As I write this sentence I know that most parents reading this will want to slap me (I’m so sorry)
All of my babies slept through the night from a few weeks old.
Before you lynch me, please just keep reading.
I honestly wish I had a magic formula to explain why but I don’t. Obviously they woke for feeds and dirty nappies but even when teething they didn’t really wake and we had hardly any sleepless nights.
Izzie was always a very heavy sleeper, so much so that when she was toilet trained we had to wake her to go to the loo – it worked, as we’ve never had a wet bed either – sorry now I do just sound like I’m bragging.
My point is, when Ollie came along everyone said “you’ve been lucky” “this one won’t sleep” but he really did. From around 8 weeks to 2 years 4 months, he was a brilliant sleeper.
Then all of a sudden, the night terrors hit.
I was heavily pregnant with Mason and aside from that I don’t remember there being any trigger, just one day Ollie decided he didn’t like his bed. He didn’t like his room. He didn’t like the dark, and he definitely didn’t like sleep anymore.
The first four weeks were just awful. He wouldn’t even sleep in his bed and used to curl up in a ball on the floor. Some nights it would be midnight before he stopped screaming and crying and it was heartbreaking. I think he also blamed me as he wouldn’t come anywhere near me if he woke with a night terror and kept repeating ‘don’t like you mummy’. Mix that and a very hormonal pregnant lady and I’m sure you can imagine there were lots of tears.
When Mason was born, things improved slightly, we could actually get him into his bed, but he would insist on having the light on, and 5 nights out of 7 he would ‘wake’ screaming and inconsolable but he wasn’t awake enough for us to be able to calm him.
These night terrors lasted until just after he turned 4. When Mason was 7 months old, they started sharing a room and Mason got so used to Ollie shouting out in the night that he just slept through it.
We had several ways to help with his night terrors – cutting down his sugar intake, making sure he wasn’t too overtired, implementing a strict bedtime routine, but the main difference was a nightlight.
Even as he’s got older (he will be 5 in December) he’s always settled better with a nightlight. When we’ve been away on holiday and he hasn’t had one, we’ve had the odd reoccurrence of the waking and shouting out because he’s not happy in complete darkness.
He now is more than happy to go to bed, but he is a nightmare to settle – he will take every opportunity to procrastinate about going to bed – even if he’s been to the toilet, he will come out to go again just to put off sleep a bit longer. He’s also great at dragging out every toy he can find – annoying Mason in the process, who normally is exhausted and just wants to sleep.
We only had a cheap nightlight until a few weeks ago when we were very kindly sent a Lumie Bedbug . Lumie are light therapy specialists so I was so excited to try it out. It is also recommended by Sarah Ockwell-Smith, a parenting expert and author of the bestselling ‘The Gentle Sleep Book’, so I had an inkling that we would love it.
The old nightlight we had was a blue coloured one – purely because the brand did pink or blue (don’t even get me started) and so we went for a blue one, as that was two year old Ollie’s choice. I didn’t realise until looking into it recently that blue lighting is not great for a nightlight as the blue light is stimulating and inhibits the body from producing melatonin which is what helps to regulate sleep.
The Lumie Bedbug is designed to promote a calm environment and bedtime routine for babies and young children. It combines a reading light with a nightlight and has a ‘sunset’ function, which means the light gradually dims (mimicking a real sunset) over around a 15 minute period. It can fade to an orange light (which has two brightness options) or can fade to darkness.
The nightlight is easy to work with simple controls (that are super quiet) and it is really cute. The boys were so pleased to have it in their room (cue a strop from Izzie who also wanted one!) and actually it has helped with settling Ollie for bed so much.
(An attempt at showing the varying ‘sunset’ colours – not the easiest with dark lighting)
The sunset function starts at the reading light brightness and Ollie knows that when it is white he can play, when it is ‘red’ (orange) that means bed. Everything is easier to understand with a rhyme. He seems much calmer at bedtime, and hasn’t been taking as long to fall asleep. I think that starting school has also helped because he is quite tired, but he has been settling much quicker since we’ve been using the Bedbug.
The actual reading light is way brighter than I thought it would be, and we love it. It’s very safe for the children to use and they’ve actually been using it instead of the bedside table lamp.
I really do think that the Lumie Bedbug has helped refine our bedtime routine – and that it is well worth it’s RRP of £59.95. I just wish it had been around a couple of years ago when Ollie was in the full throes of his night terrors. You can find the Bed Bug here – or it is available from all good retailers such as John Lewis, Boots and Amazon amongst others.
Now if only someone could invent something to keep them asleep for longer in the morning and I would be one very happy mummy….
Disclaimer: We were very kindly sent the Lumie BedBug in exchange for an honest review. All photographs and opinions are as always my own.