Self explanatory.

#6.  No Naps.  I love nap time.  I love it when my kids nap.  I love it when I nap.  However, the unfortunate consequence of Peanut napping is that, even with adhering to a structured bedtime routine, subsequent sleep will not occur if he so much as had a 5 minute nap earlier in the day.  The boy is like the energizer bunny.  Once he recharges he can keep going and going and going and going.  It’s NOT always true that good naps will equate to better nighttime sleep.  Perhaps such a strategy works for neurotypical children, but that is certainly not the case for Peanut.  

#7.  The Family Bed.  Peanut has his own bed.  He sleeps in a car.  What’s cooler than that?  

cozy coupe, car, bed, toddler

Unfortunately a cool car bed is not enough to entice him to stay in his bed for the entire night.  I really don’t mind.  If he wants to sleep with us that’s cool, however I must say that I much prefer it when he comes into our bed and SLEEPS as opposed to when he comes into our bed and tries to convince us that it’s time to wake up despite the glaring view of Ursa Major out our bedroom window.

And now it’s 12:15 and he has woken up.  I suppose it’s time to say goodnight.  Or is good morning?  Sigh