I have a confession to make.

I secretly hate parents of babies who sleep through the night.

Ok, maybe hate is a bit of a strong word. I don’t actually hate them; it is more that sometimes I want to punch them in the face.  I am aware this is wrong and I apologise to all my friends with sleepy babies.

It is simply a result of exhausted irritation and just plain jealousy.


You can spot them a mile off. They nearly always have smiles on their faces, neat hair and matching socks.  They usually have a massive changing bag containing little pots of homemade baby food, spare bibs, toys and neatly folded muslin cloths that haven’t gone grey.  They DO not and NEVER would have an oversized handbag in which they have quickly thrown a few nappies, wipes and a packet of biscuits before rushing out of the house.

They arrive early for the parent and baby groups that always start at stupid o clock in the morning, and are bright-eyed and eager to join in the songs with aplomb.


They will usually be wearing ironed baby grows  (I haven’t used an iron since 2010) complete with matching hat and with no ground-in yellow poo stains. They are almost always well-behaved sorts, playing happily with toys or (more often than not) asleep in their pram/car seat, while mummy or daddy enjoys a cup of tea and a chat.


PLEASE, spare a thought for us victims of the Sleep Stealers.  You can’t miss us.  We are usually at least an hour late for the baby groups- if we make it at all.  But please forgive our tardiness.  With exhaustion clouding our once fine memories, we have normally had to go back into the house from the car at least three times to retrieve some forgotten item before we can finally hit the road.   We won’t have had time to dry our hair and we will probably have baby vomit/snot on one shoulder.  If you look closely you will spot a manic ‘if I can just get through the day with my babies still in one piece I will be happy’ look in our eyes.

So, please do not complain too much because your normally sleeps-twelve-hours-a-night bundle of joy woke you up once for a drink, or about the night you only got five hours sleep when your little darling was teething, because it will probably make us cry…or punch you in the face.

In the spirit of confessions, there are just a few more things I need to get off my chest:

I have told people my baby is teething when she is just being a pain in the arse.

I have closed my eyes and tried to sneak in a sleep while in the queue in the supermarket.

I blame everything on sleep-deprivation. Even on days when I am not that tired. While things like missing appointments, forgetting people’s names, breaking crockery, being late, cooking inedible dinners and my house being a mess are usually a result of exhaustion; sometimes they are just down to my own stupidity.

I often leave the house wearing clothes that have baby snot or vomit on them. If anyone mentions it I pretend to be truly horrified that I hadn’t seen it before I came out.

I have claimed my baby is sick to get out of a social occasion.

When my kids are being particularly hard work I stick my fingers up at them when they are not looking.

I sometimes watch my husband sleeping peacefully while I have been up all night with the baby and fantasise about punching him in the face.

I often tell my kids that noisy toys are ‘broken’.

I have squirted my breast milk in my coffee when I have run out of regular milk.  (If you are thinking of trying this I would suggest milk before coffee to avoid a scolded nipple. I learnt the hard way).

I don’t bother changing my bed covers if the baby urinates, throws up or poos on my husband’s side.

I have eaten food straight out of the tin because I couldn’t be bothered to wash up a pan or bowl.

I wear the same pair of socks until they smell. This can be anything up to a week.

never wash my bras.

I swear a lot. Now I have kids and can’t openly swear, I feel the need to curse more than ever. On a good day I do it under my breath, on a bad day I lock myself in the bathroom, flush the chain and let off some sweary steam.

I once tried sucking a dummy because I couldn’t sleep while the baby slept. It didn’t work. I tried dunking it in whisky. It still didn’t work.

I have drank wine before breastfeeding my daughter at night to see if it would help her sleep (it didn’t).

I bribe my toddlers with biscuits or chocolate on a regular basis – two more victims of obese Britain.

I have dropped stuff on the baby’s head while I have tried to do other things while breastfeeding. For example: spaghetti bolognese, my phone, wine and an ice cream.

I breastfed my second baby for two years was not because of the health benefits like people assumed – but because I was too lazy to wean her.

I only shave my legs when hair starts to pop through my leggings.

I moan about them, swear at them, lie to them and they keep me up all night, but my biggest confession of all? I bloody love my kids. I love being a mum and I wouldn’t change a thing.

I feel really, really pleased when friends with ‘good sleepers’ have one bad night with the baby.

I have tried to teach the toddler the clean/get me things game. The dream is to raise her as my servant. The way I see it – she owes me.

I once let the toddler chew a (clean) Tampax so I could get five minutes peace.

I moan about them, swear at them, lie to them and they keep me up all night, but my biggest confession of all? I bloody love my kids. I love being a mum and I wouldn’t change a thing!

I am not proud of myself.  Am I a bad parent?  I hope not.  It is a matter of survival. I like to believe that if I wasn’t so shattered I would spend my days preparing homemade baby food, ironing baby grows and making spaceships out of cereal boxes. Maybe….

Feel free to share your confessions here (basically to make me feel better about myself) or join me on Facebook or Twitter if you fancy it… Or for more No-Sleep Solutions click here..


  1. This makes me feel so much better! My second is 15 months and we are still up evey night with her! If she’s only up once a night I consider that a good one. I’ve just gone back to work and really struggling with being so tired and doing everything 🙁 Seeing other people going through the same issues does help though 🙂

  2. This made me laugh so much because it could have been written by me (if I could string a sentence together!) have done all all these things. And more. 😀 x

  3. Honestly… when I read this i laughed till I nearly wet myself!! I relate to every single item on your list… Sometimes I have thought my survival techniques quite quirky but honestly I havn’t laughed so hard (well actually since last night when watching Beauty and the Geek on television and one of the Bimbos (Oh sorry Beauties) said that one octopus was called an ‘octopus’ and two octupus were called ‘Octopussies’!- Thank God I don’t have one of those!) Anyway it’s nice to know there are others out there doing the same thing!

    PS I admit to not changing the sheet when it was on MY SIDE!!

    PPS The one thing that sh*ts me about Mother Groupie things is for the first 6 months everyone is to afraid to say they are doing the above mentioned things incase others think they are a bad mother….. turns out all the sleep deprived ones are doing the same thing!!

    • Ha ha yes admittedly I have since slept in dried piss, poo and vomit on occasions.. Thanks for sharing. It’s good to hear other parents admitting to being less than perfect!

  4. It can’t be that bad! You have a lot of spare time to write this blog and reply to comments… (Lol) Well I’m the proud mother of a toddler and a baby, both slept through the night far quicker than I would’ve liked – I cherished those night feeds!! Baby no 2 never ever once cried out in the night, just sucked his thumb loud enough to wake me then silently fed and went straight back to sleep. Bless him. I still miss them waking up in the night, but what can you do?! Ps I have no time to write a blog though, too busy blow drying my hair and painting my nails!

  5. You are so funny! I love reading your stuff, and mind you, although I laugh hysterically, I sometimes also tear up and feel that unforgettable pain. You make it funny, and maybe it’s meant to be funny after you’ve been through (and survived) that ugly, ugly phase. But as soon as I try and remember what life was like when we got NO sleep for WEEKS and MONTHS at a time (no joke… there were times I thought I might die), it all comes back so clearly.

    #6: I have actually fallen asleep while walking around the house with my baby in a carrier. Never thought it would be physically possible to fall asleep while walking, but it happened.

    And the iron? I’ve only used mine to make silly shapes with those beads that melt. And I burned them. So yeah, it is possible. And I’ve convinced myself that I can iron crumpled up bedsheets that look like crap with my hands. It’s my superpower. I’m proud of it.

    • Ha thanks for making me laugh! Sleep walking..pure and simple. I fell asleep while pushing the pram round and round the park in an attempt to get the baby asleep..I was with asleep or had some kind of black out as I somehow lost an hour!!

      That is an amazing superpower. I do not think I have ever ironed a bed sheet…should I be doing this?!! Ha

  6. I love this! Just this morning I willingly allowed my little girl to rip up a whole toilet roll, just so I could get dressed! And yes, she also sucked on a wipe to make nappy change time bearable! Gotta do what you gotta do I say! We have an average of 6-8 get ups a night at 11months old, I grit my teeth and smile at the “my 8 week old has finally let me have12hours sleep” statuses! And the “it’s because you breastfeed” like it’s my fault. Ha! As exhausted (truly, I could sleep anywhere, anytime most days) as I am, I do love our secret midnight cuddles, and I will miss them when she does start sleeping xx

    • Ha ha the toilet roll rip up is a good one…such a mess but so worth it. I hate it when people blamed my breastfeeding! It is bollocks anyway as my breastfed niece slept through from six weeks old. I agree, as much as I desperately want sleep, I think after three years I will definitely have a sense of loss when the baby finally sleeps through. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Brilliant, honest & funny,, that’s the reality of parenting!! I’m sitting in my pajamas plucking up the courage to iron., but I can guarantee the baby will start to cry!!

  8. Haha love love love your blog and the replies!
    My first two kids slept from 8wks- I was a smug mum of 2 kids who slept until no 3 came along.
    My goal for the day is to keep the kids alive….anything else is a bonus.
    And if anyone else gives me any helpful ‘tips’ on getting my toddler to sleep I may well punch them!!

  9. Just catching up on the back catalogue here.

    Oh wow, yes. I never did the breastmilk squirting thing but only because I never got a chance to make tea (in your face I win etc). Good tip about the scalding.

    The rest makes perfect sense. Every time I hear people complain about parents who are “lazy” because they didn’t immediately XYZ when their kids did whatever at the supermarket I transfer my hate for parents who sleep through the night over to them. It seems fair.

  10. Your JK Rowling piece just made me spit out my Batchelors chicken and veg cuppa soup! (All I can afford have time for right now)
    Brilliant, I feel every word from all of your posts. You are not alone we are the normal ones.

  11. As mum to a sleep-stealing 19 month old, I can relate. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one to drop things on my child as he fed/slept in the early weeks. Personal fave was bolognaise sauce (had issues breastfeeding and one particularly bad day in week 3 had him on my chest for 4 hours straight. I didn’t move from the sofa and meals (and almost a potty) were brought to me). Trying to get spag bol stains from a white babygro is a killer!
    oh and i agree, ‘sleeps through the night’ is often a big fat lie! Going in twice a night to retrieve a lost dummy isn’t sleeping through the night. Going in rock back off to sleep quickly isn’t sleeping through the night and having to put your child in your bed at 4am otherwise they remain awake IS NOT SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! Such things you only discover after some gentle prodding about how ‘lucky’ parents manage it!

    • Oh yes my baby has had many a dinner dropped on her. However, she is now getting her revenge by grabbing everything I eat so I inevitably end up spilling it on myself!
      Ha all true I am sure!

  12. I so appreciate this blog and especially loved your confessions for reassurance i am not the only one! I didn’t understand the lack of sleep first time round as my eldest slept through from 10 weeks – no lie! However she had bad reflux and it took several hours to get her to sleep. My second is healthy but wakes 2 or 3 times on a good night and 4 or 5 on a normal one at 6 months old. I would take number 2 and sleep deprivation any day over the reflux and commando style crawling out the bedroom in the hope that number 1 wouldn’t notice i’d gone.

    • Thank you! Glad it is not just me! I don’t blame you, it must have been really stressful having the reflux to worry about – especially with your first.
      ha I suspect you are also adept in the art of Ninja Parenting… My first baby was such a light sleeper she would wake up at the slightest sound as i tried to sneak out of her room!

  13. Oh my – as a mother of a sleep stealing 2.6 yo I can honestly say that there is nothing more irritating to me than hearing stories of other people’s 2 month olds that sleep through the night. They are my lovely friends and I love them dearly but goodness would I like to punch them in the face! Actually what I really want is for their little darlings to NOT sleep through consistently so they feel my misery. Thank you for also thinking these mean thoughts 🙂

  14. Maybe they could marry! Annoyingly the’d probably have babies who sleep dream. If so, i wouldnt be above sneaking into the babies room at night to poke them with sticks. Ha, see how they like them apples shall we! Evil Grandma:1 – Children of the night: 0!!!

  15. This morning my (f-ing expensive and last hope) sleep trainner quit….enough said
    Son of Satan: 1 – Trainer: 0
    Almost, nearly, but not quite, proud of him. At least he’s consistently consistent.

    • Ha ha! congratulations?! I have considered a loan to get one of those sleep trainer types! Mind you I am not sure anyone would have the guts to take on my daughter of the devil!

  16. Emily Jane,
    I’m so glad I found your blog! I have stayed up to read it instead of forcing myself to sleep as soon as my 8 month old finally went down.
    I have not yet come across any other “sleep thief” Mothers (all the others I know have good babies)
    So instead of my nightly tears of frustration, I have literally been crying from laughing so hard reading your blog.
    Thank you!

    • Ha thanks for the comment! Actually before I wrote this post I knew of very few parents with babies as wakey as mine. But It seems there are a fair few of us out there!

  17. Loved reading this haha
    Well im one of those hateable mums. Mine both slept through from 8weeks old, I bring homemade food everywhere and im always dressed okay (ducks for cover) BUT it might help to realise that sleepless babies arent the only ones who make early parenting a challenge. You see what you sleep deprived super-mums see when you step into playgroup is an on-time chirpy mum with giggly kids, joining in the songs and helping out etc. And yes, praising there kids for sleeping through… but what you dont see, (and it isnt mentioned because we dont want to burden others with our stories when your already dealing with your own stuff!) Is that one of her kids had colic for the first 4 months of life. Screaming for 4 hours straight daily (no wonder she slept through the night!!) And the other kid was born with a medical condition which required weekly trips to the hospital, plaster casts, an operation on a baby who was only 2 months old and ongoing treatment till they turn 4. So this mumma is smiling and happy because yes, she gets to sleep, and also, the colic is finished and the hospital visits have ceased. This mumma joins in with the songs and so on because shes savoring every positive moment she can with those kids… and, shes punctual and packed with everything but the kitchen sink because she HAS to be since she lives at least 35 mins from any destination she goes to.

    So in conclusion, even mums with sleepy babies can totally relate to this post 🙂 im exhausted emotionally and physically but try to be a cup half full person for those who are walking zombies. You NEED us and we need you… mums unite! XoXo

    • I agree! Thanks for the comment. Every baby comes with its own set of challenges and EVERY parent haS their own fair share of sleepless nights, whether it be waking babies or worry or both! sounds like you have had your fair share of that- so keep on singing! Xxx

  18. Dammit, this made me laugh so hard I woken sleeping baby! Who will only sleep on me! At 6 months, we have finally graduated to waking every 2 hrs- it was prev every 45 mins. Somehow I feel worse, not better? I guess I was never fully on deep sleep before….my 20lb baby also needs at least 30 mins of bouncing before closing eyes…mummy’s back is nearly broken! I tell myself that number 2 literally can’t be worse, right? Right?!

  19. Am currently ‘allowing’ my toddler a special treat… to watch tree foo Tom, whilst I stand and sway my 6 week old hopefully to sleep in the vain hope of 5 minutes peace.
    Loving the blog especially when rocking and swaying LO in middle of the night and feel the need to know its not just me!
    Just have to try not to laugh too loudly!

    • Thanks! Having a baby plus toddler is hard work- and I find it definitely helps to know other people are going through the same thing! Good luck getting five minutes peace my friend.

  20. Confession 11 left me laughing for about 10 mins because I have done that so many times! I’m sure for the first 5 weeks of life my son didn’t close his eyes once… the next 8 months he woke constantly and from then one out he’ll decide to only sleep at inconvenient times… he loves a 5pm nap!!

    • ha yes I am starting to think they do it on purpose. My will never sleep when I want them to, yet as soon as we need to go out/just before dinner etc they decide this is the perfect time for a snooze!

  21. Just been sitting here with my 4 month old baby finallllyyyy asleep on me after being awake most of the day and waking me up every 2 hours throughout pretty much his whole life. I love your blogs!!! I can relate so much. I’m scared to move incase he wakes so might just be lazy and see what’s on tv 🙂 x

    • I know that feeling! And it is not being lazy. It is survival! You have to take the rest while you can. Unfortunately, i can’t do this with my second as the Toddler does not take kindly to me getting any form of rest! Thanks, always good to hear from fellow ‘victims’!

  22. My daughter didn’t sleep through the night till she was 2. She arrived after 4 sleepless nights of contractions (they wouldn’t call it labour till the last night), so I was not at my best when the whole thing started. And I was over 40. I do not recommend having babies after 30 (the last year I had boundless energy). There was a stage when I wanted to write a book about all the different types of tiredness, but I was too tired. Seven years later, I can’t remember what they all were, though the “I’m not actually safe to drive” version sticks in my mind.

    It is amazing what can be done on two one-and-a-half-hour stretches of sleep (i.e., keep a squalling and helpless human being alive).

    I, too, used to hate (or was it envy or disbelieve) the parents of children who slept through the night from 6 weeks. I used to love it when something, ANYthing went wrong with their kids. Then I felt guilty. Now I just don’t believe all the perky stories.

    I have finally given up on wishing I could get it “right” like Friend A or Friend B, and I now totally embrace the Survival method of parenting. Anything to get through the day!

    It did actually get better. DD now sometimes sleeps until — wait for this — 8 a.m.! Now my sleep deprivation is my own fault, and I face new parenting challenges.

    • Thanks! I have since discovered that yes, those perky stories- not always true! And also yes, on two hours I can feed, clothe and keep safe two babies- just about. On four hours I may just be able to do all this, get myself dressed and cook something
      other than fish fingers! I think when you are tired it is all too easy to beat ourselves up about what we haven’t got done we forget to give ourselves credit for the things we have achieved!

    • Thanks! I have since discovered that yes, those perky stories- not always true! And also yes, on two hours I can feed, clothe and keep safe two babies- just about. On four hours I may just be able to do all this, get myself dressed and cook something
      other than fish fingers! I think when you are tired it is all too easy to beat ourselves up about what we haven’t got done we forget to give ourselves credit for the things we have achieved!

  23. Just came across your blog, love your writing style. I feel bad for you that your children don’t like sleeping. I am not going to lie to you, my son loves sleep HOWEVER, as much as I love sleep, my body or my mind has other ideas because I almost never sleep through the night. I am so used to being tired that I am totally used to it, I have very little energy and eat too much and am very lazy, so I totally understand, everything you said I have done at least once!

    • Thanks! You do get used to it! The fuzzy head, the forgetfulness, the anxiety, the headaches! It is amazing how little sleep we can function on when we need to. Sometimes I think if I ever ever get 8 or even 5, actually I would be happy with 4 hours at the moment, I will literally be capable of taking over the world. Maybe. Although by then it is quite possible my brain will have turned to play dough.

  24. Enjoying your blog,.
    You know those parents who tell you their babies sleep through? I think they are making it up – sleep deprivation has sent them into a crazy cycle of over functioning.
    I have ignored potty training for so long (all her friends were done months ago) now my daughter has started asking to go to the loo. so it’s a win for slack parenting!

  25. Emily-Jane, as you’re aware, I know nothing of babies, their causes, or their effects. But I’m sure you’re a good mother, a good wife and a good person.
    Tinkles x

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