My son falls asleep with the TV on – mummy fail!

9 Jul


My first born got the worst of me.

When I had Philip I was in shock. It had been an emergency caesarean and instead of enjoying my first days of motherhood I was sore, completely clueless and in shock. I felt like I’d been hit by a truck.

I loved him immediately. I wasn’t depressed. I just didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

Whenever he cried, I buzzed the nurse. Whenever he needed a nappy change, I buzzed the nurse. I was hopeless. I lay there feeling like a car crash victim expecting everyone to do everything for me. It was horrible.

When they told me they were sending me home, I thought they were joking. I didn’t know how to look after a baby. All the books and articles I’d read were forgotten. How do I get this body suit over his head?

I limped out of the hospital, watched as my husband spent twenty minutes figuring out how to strap him into his car seat and I didn’t say a word the entire ride home.

Philip (8) is still my most difficult child and it’s my fault. Giovanni (4) and Caterina (3) are perfect because with them I knew what I was doing.

Philip can’t fall asleep unless the TV in his room is left on.

Giovanni and Caterina are asleep minutes after their bedtime story is read.

Philip calls me several times a night for water/nightmare/random thoughts.

Giovanni and Caterina rarely wake up if at all.

Basically, Philip’s bedtime ‘routine’ is appalling, an exercise in what NOT to do and Giovanni and Caterina could star in an educational video about how to get your child to sleep!

So when I was on Ten Breakfast this morning discussing lullabies and the importance of bedtime routines, I was basing my advice on Giovanni and Caterina. Philip needs a major intervention but every time I attempt to correct his bedtime routine I give up. Sometimes I get as far as to get him to sleep with the TV off and just a lamp only to have him wake up screaming in the middle of the night. All that calms him is the TV on low volume so he doesn’t feel like he’s alone.

Philip slept in bed with us frequently between the age of two and four. It was a struggle to get him out. We wanted our bed back but when he’d wake in the middle of the night our exhaustion always won and in he’d come.

We thought he’d grow out of it but he didn’t. I spent a month trying to get him to stay in his bed all night and often ended up in tears and too tired to think the following day. That’s when I came up with the brilliant idea of putting a TV in his room, just until he got used to it.


My sister has a new baby and she often asks me how old Philip was when he finished breastfeeding, started walking and started sleeping through the night. I honestly can’t remember. It’s all a blur.

Tonight I’m going to start weaning him off his TV and this time I won’t give up.

Off with the box!

Here I am on Ten Breakfast. A fun chat but please forgive the hair!


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