Hardy has never been a good sleeper. We had many friends who had babies that were great sleepers, so I eagerly awaited that magical 12 week mark where apparently everything fell into place and the sleep would come. That’s what happened for everybody else! Well, 12 weeks came and went didn’t it? In fact, he didn’t sleep through the night on a regular basis until he was two. And even now, at five, he can still be handful to get to sleep.
I’ve tried to explain to him that learning to fall asleep on your own or unaided is just like how he’s learned to ride a bike. “You started with a tricycle then moved up to a balance bike. Then you mastered that so you moved onto a small bike – and the training wheels only lasted a day you were so clever! Now you have a bigger bike AND can ride a motorbike!”
This – I recently realised – all happened in the space of 12 months!
I was recently at a friend’s house where she put her 2.5 year old in his room after story time, said goodnight and closed the door. And he went to sleep! Done! I was very impressed.
Recently I asked Hardy why he couldn’t get to sleep, to which he mournfully replied “my room just doesn’t feel close to nature.”
WHAT THE ACTUAL!
“What do you mean?”
“It doesn’t look like nature. It doesn’t have any animals or trees.”
“Well you can’t have a bunch of animals in your room, it would be like a zoo. But plants we can do. Do you want me to bring some of my pot plants in here?”
Fast forward to the next day and $100 at Bunnings and he has a beautiful collection of indoor plants – one of which is described as an “air purifier” – and a new shelf to house some of them. We also added some other things “from nature” such as coral and straw. He chose everything himself. He wandered around the nursery and I must admit he chose quite well!
AND importantly.. it seems to be working! Two nights in and he went off without much drama and slept 12 hours both nights. Nature for the win!
Plus, tonight I told him how research showed that talking to plants can help them grow. “I want all the plants to know I love them.” (My heart!)
But the thing that really surprised me in all this was his sense of insight into what he wanted his room to be like. I honestly didn’t think kids cared that much about that kind of thing. So long as it had toys in it, who cares. The “styling” of a room was more a creative expression for adults than the children who have to sleep there. I had a whole Pinterest board of ideas for his ‘big boy room’ (in our own place) and never once did I think to ask him what he might like his own room to be like.
But they are tiny people, aren’t they? Capable of more than we know, and certainly more than we give them credit for.