Ok, hands up, I admit it. I have been a "smug mum" these last seven years when it comes to children and sleep. It wasn't always that way, as the first 12 weeks of Beansey's life was a sleep deprived nightmare, with a colicky, constantly breast feeding, bundle of cuteness and not the cosy, cuddly world of a newborn that the magazines lead you to believe (Ha, Ha).
I was struggling with the lack of routine and in desperation turned to "The Contented Baby" by Gina Ford which totally polarises parents but for me was an absolute sanity saver. I realise that when you first read it, it comes across as very regimental, but out of desperation, we followed the feeding and sleeping parts of the routine and our lives were transformed.
If you are not aware of the book, she advocates nonsense such as leaving a baby to cry it out, and putting them into their own room from birth which is something we couldn't do, but in terms of structuring feeding and sleeping it was magic and worked for us.
Needless to say, I used the same method for Beau Bo and Pixie and know countless others that have followed our less rigid version with great success. As a result of this routine, all of my kids have always been great sleepers. They still go to bed at 7pm and sleep for 12 hours, they have all slept after lunch for 2 hours until the age of 3 and I get some much needed time out in the middle of the day!
However, since moving Pixie into a "big girl's bed" we have had nothing but problems (and no, we can't put the cot back up as passed it onto a friend). At first, she relished in the fact she had a B.G.B (Big girls Bed) but very quickly realised that she could leave her bedroom. This is not good as we worry about her falling down stairs etc etc. Our house is an old Victorian one and so we have irregular sized door frames, therefore a stair gate won't fit across her door.
We have resorted to wedging the door with an old tea towel. She still goes down like a dream at night, but from around 430am starts to wake up and we can't work out why! She cries, loudly, then starts to wail "Mummy/Daddy bed, Mummy/Daddy bed". We ignore and she changes her tactics by banging on the door. Obviously we don't want her to wake the boys and so I then go into her. She then says "Morning Mummy, downstairs". This is her at 5:15am. Cute eh?!
This isn't a one off, this is every single night and I am at a loss as to what to do. I have tried the following:
1) Cutting down her daytime nap - this doesn't work as she is up so early and needs this sleep. If she doesn't have it, she is then wanting to go to bed at 5pm.
2) Sleeping in her bed with her when she wakes up. She has a cot bed. I am 5ft 6inches and not a skinny minny. This works for her, but not for me.
3) Ignoring her - she gets louder and louder, eventually waking the boys.
4) Bringing her into bed with us. She then faffs about and doesn't sleep, wanting to go downstairs.
5) Putting her back into bed and trying the "sh, sh, sh" method.
HELP!!!! Can anyone see where we are going wrong or is this just my punishment for being so smug about sleeping in the past?!