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The night time diaries -Guest post from the unlikely dad

Next up in the night time dairies is the unlikely dad. Tom and his husband took the journey of adoption and finally got their beautiful little boy. Tom’s blog just proves you don’t have to be a male and a female to bring a child up you just having to show them love. This I think is amazing and its fantastic that they have been able to have a child of their own.
the unlikely dad guest post
Please could you tell me a little bit about your blog the unlikely dad and where we can find it?
I’m an adoptive dad and gay, and during the process of adoption there was plenty of ‘adoption blogs’ which helped greatly. But i didn’t really feel there was a ‘dad blog’ for the everyday gay man. After becoming a dad felt i had this voice that i didn’t ever have before. I want to be there for dads in general, just not gay dads, but of course being gay makes me that slightly different, but i don’t use it a minority thing, i just have experience in raising a boy with another man! i always wanted to blog, but i was never sure what about. It all made sense when i brought my little boy home (well a good year after that!!). I just aim to share the dad/toddler life stories and lessons learned as much as i can! As well as showing off my journey with filtered, wonderful looking Instagram shots 😉 You can find my blog at www.theunlikelydad.com 
How many children do you have and what are their ages?

One  boy, aged two and a half.

unlikely dad son
What is your normal night time routine

I am very proud of the night time routine in our house. We have it nailed. (Not to brag!). I get in from work by 5:30 and take over (my husband works part time at a school Mon-Wends so most days he has our boy in the day. I get in and take the reigns, usually while my husband is tidying up from the mess of dinner time. We just play, watch some Teletubbies or he’ll come with me upstairs so i can get out of my work clothes.

Bath time usually kicks off about 6:30 and he loves it. By 7pm we’re getting dressed for bed, he’s all dried off, we moisturise/massage and have some quiet time in his room. We then read a book (at the moment it’s the same book EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. He’s obsessed with Pip and Posy!). After that we head downstairs to say ‘night night’ to Dadda and back upstairs with his bottle (yes he still has his bottle!) and off he goes to sleep. Nearly every night he’ll be gone within 5 minutes. I don’t know how, or why, but it works.

Every night is the same. We do have the odd break in routine where we’re out so he doesn’t get to bathe or whatever… and i like those breaks because it mixes it up for him. But i am terrified to remove the bottle and change his cot to a big boy bed because it could ruin our harmonious bed time routine. But we do know we need to change it soon, so we plan to make the transition to the big boy bed in December… #prayfordaddies

Have you purchased any products to help your child sleep (night lights, dream sheep) and have your found them to be effective?
So he still has his bottle with just a little milk in it. But we do have ‘The Elephant’ as we call it. It’s a plastic light up musical thing that sits on his chest of drawers. It would not be night time or nap time without that little beauty being switched on. One time it ran out of batteries… I thought the world was going to end. But ultimately, he has slept through fireworks, the neighbours having parties… he’s just a dream sleeper (thank god!)
Does your little one sleep in a cot/ bed or do you co-sleep?
Cot for now, will transition to bed soon. We brought our boy home at 14 months old and he was used to a cot, but if he wasn’t already used to it, i would’ve happily co-slept for a bit.
 
What lengths have you gone to, to get your children to sleep?

I don’t think we’ve had to go to crazy lengths to get him to sleep, he just loves sleep! But to begin with we were incredibly anal about the routine and not even messing it up by a second. We’d tip toe around the house after putting him to bed… but now we are a lot more relaxed, and he’s slept through a lot of noise before now, so I think we’re good.

Do you find night times as bad as you expected before becoming a parent?

I can’t say I have. We laugh to ourselves at times how easy we have found night times.It sounds so smug… but don’t worry, we have a VERY active little boy, so the waking hours feel like a triathlon at all times!

If you have older children does it get any easier? 
Well at two and a half I think it’s ok… but we are yet to experience him in a bed he can get out of…!
Would you change anything about how you have done things at night time?

No way… it kept us sane in the first few months knowing whatever the day threw at us, he would sleep through from 7pm to 6pm… that was our time to wind down and sleep ourselves!

What piece of advice would you give to a parent struggling with night times?
I would of course say routine, but the child will either be good at it or want to do their own thing. Don’t forget, just because they don’t want to sleep, doesn’t mean they are the bad guy. They might just not be in sync with what YOU want. And it’ll take time to achieve that.
As with anything parenting related, pick your battles. We may have a toddler who loves his sleep, but the balance is that during the day.He can get up to a shed load of mischief, so all things being fair in life if your child doesn’t sleep they maybe quite chilled and happy playing with a certain toy and not opening the oven? If they don’t sleep AND do the naughty things… well.. you are my inspiration mama/papa…!! 😉
I hope you have loved reading this as much as I have. Want to read more from the unlikely dad then make sure to check out his blog. Or head over to his Instagram,Facebook or Twitter Pages for updates.
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