Bedtime in our house is often filled with chasing our youngest around the house, trying to get his PJ's on, and on some level trying to keep the bedroom routine calm. We are very firm when it comes to his bedtime, it's something that we both agreed on after our eldest daughter wouldn’t sleep! Is it easy? Hell no. But it works! 

Our son's bedroom is the smallest in the house and we keep it minimal for safety as well as sensory. That being said, I wanted it to have a touch of his personality. Thankfully there is nothing clinical about his bedroom, he has a normal bed, with carpet, curtains and blackout blind. What you'd expect in any toddler’s bedroom. He's not a toddler though, he's eight and loves Toy Story.

Bedtime isn't easy, I spend usually at least two hours sitting on his floor with my coverlet, three pillows, headphones and glass of juice (no wine for me). This is my evening, he will usually sleep for a good 45 minutes before waking up and hunting for me, then it's another 45 minutes before I can leave the room. Why did we start this? We didn't, exactly. He went from cuddles, sleeping on my chest, crib, cot bed, toddler bed and then single bed without much issue but around three years old when his seizures started and his special needs became more apparent, things changed, things that had been routine for three years suddenly became a fight. 

Special needs parents know the strain of getting a child to sleep. We are lucky that he sleeps, others aren't so lucky and tag team throughout the night. I don't want to spend my life sitting on his floor watching Netflix (although, it's quiet, calm and nice not to have to fight over the TV). 

That being said, after spending two hours of my evening curled up on the floor, I make my escape to my own bed! Only to find that within an hour I will hear the pita patter of tiny feet as he rushes to our room, sneaks in between us and drops back off to sleep. I used to fight it, I'd take him back and spend another two hours fighting him back to sleep but I learnt that we all 'need' sleep and if allowing him into our bed means we get to sleep then so be it! It's cute because he calls our bed 'cug' for cosy and cuddles. That's his safe place, sleeping between us. That doesn't mean that his bedroom isn't safe for him. He has his bad nights like anyone else but the next night it will be different. Every night is different!

He loves his room. We try to keep the toys out of the room as bedtime distractions were upon us a few years back. Maybe in a few years, I’ll attempt to get him to sleep on his own and do the 'move across the room' technique which may be hard given the size of his room. 

If like us you find yourself having bedtime battles, do what is right for you as a family. It's often easy for sisters, best friends, next door neighbours to have the bedtime routine down to an art but they don't have a child with anxiety or sensory disorders. Don't feel pressured to do anything you are not comfortable with. If it's a bad night, draw a line and start afresh the next night. 

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