Sam Sims

Being up in the night with a toddler

written by Sam Sims

  1. #sleep
  2. #night
  3. #toddler
  4. #bedtime
  5. #knackered

You are no longer awake because you have a hungry, grizzly, teething baby at your side. No you are up because your 3.5 year wants to talk about potholes (True story, see below!).

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Whilst the sleep does improve as the little darlings get older, there are the occasional nights which remind you of those torturous early days of little sleep and constant feeding. There are however some stark contrasts between being up in the night with a toddler to being kept up by a baby:

1) They can talk

‘Mumma, where do potholes come from?’ was a genuine question my 3.5yr old asked me recently, at 2.10am. I mean seriously, what the hell was he dreaming about?

He has also been known to want to discuss what he is wearing the following day, where he is going and is it ok for boys to wear tights. All at a horrendous 4am.

2) They can threaten you0

‘Mumma I need a poo’ nothing gets you out of bed quicker than that. 2am, 4am, 6am, it wins every time. They might be bluffing but either way they know you won’t want to take the risk. Cleaning poo off the bed sheets just isn’t worth it.

For the record, they are normally bluffing.

3) They can walk

They can get up and go. You can’t stop them. Downstairs, into the bathroom, into YOUR bed. They are free to roam.

I’m not going to lie, it can be scary at times. Where the hell are they? I have lost count of the times I have woken up to a little face heavy breathing in front of mine. I advise not to watch any sort of horror films that involve a possessed toddler when your child learns to walk.

Our toddler also possess the skills of a Marine. He slips into our bed without touching either of us and positions himself smack bang in the middle. We often are none the wiser until the morning when we wake up with our heads on the bed side tables and the toddler lying starfish in the middle. Well that, or I wake to sound of the other half moaning as the toddler has kicked him in the balls in his sleep. That normally does the trick.

He just wanders around

4) They don’t want to cuddle

Now this isn’t true all the time, our little lad loves a cuddle but they don’t like to be still for long you see. Something I used to love about being up with a baby (and I use the word love loosely) was the cuddle time. Now, I’m lucky if I get 5 minutes of proper cuddle time during the night. Toddlers are resourceful and if he is awake, he wants to chat, play, wee, poo or eat. Simple as that.

4) They know best

‘It’s time to get up Mumma’. No, it isn’t, it’s 4am.

Have you ever argued with a toddler? It is tiring at the best of times, no matter at 4am when they are rested and raring to go and you on the other hand are not, and are grumpy. I often find I have no good comebacks and in the summer, when the sun is actually rising at 5am, your argument of ‘it’s still dark’ is over.

and finally

5) They should be asleep…..

…which makes them being awake, all the more annoying!

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  1. Just dread the ' I need a wee wee' and it's just not worth taking the risk. But it's the full blown awakeness that comes with it at 1am followed by getting him back to sleep by lying next to him and then all of a sudden it's 5am !


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