As a baby our mother would gently rock us to sleep in her arms, then in our cribs she would stroke our faces till we settled and closed our eyes, in our beds she would settle us with a story, maybe a song and a cuddle, and we’d drift gently off to sleep feeling safe and secure, sometimes we’d wake and she’d return with a reassuring word or two about bedtime and we would go back to sleep knowing she was just downstairs if we needed her.
Without all of this we wouldn’t know how to settle ourselves and would just lie awake for hours staring at the ceiling wondering why we were in bed and what its purpose was.
2 of My girls missed out on all of this, they learnt that bed time is just about playing in your room and sleep is just something you do when you can’t keep your eyes open for a moment longer. The end result is very tired little girls who bicker because they’re irritable and can’t focus at school because they’re so ‘wired’.
1 of my girls was ‘lucky’ enough to enter the care system at a young age and to the care of a foster carer that cared for and nurtured her. She sleeps soundly.
The difference a good sleep routine makes is very apparent in our home.