So, any regular readers will have been waiting on tenterhooks for an update on how Pudding’s move to his own room went and whether we’re getting any sleep. Or, more likely, will have completely forgotten about it….
After a massive clear-out of the office (which has now taken over our bedroom), Pudding moved in just before Christmas. The change didn’t seem to phase him at all, though I discovered that with his door directly opposite ours he sounded even louder at night. We waited until after Christmas though to take the cot sides off, and I am very glad we did.
When T graduated from the cot we did all the usual things. We chose new bedding, we talked about how he was going to be in a ‘big boy bed’ now he was growing up. It was an exciting time. But with Pudding it was different, as of course everything is.
When a child has communication problems and little understanding it is far more difficult to prepare for a change. I had no idea whether he would take it in his stride or whether it would throw him completely. Turns out it was the latter.
I suppose that having been in a cot for almost 5 years, apart from a few nights in a hotel room with me, it was quite a reassuring space. To suddenly have that security taken away rocked his world. He understood straight away that he could climb out of bed, and he did, finding it far more distressing that he was going to be left in the room by himself.
Every so often, like when we have the hour change in spring or autumn, he has found it more difficult to settle at night. At those times we’ve simply had to stay in with him until he fell asleep, only for a few nights, and I expected this time to be the same. It was a much slower process though: sitting by the bed with him on my knee to read stories, turning the light out, persuading him to get into bed, staying close by and talking or singing until he was fast asleep. Time consuming but totally worth it to save him from as much stress as possible. Gradually, gradually this has changed and I can now get him into bed, look at a book, turn the light off and go straight out. (On nights when it is Hubby’s turn, Pudding still has him wrapped firmly around his little finger though!) Dropping nap-time completely has helped too – he often can’t keep his eyes open much past six thirty now.
His distress was of course tough to deal with. What mother enjoys seeing their child in tears? However the worst aspect was that it brought on a period of separation anxiety at the start of the school term. Whilst previously Pudding had run in laughing to give his TA a hug, all of a sudden he was clinging to me and crying. This I found very hard and was one of the contributing factors to my low mood last month. But again, with the help of his TA (who became very good at pretending to hide from him) we’ve got through it and out the other side.
Strangely enough, the thing I was most worried about – him getting out of bed at night – hasn’t happened at all. As long as it’s still dark, he has stayed in bed for his nightly partying. We’re not taking any chances of course; he has a very stiff door with a stair-gate on the outside of it.
I’m just not looking forward to those summer mornings when it starts getting light really early… Knock, knock, knock. ‘Mum-meee! Muuuuum-mee!’