I am not to sure what it is that Al likes about 4 am in the morning, but we seem to seeing a lot of it of late.
He is a shocking sleeper these days. He has had a cold (as has Gaye), which might explain some of it. But there is now way it explains it all.
He is a very different being from Thomas who responded to a simple routine and being wrapped up. It took time to establish but he is a great sleeper and a great going to bed kid.
I am a very different parent 9 years on too... Al’s life is dictated to more by what the rest of us are doing rather than his potential routine and I am conscious that we have not put consistent energy into developing good sleeping habits for Al. Largely I think because it doesn’t seem to impact on him all that much.
I am not at all against co-sleeping. If Al would sleep when he was with us I would be more than open to him sleeping in with us all night. Thomas came into bed with me for a long time after his 2:00am feed and then once he moved into a bed he would come in sometime between 4:00 – 6:00 in the morning and snuggled in for more sleep and a cuddle. He continues to come in the mornings – especially on weekends to lie with us, sometimes hanging out in our bed after the rest of us have left.
But Al rolls around and wakes and crawls, he feeds over and over – just because it is there I think – of late he seems to be enjoying being awake for a couple of hours where he is perfectly happy if he is with us (but wide awake) and sobs if left in his cot. He is much more strong willed than Thomas was (or we are older and tireder) and it is so much more complex with the boys sharing a room.
We are not of the controlled crying mould of parenting and so we are thinking of getting in help (there is a private – probably outrageously expensive – service here where the woman comes for 3 nights and helps you learn how to settle and teach the baby to sleep without controlled crying. Which makes me feel a bit like a weird failed parent but still you know if someone knows something and it would help well these days I need my sleep, we both work, we have min childcare and two children.
The thing that is interesting thou is that he continues to not be all that impacted by his own lack of sleep. He is a happy fellow most of the time and apart from a bit of whinging is good natured and friendly and easy going.
I sometimes think that my simple (but firmish) routine for Thomas might be part of the reason he has a ‘high need know’ about what is going on next. He has got more easygoing as he has got older but when he was younger a throw out of the routine meant hell to pay. Al is not like that and I would hate for him to lose that easy going sleep when I can, eat when it is there smiley interaction because we developed one.