As a baby, my son was an amazing sleeper.
For the first three weeks.
From that point on, it was battle stations on a daily basis. We failed at routine. Self settling was an excruciating waste of time. It felt like he was always awake.
My lightbulb moment finally came after months of tearing my hair out. Too exhausted to bother anymore, I got him out of his crib and put him down near his toys, explaining that he could play for as long as he wanted, but if he made a sound he’d be straight to bed. He got the message (I was a scary mum that night) and after forty minutes of playing quietly he toddled over to his bedroom door, ready to go down for the night.
That’s when it hit me. Those recommended sleep charts point to the average requirement. And my kid ain’t average. He’s the Energiser Bunny on Red Bull.
Accepting that I have a non-sleeper made things a lot easier. There are actually benefits to this kind of kid (believe it or not).
1. You’re not a slave to nap time.
Lunch at one o’clock? No worries! BBQ at three? We’ll be there. My little one abandoned his regular nap at 18 months old. He’ll still doze off in the car if he has had a busy morning, although it happens less and less nowadays. The awesome upside to this is that we no longer have to break up our day so that he can snooze.
And because there’s no nap to skip, if we have a day that's packed full of activities I don’t have to suffer a cranky child who is running on empty in the evenings.
2. You can party like it’s 1999.
Instead of crashing out in their strollers at 7:00pm, sleep-avoiders are ready to hit the dance floor. You can take them to weddings and dinner parties and stay all the way through to dessert and even later. They don’t get irritated and turn into angry whinge factories, they just keep on keeping on until you have to drag them away from attempting to do the macarena as the clock nears midnight.
WATCH how you can get your baby to sleep in 3 seconds if you're not in to the anti-sleep thing. Post continues after the video...