October 24, 2009

Bedtime Story

When kiwi moms ask me what time Alden goes to bed, I always find myself in a dilemma - Should I give them a heart attack or just tell a white lie? More often than not, I'd do the latter. I'd smile weakly and squirmishly say "ermm....9-nish?" I have been telling white lies  about Alden's bedtime routine to avoid getting the accusative, "she's a BAD mother" look from people. You see, when I do tell the truth, I instantly become an alien mother from outer space. It's just incredibale how many terrified looks you can get when you tell people "Oh, my son goes to bed at 11.00 pm" Their response: eyes bulged out, jaw dropped, tongue twisted and words just fail them. Pretty amazing huh?

So what time do Kiwi kids go to bed?

It's  either 6.00 or 7.00 pm. SEVEN o'clock! If you're having a brain freeze, now rest assured that it's normal. That's how I felt when I was told "Children in NZ go to bed at 7.00 pm Alice". So what time do they wake up? 7.00 am of course! They sleep for 12 solid hours. There's no waking up at night, no milk bottle in bed, no midnight tantrums or any of that sort. 

As your toddler starts becoming more and more independent and doing so many things for himself, it's tempting to think of him as "beyond babyhood." But keep in mind that he still has many of the same needs he had as a baby. He still needs a lot of attention, a lot of cuddling, and a lot of sleep. Toddlers need between 12 and 14 hours of sleep in total, usually 11 to 12 hours at night and another one to three hours during the day.

Adapted from Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep by Dr. Jodi Mindell and JOHNSON'S® Your Baby and Toddler, From Birth to 3 Years, DK Publishing Inc., 2004.

Fine. So the book says tots need a LOT of sleep. I can't agree more. But where sleep is concerned, Alden is nowhere near the normal range.

For many many months I have endured Alden's abnormal sleeping habit. He has the capacity to stay up until the wee hours of the night, sometimes up till 1.00 am. I've tried putting him to bed earlier but we always end up having a mommy-son battle in bed instead.  Alden just doesn't like sleeping. He likes playing and he loves cartoon and he loves  running around the house. He can indulge in these activities for hours and hours until his energy runs low. Let's put it this way, just imagine that other kids are EVEREADY and my son is the long lasting ENERGIZER. While the other kids get a recharge, my Alden keeps on going like the ENERGIZER bunny. His recharge time comes much much later.

Having said all that, there's a twist to this entry.

A week ago, a miracle happened. Alden came home from school one day and asked for a meal, "mummy, momom" he said. After a feed and a hot shower, he asked for his bottle and started lying down on the sofa. I figured he was probably over exhausted after a long day at playschool. So I put him to bed and started singing him a lullaby. In less than 5 minutes, he was fast asleep! At 7.05 pm! He slept through the night and only woke up at 7.00 the next morning. As I was saying, miracles do happen :)

Since then, Alden has become more of an EVEREADY and less of an ENERGIZER. His new bed time routine has continued for two weeks now and I'm starting to enjoy peaceful evenings at home. I no longer need to tell white lies coz now my son goes down at 7 (well sometimes 8) and wakes up at 7 just like every other Kiwi kid. Ahh...victory never tasted so sweet :)

1 comment:

June said...

~ Haha..I do really enjoy reading this post teacher.
~ Alden is an active little boy. He learns a thing day by day ^^ He is going to be the sweet one^^
~ Keep update teacher!