Friday, March 12, 2010

The Sleep Wars: Baby vs. Momma

I constantly allude to my chronic exhaustion. Because I think about sleep the way a fifteen-year-old guy thinks about boobies. You know the movie "Up" and the dog who is always having Tourette's-like moments where he's all: "Squirrel?!" That's me. But with sleep.  Except that sleep for me is like unicorns and fairy dust.  I would dream about sleep if ever I could . . . sleep.

I am obsessed with my bed because I never sleep in it. I am so tired that even my new fancy make-up can't fix the deep black circles under my eyes. Some mornings, I look like in the mirror to see a scary hybid between a racoon and the Emperor from Star Wars.  I feel groggy and hung-over even when no wine was consumed. I get horrifically angry at my handsome, far-too-good-for me, incredibly hard-working husband every time he utters the words: "I'm so tired." I undergo a magical tranformation into a bad witch. Actually, what happens is I get my B on. The catalyst is my husband's evil words. The conversation goes like this:

8:51 pm - husband comes home from work after a 14 hour day.
Cap'n: Hi sweetie. Sorry I'm so late. What's for dinner? It smells really good. I'm starving because I worked through lunch.
Lydia: Stuffed shells. In oven. For you. Kids alseep. Wine now. TV now. Too tired to talk. Love you.
Cap'n: Thanks! Oh my goodness. I am so tired.
Lydia: (slowly turns to face husband while giving evil eye) What. Did. You. Just. Say?
Cap'n: I'm tired?
Lydia: (Zero to "B" in 4 seconds) You're so tired. Really? What do you even know about tired? I'll show you tired. Why don't you wake up with the baby every hour all night every single night and then chase around ungrateful shrieking little terror suspects all day?! You're tired because you watched a game that was on the west coast that started at 10 pm last night! Your tiredness is voluntary! You chose to be tired. And then you slept uninterrupted for 6 whole hours.  When was the last time I slept for six consecutive hours? 2007 - that's when! Then you got to sit in your car for an hour each way fighting traffic all by yourself and listen to music and talk on your cell phone with no people bugging you or hollering "mom Mom MOM MOOOOMMMM" in your ear non-stop. YOU ARE NOT TIRED!  IN FACT YOU HAVE NO CONCEPT OF TIRED. Don't even talk to me about tired!"
Cap'n: These stuffed shells are really good.
Lydia: Gaaahhhhhhh!
Cap'n: Is there enough for seconds, Crazy?
Lydia: (trying to summon last shred of dignity) Yes. Please help yourself.

I am fully aware that the above makes me a bad person. I am not proud of my behavior. But not sleeping will make you crazy. And it's sort of his fault because he works and I'm at home.  So technically if I were truly desperate, I would be able to catch a nap sometime during the day. That's the so-called "logic" behind why I always get up with her. That and the breastfeeding, but whatever. Except that this napping thing never happens because I have three kids and a phone and a dog. Those three things conspire against me. There is no napping for Momma. And trying to nap and having it not work out is baaaad and just makes me more crazy and desperate.

Because it's not just the lack of sleep - it's the stress positions associated with sleeping in the rocking chair - with my neck at an angle that I'm pretty sure could result in my own death and my right foot propped against a table so that it feels broken when I finally wake up in the middle of the night. And it's not just the stress positions and the resulting physical pain, it's the fact that the whole "will I or won't I sleep ever again" situation becomes a state of psychological warfare between me and the baby. And she always wins.

Do you know what she does? She manipulates me. She can't read, or speak in full sentences, or use a fork, or make outside of a diaper.  Yet she can masterfully use my maternal instincts against me.  Like an evil Yoda.  Would you like an example? Ok, one night, I decided to let her cry for a few minutes before I went in there and she was sort of wimpery and quiet and then wimpery again and then, the floor board creaked just outside the bedroom door so she knew I was standing there. And then the screaming started. I let her yell for maybe a minute and was wondering what to do when all of a sudden she spoke her first sentance:

"MOMMA! Me UP! Peeeeaaaaasse! Me up, Momma, peeease, me up!" followed by tiny, heart-broken sobs.

You win, little baby. Because you play hard ball. She has effectively sleep-trained me. To do her bidding.

Cut to two hours later. We're in the World's Most Uncomfortable Rocking Chair. She is splayed out on my lap, secure in her victory, but angry because she can't nurse all night long. Meanwhile, I wake up with a start, wondering where the heck I am and why this milk-drunk, surly Ewok is wiggling around on my lap calling me Momma.

It's like an abusive relationship. When I can't take any more and have reached my limit, she gives me just enough of a break that I don't get seriously hard core. I might get some improvement for a week or two. And it's wonderful. Then just as I start to get even the least bit complacent - BAM! The cycle starts all over again. Is it a molar? Does she have an ear infection? Why is the little angel waking up every 45 minutes? Why, God, WHY?! To torture me, that's why.

People will tell you they know the answer. The trick to getting your child to sleep through the night. They are LIARS. There is no trick. If there was a trick, I would know it and this post would be about how I get up at 5:30 am to work out with Kate and be gorgeous. I'll say it again - there is no trick. There is only trickery. And thousands of books and websites and blogs all trying to tell me that I'm an idiot for having a fifteen month old who still doesn't sleep. I could write a BOOK about how all these full-proof methods are actually big, fat lies designed to make me feel worse about my lack of sleep.In fact, just to save you all the trouble of suggesting things that I've already tried* and failed at, here's a (partial) list:

Method: Cry It Out/Ferberizing Score: Baby 3, Momma 0
Method: No Cry Sleep Solution Score: Baby 5, Momma 0
Method: Co-Sleeping/Dr. Sears/Attachment Parenting Score: Baby 2, Momma 0**
Method: Pick-up Put-Down/Baby Whisperer Score: Baby 3, Momma 1
Method: Schedule Nazi/Bath-Bedtime-Story Ritual Score: Baby 1, Momma 0
Method: Momma Drinks Self Silly and Crashes Out in the Guest Room Score: Baby 1, Momma 1***
Method: Modified Ferber (Wait Five Minutes to Pick Up, Then Ten, Then Twenty) Score: Baby 2, Momma 0
Method: Give Up All Hope and Just Sleep in the Rocking Chair with the Baby Crashed Out on Top of You Score: Baby 351, Momma 3
* When I say try, I mean TRY, for a week or more, not just one night or one hour. I TRIED and I failed.
** Baby loved this, I didn't sleep a wink for fear I would squash her. Also, Daddy was forced to sleep on the couch because of my fears of double squashage.
*** Daddy was actually the big loser in this method as he had to be me (minus the nursing) for one night.

So it should be clear that I have tried everything and read everything. I have prayed to GOD ALMIGHTY please Lord let me sleep tonight so that I don't accidently lose my schmidt or wreck the BWT while dozing on the steering wheel. No dice. So I remain a woman obsessed. When the baby eventually does start sleeping, maybe that obsession will be redirected towards something more meaningful and productive. Like folding the laundry. Oh, my glamorous life.

Crap, I have to go - the baby just woke up again.

Subscribe in a reader
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. I know how you feel. As a single mother I gave up one night long ago and let him sleep with me. Flash forward to 15-months old, I had him half trained to spend the night by himself when I began dating again. Finally.
    He. Was. Not. Impressed. Actually neither was the new boyfriend.
    He instantly reverted and I was suddenly put in the middle of my baby's needs, and my boyfriends. Needless to say the baby won.
    Now he's two. Still wakes up every 4-6 hours. Which my now fiancee says is completely my fault, because of my "granola" parenting.
    In fact ... he hopes "you don't make the same mistake with the next one."
    Nope ... I won't. Each and every time the new baby cries I'll be booting my fiancee out of bed, saying "you deal with the baby" (which I can do because I can't breastfeed) and hogging the whole queen bed to myself.

    1. Jackie, you live in a crazy dream world if you think that will work.
      And kick out your fiancee because he sounds like an asshole.

  2. Burn the damn rocking chair! Get a Lazy Boy, even if Lazy Boys are a decorating faux pas. What do you care? You wear clogs;) Of course this would probably start a whole new war with Kate.

  3. It IS a lazyboy. It's a hand-me-down lazy boy. It is the WORST of both worlds. Hiddeously ugly and horrifyingly uncomfortable. I just keep thinking the sleep situation will improve and I'll be able to return to my bed. But yes, THE CHAIR is scheduled for a ritual burning.

  4. I feel your pain, my son is closing in on 3 yrs old and just started sleeping through the night about 6 months ago. Oh, but, yeah, she stays up until almost 10:00 and wakes up at 7:00. *sigh*

  5. You are not alone! I just shared this with my group of mom friends who had a recent Cry-it-out debate. Most of us are pro CIO!

  6. And then - even though he KNOWS you're beyond exhausted and looking forward to another sleepless night - he has the audacity to suggest sex. Seriously? The dilemma then becomes further exhaustion vs. grumpy "I-have-instantly-reverted-to-a-15-year-old-who-has-been-grounded" husband. Delightful...

  7. Isn't she like 15 months or something, sorry I have a 17 month old and I'm lucky enough to have the brain cells left to know her age. I am giving Leila (my daughter) Melatonin. She sleeps 12 hours. I know you are nursing but if she's 15 months old you should only have to get up once in the middle of the night, which still SUCKS but it's better then 45 minute naps. Try giving her a "heavier" meal right before bed, something that will keep her from being hungry for a few hours so you can sleep.

    I know I only have one child and it a different situation but I also have a child that has been sleeping through the night since she was 10 months old then decided she didn't want to be the coolest baby ever, in her mommy's eyes anyways, and wanted to wake up twice a night. That when I was introduced to melatonin 1 mg- it's safe, natural and YOU GET TO SLEEP! Oh and in regard to Elyse's Post, Pro-CIO! Seriously, You need sleep to be able to handle the screaming, loud, runny, wild children during the day. I know if I don't get it...I'm not very nice to ANYONE...and to Leila, "I'm all she has in this world" and I really don't want to be mean. So SLEEP. GO to GNC, Wallyworld, or my favorite TARGET and look for it....MELATONIN 1mg!!!! Usually works within 30-60 min!

  8. Yeah, my daughter played a con job on us. She was a pretty much sleep through the night from the beginning kid. Her brother - not so much. Since he refused a bottle, I had to breastfeed him until he discovered the joy of stealing sister's sippy cup. That meant many nights of falling asleep in the glider. My back and my sanity were not fans. I feel for you. There's light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not sure where but you'll be blinded once you stumble upon it.

  9. This post made me hurt. Partly because reading font on the computer makes my head spin when I'm this tired and partly because I know. what. you. are. going. through.

    I'm fairly certain my son is training for a career in special ops wherein he will be the best interrogator ever due to his masterful torture techniques.

    Hang in there, mama. At some point our bodies will either revolt entirely and collapse or learn to function on no sleep.

    Also, the husband thing? Yeah. My husband chooses to stay up until 3 am some mornings and then complains when I bring J in at 7:30 so I can take a shower. There is hatred in my household on those mornings. (Sorry, this was a really long comment!!!)

  10. My kid didn't sleep through the night consistently until he was probably 18 months old or so. And like you, I tried all the crap. And none of it worked. I feel your pain. Hang in there.

  11. Each time that I gave CIO a try was when I was exhausted to breaking point. I know what you mean when you get so close to being normal during a good week and you start hoping "omg, maybe just maybe she's starting to sleep through the night and then just as I'm getting used to sleeping 4 hours in a row BAM she starts waking up every 45 minutes again!
    Elyse, lolz @ your comment. There are non-CIO mommies too, but we're just afraid to say anything because we're afraid the sleep deprived moms may get their B on, like Lydia says. lolz

  12. Ear plugs...get some, pop 'em in and let her wail it out. My 15 month old is now sleeping well, but for the longest time she was up eating and then would just wake randomly and cry for attention or to play. With ear plugs you can't hear a thing, therefore you don't feel guilty, you sleep some, she gets to CIO and just maybe she'll get the message that it's sleep time. And, um, she can get out of her crib?? At 15 months?? Holy hell, woman she is definitely working for the terrorists.

  13. You just described the first two years of my son's life in EXACT detail. I thought we would be breastfeeding all night until he went to college. CIO did work for us, eventually, but took several weeks (ear plugs helped--I could still hear him but it was muffled so I got a *little* sleep). I wasn't a fan of CIO, but I couldn't take it anymore and nothing else worked. Luckily my second child was a better sleeper. Hopefully you will find something (SOON) that will work for you! Hang in there! I promise it won't last forever.

  14. Well, let me know when you figure it out. I've completely given up and my 15 month old sleeps sideways in the bed with head on me and feet in my husbands groin only waking nearly every hour or so to nurse! Aaaarrgh! I don't only sound like a pirate...I look like one two. And what dear husband, wants to wake up with that? It was so much different with my first child, I'm left at a complete loss...and I too have tried it all (tried being sincerely TRIED) and alas have failed. I am a complete slave to the baby at this point!

  15. Husbands do not understand mommy-tired. Mommy-tired is a whole different brand of tired that husbands can't touch with a ten-foot-pole. They think they are tired but they are really just WIMPY and don't know how lucky they are. Yelling at them is just desserts. Really. Feel no guilt.

  16. I feel for you. I'm livin your vida loca. My daughter is only three months so I'm weeping thinking this could go on for many more months. Buy yourself a leather recliner and a Netflix streaming video subscription. At least you can be comfortable and caught up on all the movies you've missed throughout the years like me. I'll think of you fondly at 2am.

  17. All I can say is I'm so sorry! I have a sleeper so I'm never having another child. I don't want to risk it.

  18. I am crying reading this. I literally could have wrote this. We're at 17 months and some nights, she's up every 20 minutes (ok, most nights)

    I am SO relieved to know I'm not alone

  19. I am right there with you! My oldest son started sleeping through the night around age 2 1/2, then I got pregnant with my next child. He somehow sensed that I needed extra sleep, and tried to push me right over the edge by sleeping poorly again.

    Now I'm up CONSTANTLY with my two sons, ages 4 years and 5 months. Big fun.

    Hang in there, Lydia. It gets better ... I assume. :)

  20. My almost 2 yo isn't BFing (but his 5mo sister is) but he still doesn't sleep. And we cosleep (always have). I feel your pain.

  21. You didn't mention "The Contented Little Baby Book" by Gina Ford, or "Baby wise" which is the American version. It advocates for schedules and CIO techniques. It is against demand feeding, after all, who is the parent and who is the child? I used this book with both boys, age 2.5 years and 11 months - 2.5 years was sleeping 7pm to 7am from 6 months on and 11 month old has been sleeping 7pm to 7am since 2 months old, both in the same room too. No exaggeration, I have no reason to lie to you, I don't even know you. Consider me an angle sent from God. You're welcome by the way. :-)

  22. Oh yes... I live this life too. I could have kissed you to know that I don't have the only Voluntarily tired husband who tries to make me feel bad that he's tired and doesn't want to get up for church on Sunday because he stayed up til 2am watching whatever the heck he wanted when I was in bed by 10 knowing it was already too late but was hoping for like 5 minutes to myself (which didn't happen) to wake many more times through the night to feed Cutie to wake up at 6:30 with super happy 2 yr old then get 3 yr old at 7am so daddy can sleep in til 9 expecting all 3 kids dressed so he can shave & do his hair & look all handsome while mommy gets the 10 min rush like the wind to get dressed looking like a freaking mess because everyone's in the car waiting for her & still 10 minutes late to church and it's all my fault & everyone's thinking "why's that hottie with the whacko"?

    Ahhhh. Breathe....

  23. My oldest daughter didn't sleep through the night until 18 months old. We tried everything. And I didn't have others to deal with during the day. I can't even imagine.
    What made her finally do it? We put her in the queen sized bed in the guest bedroom one night and I fell asleep with her and snuck out later. It worked. She got a real twin bed a few weeks later. No toddler bed. I laid down till she slept every night and then snuck out. And she stayed down till 7 am every night.
    Of course, when sister came along we had to teach her how to not make me lay with her, but that's a whole other story.

  24. There is no such thing as sleeping through the night again. Mine are 3 and 5. Typically, for one reason or the other they have me up in the middle of the night. And even if they don't wake me up...I keep waking up out of habit. Meanwhile my husband is snoozing away with the help of lunesta.

  25. We have 2 kids...a sleeper and a non. The non is 10 1/2 and still has sleep issues (although he handles them himself and has for years). My point is that there are non-sleepers. It's not anything we can argue about, or take on guilt about. Lydia...hang in there. It's ROUGH, but from our experience, you are getting closer to the light at the end of this awful exhausting tunnel!

  26. Oh God you poor woman! I feel your pain, Lydia. My almost-15-month-old twins are STILL not sleeping through the night. And of course, all my friends' babies started sleeping through the night at 5 or 6 months. We tried the modified Ferber method at 7 months for 1 week, and that was a living HELL. Ever since, we've been giving them what they want: a bottle. Now, of course, I need to wean them from the nighttime feedings and get them to learn how to go back to sleep without those feedings, AND figure out how to get them both sleeping in their room so Daddy and I can have our room to ourselves again. It's comforting to see these comments and know that there are other mommies going through this too. However, it's discomforting to read that *some* of these moms' babies didn't start sleeping through the night till 2, 2 1/2! Lydia, I don't know how you manage a non-sleeping 15-month-old AND older kids too. You are a saint, woman!

  27. You are so right, there's no winner, except baby. This mother stuff is self sacrificial to the extreme. I've had six kids, count them, SIX, three of whom are triplets. The last baby is about your baby's age because she does the same manipulation with her sweet baby talk "peas mommy, up" and even points me or guides me to the chair where I do my nursing (at computer, no surprise, she is nursing RIGHT NOW). Good luck is all I can say. I've gotten through it like you, ranting, begging, counting the hours til I might sleep again, and yes, drinking wine to get me through the rough patches. Daytime naps are also unheard of because I homeschool my sweathogs. Keep it up though, you can do this and it will be one more thing that makes you an AWESOME woman!!

  28. My daughter is almost 8. She still wakes me up most nights and usually ends up sleeping on my floor. I actually went to Dr. Ferber. He came up with sticker charts. You are so right. The "baby" is the winner.

  29. Um yeah, you are me times THREE. I have 4 month old triplets and I so hear ya. I am clinically insane from lack of sleep. Your post made me laugh about it. Finallly. Thank you :)

  30. Lydia, I give you huge props for breastfeeding! That's wonderful!

    I have four children and they all started sleeping through the night at around 1yo, no matter what "method" I used (or lack thereof).

    I know you are joking for the blog, but for the other moms out there, please remember that babies (especially young ones) are incapable of manipulation, and are crying because they have NEEDS. Please don't ignore your baby's needs.

  31. Regarding the melatonin post ... my stepson's mother also uses it on our 6 year old. While I'm sure it DOES work ... the evidence we gathered from discussions with the doctor and pharmacist was that it hasn't been tested on children, and therefore they recommended NOT using it on kids. Apparently it can effect their sexual organ development as well as a bunch of other stuff (based on the effects it has on adults). They said if it's going to be used it should be short term only, as users get to the point where they can't sleep without it, and it's recommended only for occasional or short term use for adults.
    It's tec. herbal, however so is arsenic ... and I totally wouldn't give my kid that lol
    If it was proven safe and whatnot I would use it, and if they do studies on it to prove it is we'll be the first in line ... but for now we suffer. Better safe than sorry.

  32. I've got a 25 month old who is starting to sleep in four hour stretches. It's heaven, pure heaven.

    My sister in law had a baby who slept from 7 to 7 from the time the baby was six weeks old. If I had a dime for every time she said "Just let your kid cry a little, he'll go to sleep," I'd put them all in a bag and beat her with it.

    Really. Let him cry a little. Gosh, why didn't I think of that.

  33. "Good Night Sleep Tight" by Kim West.

    You need to TEACH your baby to sleep just as surely as you teach your baby to speak, potty train, etc. This is a good book. Definitely worked on my 8 mo non-sleeper and then on my 4 mo second child. Both now sleep like champs and I am no longer insane. Well, not because of sleep deprivation...

    Also, I highly recommend you get your spouse to do the sleep training - he can't nurse (for all you BFmommas) and he doesn't have same momma hormones that break down your ability to be rational.

    Nursing every hour at over 6 months is letting the baby control your life- are you going to let them control your life when they are 16? Better start the discipline (of yourself!) now ;)

  34. I'm all for parental sanity but I have to respond to the melatonin post too.

    Yeah, melatonin is natural. It's a natural hormone, except when you give it in a pill, and then it's medication. Don't want hormones in your baby's milk right? So don't give her a whacking dose of hormone at bedtime. Or any other pharmaceutical unless advised by your doctor.

    You won't get anyone reputable telling you melatonin is safe for people under 18. Don't take my word for it, ask your paediatrician.

  35. Your post expressed everything I feel. My four-year-old is only just getting sorted when it comes to sleep time. Like you, I tried everything. Good-luck!

  36. I just laughed so hard, I almost cried. I think the sleep-training tally put me over the edge... I'm in the midst of sleep-training (or "sleep-shaping," as says the "Good Night, Sleep Tight" lady) my wonderful, beautiful, voracious second kiddo, who is 11 months old and finally starting to kinda, sorta, maybe sleep a little bit more through the night. Can you sense my hesitance?

    I must admit to being spoiled with my daughter, now 3, since I was working and Dad was home. He just got up with her in the middle of the night or whenever and it was fine with him. Plus, she was a great co-sleeper. Now I'm home with both kids and was going on fumes with breastfeeding the little one every 2-3 hours all night until about a month ago.

    I tried the no-cry thing for over a month--really tried--but it didn't work for us. I tried a lot of things. Finally, I tried CIO and dropping some night feedings, even though it really, really sucked and broke my heart, and even though our baby boy sleeps in a crib in our room due to a small apartment. I must say, despite some sleepless nights, it's been 2 weeks and it's made a huge difference.

    That said, it's 9:36 and I'm off to bed! Thanks for the therapeutic laughter...

  37. "I'll say it again - there is no trick. There is only trickery. And thousands of books and websites and blogs all trying to tell me that I'm an idiot for having a fifteen month old who still doesn't sleep. I could write a BOOK about how all these full-proof methods are actually big, fat lies designed to make me feel worse about my lack of sleep."
    You should rewrite the bible. So true, so true. Thank you.

  38. husband has to take at least one night on the weekend where you wear earplugs and sleep 10 full hours. every weekend. Or preferably, every third or fourth night so you always know when your next good sleep is coming. I work, hubby is home and we traded every other night. Working in the home or outside the home, everyone needs restful sleep. you owe it to the kids.

  39. If that makes you a bad person, then just hand over the black-breathy mask and call me Darth Vader.

    I went over 2 yrs straight without a full night's sleep.

    To this day, I believe people need a certificated in order to utter the words "You won't believe how tired I am."

  40. You dear, dear, angel of a person. My 10 month old son is JUST like your daughter and I have tried everything too and nothing works. The child has a will of iron. Just wanted to thank you for posting this because I feel like no one I know has any idea what this is like and it seems like I'm the only one with an older baby who refuses to sleep. THANK YOU for making me feel like I'm not alone!

  41. Yea, this is our life except with twins and they are 20 mths.

  42. My first daughter would only sleep in bed with us, until she was five. Yes, I tried every conceivable thing, and nothing worked. Second daughter came along, and I thought to myself "No way, no how am I making the same mistakes." But surprise, she was a good sleeper right away. UNTIL she got old enough to understand that she had a choice in the matter. Then she took charge. (And to the poster who said kids don't manipulate--sister, please.) The only good thing was, I could pawn her off on her older sister--they sleep together now in a double bed and I get to sleep. Could try that if you have older kids...
    PS I have a S-I-L with a sleeper who loves to say, "I just say night-night and turn off the light." Seriously makes me want to kill her.

  43. oh wow. i love you. this was the best friggin thing ive read off a blog in a long ass time.

    you rock.

    keep on rockin' mama. and try not to throw yo neck out in the process.


  44. Just read this and laughed my head off. I'm with you.....I'M SICK OF FOOLPROOF METHODS OF BABY TRAINING THAT DON'T WORK AND MAKE YOU FEEL INFERIOR!!!

    My son is 7 years old and still wets/poops in his pants. Almost every day. Yes I've done ALL THE TRAINING METHODS KNOWN TO MAN!!!!!

    Thankfully one day when he was 5 years old the Director of the Day Care Center concurred....."He Just Doesn't Care!"

    Thank You! Someone understood! Someone agreed with me! Someone didn't blame me!

  45. Baby has been up 4 times in the past 2 hours. Pass the wine!

    Great post...zzzz....

  46. Brings back some memories of my daughter! She is now 5 but up until she was 18 months she woke every 45 minutes every night. And never ever napped. Ugh. I'm pretty sure that I am still catching up on sleep and she is 5.....

  47. I have to comment on the melatonin post as well. Verbatim from my son's developmental pediatrician (my son Alex is 8 and is on the autism spectrum): "There is absolutely no reason for a neuro-typical child to take melatonin regularly. Every once in a while is okay, for certain situations, but long-term use is not healthy. For children with autism, it is okay, because autistic children typically have an imbalance of melatonin in the brain--the use of synthetic melatonin actually balances things out."

    Please don't use melatonin unless your doctor says it's okay.

  48. Regarding co-sleeping and stuff; "** Baby loved this, I didn't sleep a wink for fear I would squash her. Also, Daddy was forced to sleep on the couch because of my fears of double squashage."

    On the slim off-chance you haven't tried the following (you've probably tried everything by now)...
    Is there any possibility you could get a cheap/free bedside cot/co-sleeping cot? I say cheap/free because I'm imagining that in the event it doesn't work, that having spent money would make an intolerable life, well, even more hell.

    A co-sleeper cot provides space next to the bed for the baby, while stopping you rolling over onto the baby, so that you can sleep without worrying about crushage. It's what I use.

    A picture here:

  49. My 5-yr old is still a terrible sleeper. I'm now pregnant w/ baby #2 and am wondering Whuck I was thinking, LOL! At least now that my DD is 5, if she gets up in the middle of the night, she takes care of what ever her "need" is and goes back to bed. I can't believe I was thinking another baby would be a fantastic idea. . . i just started sleeping thru the night for the 1st time in 5 years. . .ugh! I hope my DS to be is a good sleeper!

    Anyway, I feel your pain. . .and love ur blog :)

  50. I have a 5 and 2 year old. My Husband and I recently celebrated our first full night of sleep several weeks ago.

    We stopped breeding after two, partially of our own choosing and partially of extenuating circumstances; the same of which also forced baby #2 to be bottle fed.

    I thought I knew pain waking with my first daughter 10 times a night for 1 hour breast feeding sessions (I swear, she never stopped eating, day and night); but I had no idea what pain was until I was forced to use nothing but bottles.

    It's hard enough to find your own breast at 4 in the morning after 96 hours without a minute of sleep. Try, under the same sleepless condition, finding a sanitized and complete bottle then preparing fresh formula and warming it to just the right tempurature in less than one minute (any longer and baby is too hungry, panicked and angry to be able to latch onto said sanitized silicone nipple).So. Not Cool.

    The only happiness that came from the inability to breast feed, was that I was easily able to convince my wonderful husband to take night time baby shifts. Since we are both horrible sleepers (perhaps the genetic source of our girls infant insomnia), it did not mean that either of us actually slept, but at least only one of us had to get up and handle the feedings while the other had a little reprieve inside the rapture of 3000 threadcount cocoons.

  51. thank you!!! thought i was the only one...

  52. I picked anonymous because I am lazy and I didn't know how to do the other ways to post. My bad.

    I am the mother of a 23 year old daughter (and two more sons, teens). Said daughter did not sleep through the night until she was 10. She proudly announced it herself "I think I slept through the night!" I duly noted it in her baby book. But oh it was a struggle. I too nursed and was the sole provider of solace through those long, dark nights. All I wanted was sleep. We tried CIO and it just wasn't for us. I do wish I had relented and done family bed, but I was young and newly married and not ready to share my bed with a baby. Now? I think sleep wouldn't have been the better option. By the time she was 2 or 3 we let her sleep on a little cot in our room. Eventually she worked her way to sleeping most of the time in her room. By the time she was a teen, and to this day, she sleeps like the dead. SHE SLEEPS LIKE THE DEAD. I have banged pots to wake her. I have used air horns to wake her. And I have enjoyed it. Just a little karma, baby. Hang in there, someday, you will both laugh about it. Someday.

  53. My one-year old just started sleeping through most nights. I also just weaned her after she almost took my nipple off, so now I can kick Daddy Dearest out of bed to deal with her when she wakes up. My three-year old didn't sleep through consistently until she was 2-1/2, and still gets up some nights. My five-year old was two before he slept through. Because my kids are spaced close together, I haven't slept through the night since 2005. And you are so right- there is no great secret. My oldest (yes, I'm a freak with 4 kids) was four months old and slept through the night. I thought I had it all figured out. Ha!

    I hope she's sleeping more now. And your husband has learned never to complain.

  54. Right on Lydia!!! Yes, THE BOOKS...what crap. I refused CIO because I think it's barbaric. These little beings have only been in the world a short time, know nothing, can't reason yet, want to feel love and comfort and we are supposed to ignore them and let them suffer? And to each of the posts that had a variation of "who's in charge, the kid or the parent" make me want to SQUARE UP!

    And Becky also hit the nail on the head about the sulking sexless husband!!

    Hang in there...I have been there, I thought I would lose my mind, I alternated between crying and wanting to smother my husband while he slept...and my little man evolved and changed and things got better. He's 3 now, we still co-sleep and breastfeed and unless he's sick (then he wants to breastfeed all night) he only nurses once in the night. And he knows how to find them and latch on so it's not much trouble.

    And, I once looked at Melatonin we we travelled to England to visit family. It specifically says on the side of my bottle "do not give to children under the age of 6 and to consult a pediatrician first for ages 6-12".

  55. Have you looked at Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Weissbluth? It obviously isn't foolproof (because nothing is), but I had decent luck with it for my daughter (after a year of poor sleep) and it's the one book/method I didn't see on your list...

  56. My little man is turning 5 & still doesn't sleep.......

  57. Wow, controversial topic, this sleep training thing. Reading some of these comments has got me feeling kinda stabby.
    BUT I love your post! Especially the conversation with the Cap'n. Hubby & I have had that conversation word-for-word many times! And he works nights which means he has to try and sleep in the day when the house is in full chaos mode, so his sleep is interrupted & crappy too... but still those words out of anyone's mouth made me all kinds of crazy!
    I can finally say after 4 years that all my kids now sleep all the way through the night... and I'm still tired because I can't seem to remember HOW to sleep. Only now, I have no one to blame!

  58. This post just reiterates the birth control method of Other People's Kids!!! I don't want any more - my son is grown and gone and I'm enjoying life, but still, there's the little voice that still peeps up (damn female hormones) that says "oh, babies are sweet, you and your new husband should make one." NO FREAKING WAY!!! I love my sleep, thankyouverymuch!

  59. "You're tired because you watched a game that was on the west coast that started at 10 pm last night! Your tiredness is voluntary! You chose to be tired."

    LOVE this!! I routinely go to bed 2-3 hours before my husband. He stays up late to watch TV and/or surf the Internet. He always says “I only need 6 hours sleep.” That seems to be a fallacy when he is FALLING ASLEEP ON THE SOFA IMMEDIATELY BEFORE/AFTER DINNER!!

    My two kiddos are a little older now (3 years and 20 months), but have been sleeping like Schmidt the past 3 weeks or so. Last night, they slept reasonably well (3 year-old woke at 1:30 am and I just brought her into our bed)………………and the idiot dog woke me at 3am to go out. GAH!!!!

  60. Gosh -- I feel you! I KNOW my ppd was launched due to lack of sleep. On days when I get more than 3 hours in a row (there have been a total of 4 I think in the last 10 months), I feel like I could conquer the world. DH tried to help with the sleep training twice, and each time after 2 days, he was such a wreck we had to abandon the mission. With two other kiddos in the house, (one in his room), I am screwed. No one in the house can handle the lack of sleep except me (ha!), so I throw myself infront of the baby bus and resign myself to being inarticulate, forgetful, unmotivated and out of shape for the foreseeable future. My 2nd is 4.5 and only sleeps through the night half the time.

  61. Hi tired moms...I'd like to share my own experience with you. We were at the end of our ropes when we met Maria from Sleepy Miracles ( She literally changed our lives! We couldn't be more grateful to her. We hired her when our baby was eight months old and it was the best money spent in our family! Darcy went from waking up every two hours to sleep through the night in just a week...I'm not kidding! And we got our bed back...yeah! I recommended Maria to all my friends, she was great, very caring and understanding.

  62. Thank god for this. I am so tired of other moms making me feel like I failed as a parent. Our son is 11 months old and never sleeps through the night. A handful of times we have gotten 6-7 hours. A few weeks ago he had an allergic reaction to something and thanks to baby Benadryl (for kids 12 and under) he slept all night. It scared my husband and I. We kept checking on him. I swear he is getting worse. Now he even fights naps. Not sure if its a growth thing or not. Before it was 6 teeth coming in from Dec-Feb, that sucked a big one. Then it was night weaning then a cold and now who knows.
    Our evil doctor told me to stop breastfeeding at night because it can hurt his teeth so we dont even have that anymore. We have tried almost everything and nothing works. Doesn't help we live in a one bedroom so we share with him and that wall we put up is not fooling him anymore.
    IF I have one more mom tell me what I should do or that they had a kid that slept through the night at 6 weeks of age I can not be held responsible for my actions.
    THANK YOU for posting this. After reading all the responses it makes me feel like maybe we have a normal kid after all. :D
    One day he will sleep... even if its when he is 13.

  63. We are just hitting the 15 month mark. Last night I briefly considered running away, so that I could have one night of sleep. I too went through the almost two week period of time with (mostly) uninterrupted sleep and then had it rudely taken away. It was like a tease - 'here is how wonderful your life could be if you were allowed to sleep!'. I don't know how you did it, and I hope that by this point your life has dramatically improved.

  64. Oh my fellow sleep deprived mama. I am on vacation with my husband and seven month old son. Hubby has been passed out cold for 6 hours and I've been up with my son four times. And the first words out if his mouth when he wakes up in an hour will be "ohhhhh I'm so tired....."

    What makes me see red is that, like a previous poster said, husbands will never get it. He assumes that because I haven't slept for more than 3 hours straight since I was 6 months pregnant, that I'm "used to it". Seriously? You don't get used to sleep deprivation!! You just get crazier and look like the dead. *sigh* ok. rant over. Time for one blissful hour of sleep.
    Ps. Remember when vacation meant sleeping in & margaritas on the beach!?

  65. I feel your pain. My husband hardly does anything other than iphone games and drinking after 2pm. He hurt his back at work and had surgery a week before our boy/girl twins were born. 16 1/2 months later. Same scenerio. I am up all night, he gets sleep but expects me not to be cranky tired depressed or anything. Im lucky if I get a shower or eat before noon. He complains if he has to watch them while I make dinner. He complains about how long it takes me to fo anything. He won't listen and doesn't care just says its my fault. Considering divorce. He was cleared to work but won't. Then my mother started her crap. We had lived with her. She moved out after turning everyone against us and the giving the house back to the bank. Combined with me not getting sleep and expect now to be the one to find work because we had to get assistance I am about ready to seriously hurt someone. I have yelled at the kids n their dad at the top of my lungs cuz I am so tired. He in turn threatens me and on serveral instances got physical. He says hes there for me but isn't and I am not allowed to say a word about what he does. He doesnt have to look for work since he's appealing the disability he was owed for not working a year that he is obviously NOT going to get after two appeals. I had to get all bills on my name but can barely pay them. He bitches when I say about putting something toward bills. His beer and cigarettes come first after the kids. Im not allowed to have anything. No sleep. No shower. No eating. See why I want a divorce? But who will take of the twins? No one. And me having to go to workshops or we dont get help is bs when he barely takes care of them. Sorry about the rant.

  66. I never believed in love spells or magic until I met this spell caster once when i went to see my friend in Indian this year on a business summit. I meant a man who's name is Dr ATILA he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one's gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I'm now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 5 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn't believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts