We have taken a bit of a backwards step with Alice's sleeping recently. Up until 2 weeks ago, I used to think I was the luckiest mum in the world when it came to bedtime. I would bath her, take her up and get her changed into her pyjamas, put her in the sleeping bag, hand her rabbit and then go to the door and say "night night." Alice would look over and reply, "nigh nigh" before turning over and going to sleep. No tantrums, no complaints, no tears. And she would remain asleep for the next 11 hours. It was amazing. I do remember saying to Dave on more than one occasion that it was too good to be true.
Well guess what... it was! Because 2 weeks ago Alice got the dreaded sickness bug which of course meant all sleeping routines went out the window. And being the worlds biggest worrier, I stayed sleeping by her side for at least a week just to make sure she was over it. When I was absolutely sure she was better, I attempted to go back to our usual bedtime routine.
Disaster. Tantrums, screaming, crying for over an hour each night. I tried the cry-it-out thingy, but it just doesn't sit right with me to leave her crying alone or to let her fall asleep sobbing... so that was short lived. Eventually I found a way of getting her to sleep without having to hold her or sleep in the cot. I simply have to remain in the room. We say goodnight, I turn out the light and then I sit at the other side of the room (by the door) and remain completely silent. Just being there in the room is enough for Alice to feel safe and comfortable enough to fall asleep. And I am rather enjoying that half an hour of peace and being able to relax in a dark room for a bit before having to make the hungry husband dinner!
However, I have begun to realise that I don't actually have to remain in the room until she falls asleep. She just needs me there for a few minutes while she settles. A couple of times I have managed to slip out the door and Alice has peacefully fallen asleep herself. But as I sit there, anticipating my next move, I can't help but dream of an invention. A secret flap built into the bottom of the door which I can crawl out of without letting in any light, or making a squeaking sound as I push it open. So many nights I have been sitting there, imagining this little door, about how easy it would be to crawl out and sneak off downstairs...
And while we're on that subject... I could also do with a self-cleaning floor, a bath which runs the exact correct temperature in 5 seconds flat, a nappy changing machine and chocolate which is as good for you as a handful of broccoli. Thanks!