Toddler bedtime - an exercise in parental patience

Getting a toddler in bed isn't necessarily the same as getting them to sleep.

Our evenings are currently an exercise in parental patience. Getting our 9 month-old infant to bed can be a challenge as her two and a half year old sister sings, hoots and bangs on her cot bars in the room next door.

"The Toddler Seal will appear lethargic and ready for sleep as it settles upon its resting ledge but sleep will be long in coming. First the Toddler Seal must regale its family with a wail like the souls of the damned, eyes bright with new found energy."

It seems that no matter how sleepy our toddler appears when we put her to bed, within about ten-minutes of snuggling down with her assortment of In The Night Garden characters she receives the equivalent of a caffeine-jolt to her adrenal system and the nightly chorus begins. :)

Her little sister eventually falls asleep in spite of the cacophony in the adjoining room but only after been gently rocked and hummed to for about twenty minutes.

Even a sleeping infant can be like a carefully calibrated trip-mine. She may appear to be fast asleep but as I gently lay her floppy, sleeping form in her cot, her eyes pop open, she grins and illustrates her newly-awakened state with an enthusiastic wiggle of all available extremities. Then it's back to the start of the cycle with another round of rocking and humming.

Putting toddlers and infants to bed around the same time is certainly an exercise in parental patience. You can't help but love their happy little fight to stay awake at times. :)

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