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Ever wonder what sleeping with a toddler is like? Wonder no more, I’ll describe our “routine”, which definitely includes nursing!
No matter what, it seems to never fail lately. We all prepare for bed and the lights are turned off. We climb into bed. Monkey Boy nurses, then starts twisting and turning, says something, and goes back to drinking milk.
Then, Monkey Boy sits up to look around, nurses in this awkward position, and starting tapping on one or both of us. After having his hand blocked, or held repeatedly, Monkey Boy starts crawling all over us, as we lie there attempting to feign sleep.
Eventually, I say, “Stop!”.
Monkey Boy then goes back to nursing – again, before hitting the wall, just for kicks. Monkey Boy soon tires of hitting the wall and starts crawling on our heads, ensuring that he twists and turns, sits up to clap, and otherwise make noise.
“Lay down and go to sleep” one of us says.
Monkey Boy, once again, returns to nurse. I reposition him as he contentedly continues nursing. Then, he pops his head up to say something. No one responds and he goes back to drinking his milk.
Inevitably, Monkey Boy gets up yet again to climb on our heads. I turn over, onto my stomach, face the opposite direction and try to go to sleep (or at least lie to myself that I’ll get some sleep with him crawling on my head).
After a little while, Monkey Boy twists and turns until his feet are jammed into one of our sides and his head on the other of us. We lay there, pretending to be comfortable, pretending to be asleep in an attempt to trick Baby Boy, meanwhile trying not to respond to anything he does.
Of course, without a response, Monkey Boy kicks and twists and turns and climbs some more, repositions himself until most of his body lay on the pillows between us.
The toddler sleep drama isn’t over though!
Monkey Boy climbs on me, tugs at me, and starts whining because he wants more milk. I turn so he can get it, he twists and turns while nursing, pops off again and goes back to his favorite horizontal position – head on one of us, feet in the others’ side.
“Stop!” we say. “It’s time to go to sleep. It’s not play time. Lay down. Goodnight.” we say.
I wrangle him back to a vertical position, where he finally settles in to actually nursing and falls asleep.
This happens, Every. Single. Night.
It doesn’t matter if we go to bed at a decent hour or we stay up until late. It doesn’t matter if he naps a few hours before bed or if he seems ready to go to sleep when we’re getting ready for bed or not.
Without fail, Monkey Boy does this exact same routine, with only slight variations, every night! Some nights one or both of us are more frustrated. Other nights it’s warmer and all the movement makes us hot and uncomfortable. Still others, it’s cooler.
Most nights, the temperature is just about right. I put covers on Baby Boy, he wants them off. I don’t put covers on, he wants to curl into me.
Usually, I’m so tired….
Then there’s this:
But, what can you do. Toddlers are so precious and lovely when they’re sleeping peacefully. It’s no wonder we just tolerate these antics every night.
What is your experience with toddlers and getting them to sleep? Have you ever tried co-sleeping? And, please share with me your tips on getting toddlers to sleep when it’s time for bed!