If you are a parent of any normal child then you will know just what I’m talking about. The saying ‘suck eggs’ probably comes to mind.
I have a slightly more exaggerated view of sleep that probably most others do. I’ve started off with what I didn’t realise was quite a big disadvantage – I’m old! Well, in fact, I didn’t start off old, neither did I envisage becoming old (and before my time in my eyes – I’m one of those who just won’t let go of their youth) but approaching 45 in a few months with a 5 and nearly two-year old has definitely aged me. You know what comes next of course; it’s simply the lack of sleep. I didn’t get sleepy kids! My first developed a bit of separation anxiety so needed a softly softly approach to weaning him in to his own room and my stubborn 20 month old took eighteen months to sleep through – all of those in my bedroom – shock, horror! Every moan, groan, little noise, slight movement, woke me. I’m so tired now that I can barely remember how many times my angel Gabriel ended up in my bed. I swear it nearly killed me. My life was on hold, every time Gabriel had his morning nap I’d be too tired to work but too stupid to really rest. Stubbornness runs in our family. I knew that he should have been in his own room or sharing with his big brother but I was too tired to address it, so took the short-term easy option. I did nothing!
Doing nothing is a massive fail ladies and gents. I’m emerging slowly from my cocoon only now since I took some action a couple of months ago and it has been relatively painless compared to the extra months of pain that I endured by avoiding what was better all around. Baby Gabey is now sharing a top of the range Parisot Family bunk bed with his favourite brother Alexander. We took the easier option and didn’t lose a bathroom to another bedroom or get rid of our au pair – I’d sooner cut off my right arm(!). It works perfectly.
I did lots of research looking for the right bed to fit the room layout and dimensions and by far and away the best people for the job were The Wardrobe Store. Based in Yorkshire, over 20 years in business, they have an enormous amount of choice, exemplary customer service and delivered and assembled within a week.
They offer everything ‘furniture’ for bedroom, bathroom and living room. A huge selection of quality, modern and contemporary furniture with focus on value and service. Stocking leading manufacturers, with loads of ranges that offer matching sets, I almost didn’t know what to choose. Every time I looked I’d get waylaid looking at bathroom furniture or something for the living room!
We opted for a Parisot Family bunk bed. The iconic French brand is known for their clever Space Up storage bed; literally an ingenious double bed that lifts up to provide a rooms worth of storage inside. So, design ideas are key. They offer a huge choice of bunk beds but for us we needed something not too big but with optimum storage and aesthetics. Our bed has integrated shelving as well as a huge underbed drawer. Big enough to fit an extra mattress.
Parisot is a manufacturer that has stood the test of 75 years in production. They offer a mind-boggling number of options including built-in wardrobes and desks and high and mid sleepers. All with matching furniture. The quality is also excellent and they use particle boards with very low solvent emissions, making them a truly green option and safe for every room in the house. 95% of their furniture is actually produced in France so you can be assured of its quality. These aren’t cheap, fall apart, flimsy pieces of furniture. Much of what you can buy out there on a budget just doesn’t stand the test of weight (my heavy husband!) or time.
The Wardrobe Store options are vast and you really will be spoilt for choice. So, once my decision was made, they changed my life in a matter of days. In fact, they take huge amounts of care in every way. No couriers but instead their own drivers, meaning no damaged goods upon arrival and they offer you a 2 hour time slot for delivery. We chose to have our bed assembled. It cost an extra £50 but for it you got two of the politest, most professional assemblers turning up on a Sunday morning and building the bed in the bedroom in just over an hour, taking all the rubbish with them. A really well-spent £50 in my opinion. Completely hassle-free.
We also got two excellent mattresses and mattress protectors and a ‘bunky light’; perfect for reading in the top bunk. It is a clever piece of kit; an LED light with a long enough cable to reach to the top bunk.
We moved our little one in immediately. He was a little young for a bed guard so my very clever husband designed a panel which folded down from the top and secured into the drawer below to keep Gabey from escaping. Four months on, he now knows how to escape through the front and we will be swapping our side panel for a bed guard. He’s 20 months old and capable of not falling out now.
Most importantly – what happened with sleep? Well, he took to it straight away. Even his two hour daily nap went without a hitch. Sleeping from 7-7 most nights, I have my sanity back. There is the odd night that he wakes and he has cried loudly but unbelievably he has never woken his brother – not a particularly heavy sleeper – but there’s something that seems to work between siblings that blocks out the other’s noise! In the mornings I hear them giggle and chat through the monitor and I’m not sure if it has brought them closer or, if as you would expect, they would have been close anyway but they have a brilliant relationship and sharing a bed and a room just cements that. So, my advice, do the bunk bed thing and do go to The Wardobe Store. I know parents who have chosen to let siblings share a room even when they had enough space for one each and I can see why. It’s brilliant for bonding and for older babies it also works. Get your sanity back now!