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Bath, Book, Bed

Seven years into parenting and there have only been five nights in those seven years where I have managed to get FOUR hours solid sleep!

I love being a mummy so much, I really do, but sleepless nights are hard. I never really thought that they were taking their toll on me until last year (six years into sleepless nights) Robbie was waking up every 30 minutes to 1 hour throughout the night EVERY night. My pulse became really fast and I have ended up on beta blockers to control it! This could simply be down to lack of sleep. I was a walking zombie but I thought I was putting on a good front.
I used to get comments such as "How do you cope?" "How do you look so well if you aren't getting any sleep?" - Truth is, I have good make up and I have no choice! I had to get on and deal with it as it wasn't getting any better..... every night was getting worse!

We have always had a 7pm bedtime rule but that really didn't mean much to Robbie, as we knew that within an hour of falling asleep he would wake up again.
We had no time together as a couple and I socially isolated myself as I didn't feel that I could leave Robbie at night or go out for an evening as he was up so often. Plus, I was too tired to go out.

I was very excited to be given the chance to take part in the Bath, Bed, Book campaign by the Book Trust which was originally launched in May 2016 with Jo Frost (TV parenting expert) as their ambassador and spokesperson. The campaign encourages parents and carers to help their little ones sleep well by making stories part of their bedtime routine.

I have been following 'Bath, Book. Bed simple steps to a better night's sleep' a 16 page booklet over the past week.

I asked Tillie and Robbie their opinion on the booklet and our bedtime routine. Tillie said she loved how colourful the booklet is and LOVED the fact that Daddy Pig and Peppa Pig were in the booklet too.
We stuck to our usual 7pm getting ready for bed routine. So after a nice warm bubble bath using Peppa pig bubbles they brushed their teeth. (Robbie is very independent know and obviously knows best so he had to squeeze the tooth paste which has 'magic' sparkles in it)
Robbie often puts up a fight but he liked looking at the pictures in the booklet of another little boy  brushing his teeth and said that he could do the same. He loves his pink Peppa Pig toothbrush!

Robbie decided that daddy could read him the bedtime stories this week as Daddy has been working far away lately so he has missed seeing him before bedtime. Up until recently he would go mad if daddy got him ready for bed, it is nice to see them sharing the special moments.
We also love reading him a book before bed as it is the only time that he will sit still long enough to listen to a story all the way through.

Robbie really enjoyed listening to the book 'Quiet' it made him laugh lots because of daddy's sound effects and the daddy in the story had prickles on his chin just like Robbie's daddy.
Tillie loves to read and prefers to read by herself at bedtime, unless she is really tired then she will let me read to her.
She enjoyed reading poems for a change and we took it in turns to read a page each.
We kissed them both goodnight and kept our fingers crossed that he wouldn't get up and come through to find us.
We bought Robbie a sleep clock so we explained that he pressed the magic button and a light would come on and that he wasn't allowed to get out of bed until the light on the clock went off in the morning.
Tillie has been suffering from nightmares over the past couple of weeks so we have found some lavender spray we call 'Happy dream spray'. At bedtime spray it 5 times, do a little dance to keep away the nightmares.
I have to say that we have been known in the past to give in to letting Robbie watch his ipad at night time just to keep him in his room and to keep him quiet so he didn't disturb Tillie who was at school the next day. It always gave us some down time as it was getting completely out of control. We felt so bad but I was so tired and nothing else seemed to make any difference to how he was sleeping it was the only way that I could be Abbie for half an hour.
Following this booklet again just has made me realise that children do love routine as much as adults do.
I think we had tried to over complicate our bedtime routine and it just wasn't working. Going back to a simple bedtime routine really has worked for us.
We have enjoyed bedtime again and it has helped having the booklet as a backup to show the children what we will be doing.
I have to say that Robbie has only been waking up once in the night and in a morning he has asked for a drink of milk and gone back to sleep for an extra half an hour. We have been able to cut down his daytime nap so been able to have more fun in a daytime.
There are some lovely bedtime books on the website
A Great Big Cuddle
and Beep, Beep, Beep, it's time for sleep.
You are also able to download the booklet 'Bath, Book, Bed: Simple steps to a better night's sleep' here.
The BookTrust website has advice to parents how to introduce the routine and how to maintain it.
You can follow updates on Twitter by following @BookTrust #Bathbookbed


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