A while ago, I wrote a part 1 post about sleep. I never got around to writing the second post, so this is really part 3. Will fill in part 2 some day.
I could also have called this post ‘Never ask me for advice about sleep and kids because I am rubbish at it’. Which I am.
I love that we coslept with BC until he was 2.5 (and he still sleeps in a toddler bed in our room) and I have been loving that we have done the same with the Little Bean. BUT there’s lots of limitations when you allow your children to become dependent on breastfeeding themselves to sleep. I wouldn’t really recommend it, even though I LOVE LOVE LOVE the closeness that is brings.
So this week, we headed off to Sleep School for the week. BC graduated with flying colours from the same place less than 2 years ago, but I know my little Bean is a different person altogher and I knew we were in for a struggle.
And it was. We’re home now and he’s asleep. In our bed. And yes, I breastfed him off to sleep. Sigh!
It wasn’t a complete waste of time. We learnt a lot about his sleep issues and I have realised just what an impact his eczema has on both his sleep and his behaviour.
And so now, the guilt has set in a little too. Guilt that I haven’t taken him to see an allergist to properly have his skin issues explored. Guilt that I didn’t realise the extent of the problem and just how stressful it is for him. Guilt that the REASON for this is because I know that I get preoccupied with BC’s needs, which are so much more obvious and which always take precedence. I have so many zillion appointments to keep for him, I realise I have let the Little Bean down in the meantime.
But on the plus side, we had the most amazing 5 days together on our own, really getting to know each other. And I mean that literally. It was the first time we’ve ever spent so much time with just the two of us and I learnt so much about him. We hung out in the park, read books, playing games, drew pictures – all of which we have done before – but never on our own. Always with BC there as well. And it was lovely. Liberating. Stimulating. I feel like he’s just been born all over again – that feeling of wonder and amazement at everything he does.
So now, we’re going to sort out his skin, once and for all (and his sleep!) and we’re going to start going on dates.
Dating your kids is a concept introduced to me by a friend who has 3 kids, one with special needs. Every three months, she takes each child out on a ‘date’ on their own. They choose the location (eg a park, a movie, the beach, a cafe etc) and for 2-3 hours, they have mum’s undivided attention. A date.
Ever since she told me about this, I’ve known I’ve wanted to do it, but I always thought it was for later. When they are older.
But I have realised now, that even at 21 months, my little Bean is not too young for dating. In fact, he’s well and truly ready. So I’ll be planning dates with each of my boys over the next few weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes!