Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Worlds Apart toddler sleep #POWWOW

Sleep! Oh how I miss you! I am a terrible sleeper and my biggest fear is that my children will be like me too. Last week I was invited The Museum of Childhood, to a Toddler Sleep PowWow by Worlds Apart, so I jumped at the chance.

Chester has always been a great sleeper, never had any issues with him. But Millie can be a pickle, especially at bedtime. She is just over 2.5 now, she shares a room with Chester and they sleep in bunk beds. She was climbing out of her cot, it was getting too dangerous so we really needed to move her into her own bed. Unfortunately though, Millie see's it as a game, and rather than go to sleep she get up and down, rattles the stair gate, plays her toys, screams and shouts down to us. If she was in her own room I don't think this would be so much of a problem for us, but as she shares with Chester (which is going to be the case until we can afford to up our mortgage and buy a bigger house) it is a big problem.

He needs his sleep, he has got a School routine to stick to, and I don't want Millie's non existent sleep pattern to disturb that. So at the moment we put Chester in our bed, where he falls asleep almost instantly, and then move him when Millie falls asleep. Which more often than not is not until past 11pm. This is not ideal.

Worlds Apart is working with children’s sleep expert Mandy Gurney, the founder of Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic. Mandy has written a Toddler Sleep Guide, in which she addresses common 
toddler sleep problems - outlining her tried and tested sleep routine for children, offering advice for when parents are moving their little ones from a cot into their first big bed.

As you can imagine I was really looking forward to what she had to say. So armed with my notepad, we head off to The Museum of Childhood. The Children were very excited to see some of the Worlds Apart products, and Millie was particularly taken by the Peppa Pig Toddler bed. It was the perfect size for her, and instantly I could see the reason why she should of gone from her cot to a toddler bed and not straight to a full size single bed. She looked so much more secure and comfortable.

I was pleased to see lots of other lovely blogger's there too, some I had met and some I had not. We all had one thing in common today... Toddler sleep problems!

Mandy was lovely, she gave us lots of advice and was happy to answer our individual questions too. By the time we had finished I had a notebook full of ideas to help us get into a better routine with Millie.

The top tips for me were:
  • Timing is more important than technique
  • an hour before bedtime, turn tv off, tidy toys
  • half an hour before bedtime start the bathtime routine
  • only 5 minutes needed in the bath, with no playtime to excite them
  • Melatonin is a sleep hormone which needs to be high at bedtime
  • Triggers for Melatonin include a drop in body temperature (after getting out of the bath) or a dip in the lights
  • Do not let your toddler have an afternoon nap past 3pm  
The no naps past 3pm is a big one for us, since Millie falls asleep on the School run, which is over that time. But Mandy was very helpful and explained that it takes 10 minutes to fall into a deep sleep, so not to let her go past 10 minutes. A power nap is all she needs at her age.

You can read my previous post on Worlds Apart Toddler Sleep Guide here. It has got Mandy's downloadable Sleep Guide, which is packed full of tips and well worth a read.

Worlds Apart have got some really great products to help with the bedtime routine. Chester came home with a lovely Planes Safe n Sound Lumiglow wall sticker. He got to stick the sticker set to his wall, and then you velcro the main Lumiglow light to the big sticker. It is activated by clapping in front of it, it then glows softly for 2 minutes. Enough to comfort a child if they wake in the night.

Millie is a massive Peppa Pig fan at the moment, so she was made up when she was given a Peppa Pig my first ReadyBed. A ready bed is a great idea for sleepovers, its so compact and comes with its own pump. The first ready beds have got a wraparound bed head to help toddler feel secure, and it also has a little side pocket to store a bedtime story! Needless to say we haven't been able to get Millie out of the Ready Bed since!

We had a great day at the #PowWow I certainly came away with lots of information and ideas to help sort out Millie's bedtime routine and sleep pattern.

Look out for my next post for an exciting Worlds Apart giveaway

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