Have you heard of Gina Ford? She’s well known for her sleep routines, and I don’t think there’s a middle road when it comes to her – you either love her or not, and you either find the routines work brilliantly, or… not at all.
With my firstborn Max, I followed Gina’s routine diligently. If she said I must open the blinds at 7am, well, I opened the blinds at 7am. If she said I must close them at 6.30pm, I did. If she said swaddle my baby at 11.45am and then put him down at 11.46am with the curtains closed again, then I did that too. Why? Because it worked. My baby was content (like the title of her book The Contented Baby), and I was a contented parent knowing what I was doing, and very chilled because I had learnt, through the routine, why Max was crying, and how to address it. There was no co-sleeping, which suited me fine, and we had very few sleep issues. Our bed was our bed, which Max occasionally jumped on. With his mom. Because isn’t that one of the best things about being a mom – being a kid with your kid?
Seven years later, with The Contented Baby book on hand, and with summaries printed out, my baby had another agenda, and after a few days of trying to slot her figuratively into the pages of a book, I realised I was about as unenthusiastic about a routine as she was, so the summaries went into the recycling bin, and the book went on the shelf.
It was going to be a different script with this one, and I was completely fine with that. Out with the blinds opening at 7am, and in with anytime wakeup times. Out with cot sleeping, and in with cot/bed sleeping combined with co-sleeping on sleepless or sick nights, or early wakeups. And I loved the little hands on my chest as Rebecca lay next to me in bed, after midnight wakeups in her cot. And I loved waking up with a head on my neck, and even legs sprawled over my face.
And today, I love 5am conversations with my toddler who wakes up fresher than I ever could. And I love it when my son joins us two hours later from his bedroom for cuddles (I’m relishing these until it becomes uncool to cuddle with your mom and little sis). And I love it when we each take a turn to play hide and seek under the covers, and I love the big laughter coming from my little one as she hurls herself across the bed. And I love being the mountain that gets climbed, and then collapses, resulting in laughter from my two best.
These are the best of times. They’re our precious memories in the making, and our happiness of today. I might not be getting my eight or even seven hours a night, but I’m fuelled by my kids and this parenting privilege, and good coffee – best freshly made from the beans in our machine, and enjoyed in bed, of course. And maybe some chocolate with the kids for pre-breakfast. Okay, I lie – breakfast.
Our queen-sized bed is full of king-sized family fun, and I’m so glad I didn’t close the curtains on this one.
Whether you’re a fan of co-sleeping or prefer your littlies to sleep in their own cot or bed, Sealy has a wide range of sleep systems available for your family, including everything from king-sized mattresses to cot mattresses, pillows and bed protectors.