Wilbur would like to let you in to a few secrets and share a couple of home truths about nap times and night times with you – he didn’t learn this from his big sister but instead has carved his own groundbreaking path to lack-of-sleep related parental hysteria. Enjoy.
1) Try and lull them into a false sense of security
Sleep well for one or two nights, or if you can even a week. This will make them stay up a bit later, drink another glass of wine or even go out in the evening. Once they have relaxed a little, are a little nicer during the day and actually talk to one another you can start the mental unraveling by a gentle ‘nap refusal’ at lunch time followed by a 5pm epic-meltdown and falling asleep into your dinner. They will be so shocked that you are refusing your nap that they’ll probably give you medicine in the hope that you are actually ill and not regressing in the sleep department. HA! But regressing you are. Once they have battled you into bed be sure to wake up 2 or 3 times more during the evening – just to make your intentions for the rest of the night crystal clear.
2) When you go to stay at Grandmas house ALWAYS sleep through the night
There is no point waking up at Grandmas. She’ll probably like the novelty of it and enjoy the cuddles. She’s probably awake anyway and will like the distraction. Sleep through and be careful to watch Mum and Dad’s faces when she tells them all about it when they come to collect you in the morning. Priceless.
3) If Daddy is home from work during the week DO NOT NAP
Let Mummy take you to your room to nap, maybe even rub your eyes, get cross and seem tired but DO NOT NAP. Take five minutes to have one of those ‘I love you so much cuddles’ then declare ‘Daddy downstairs’ and do all you can to make Mummy call Daddy for a ‘what shall we do with him now’ summit. You’ll end up doing something awesome like going to the park instead.
4) Time your night-time wake ups for optimum impact
If you are a pro like me you will time your night-time wake ups for exactly 10 minutes after they are asleep. Wait until the house is quiet, the lights are off and you can hear Daddy snoring then LET LOOSE. Not just gentle crying or whimpering but full on I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW screaming. I don’t really know why but I know it gets them clambering out of bed and to me in an instant and I quite like that.
5) If there’s something big going on at home – WAKE UP
If you can sense that Mum and Dad are doing something fun or tiring the next day or that evening make sure you wake up at least every 2 hours in the night before, just for a cuddle or even a rub on the back. Make bed time impossibly long if you can. They have their fun – you get yours.
6) Watch out for excitement in your parents eyes
If your big sister goes for a nap during the day look at your Mum. If you see a glint of excitement in her eye it is because she is about to do everything in her power to get you to nap too. Resist. Resist at all costs. Dual day time napping means Mummy will probably get to do all the things you HATE like watching boring TV, replying to emails or drinking hot cups of coffee. She might even eat her lunch and not share it with you. DO NOT NAP.
7) Only fall asleep in the car early in the morning or late in the afternoon
If Mummy takes you out in the car straight after breakfast or around dinner time then sleep. Straight away. Even if you have had a decent night’s sleep or a good nap. This will make sure that all other sleep for the next 24 hours is completely messed up. This means one thing: more cuddle time with mummy – winning.
8) Aim High
Our aim is to get into bed with Mummy. Mummy actually shared her bed with me for 8 whole months and now she expects me to sleep in my own bed in my own room. My best technique is to cry so loudly that I get all hot and bothered and then Mummy will start wondering if i’m ill and bring me into bed with her. If I can sense even the slightest chance that she’s too tired to cope with settling me back down in my room then i’ll go for it. All hell will break loose until I am in her room and asleep on her face. It works, almost every time.
9) Know who the weaker parent is
My Mummy always gives me what I want quicker than Daddy. Daddy is a tough guy. He just cuddles me for what feels like years (especially for our neighbours) at 3am but will not give me what I want (milk, toast, Mummy). He wins most times too and I just give up and go to sleep. Occasionally if I shout for Mummy loud enough after Daddy has been cuddling me on and off most of the night whilst I cry he will say some words I don’t understand and she comes in. Jackpot! Next stop: the big bed.
10) At all times – apart from nap time and bed time – be angelic
For this technique to work best you have to be ridiculously adorable the rest of the time. Do really cute things and give everyone lovely kisses and cuddles. Point out dogs and cats in the street, play quietly on your own and love reading books. Parents love this stuff and it will make up for the sleep deprivation (most of the time).
Follow these simple rules and I can assure you that you will definitely always be the baby of the family. No little brother or sister for you. A guaranteed, fool proof approach to no more babies in the house.