how to get babies to go to sleep

 AFTER wasting the best part of two and a half years trying sleep techniques, following advice and reading all the Get Your Baby To Sleep If You Can Stay Awake Long Enough To Read Another Boring Book on Getting Babies To Sleep books, I HAVE HAD ENOUGH.

I have thrown away all the books, unsubscribed from and I have come to accept that my baby, like her sister before her, will continue to wake me up A LOT during the night until, well, she just doesn’t.

The thing is, my babies don’t just wake up a few times for a feed or a nappy change.  My babies are highly adept in the art of wakefulness.  They laugh in the face of sleep training, spit in the eye of Gina Ford and would drive Supernanny to throw herself off the naughty step.

So these days I use a little technique I came up with myself called Get Your Baby To Go The F*** to Sleep By Whatever Means Necessary.

This is basically how it works:

IT is 4am and I am in bed. Awake. Again.

The Baby has woken up at regular intervals since I put her to bed at 7.30pm.

So by 4am I am seriously pissed off.

For God’s sake, what is her problem now? I whisper angrily as I head to the sleep thief’s cot once again.

I pick her up and (of course) she immediately stops crying.  I sway her from side to side a bit but no lullaby.  Not at 4am. She is not getting a frigging lullaby at 4am.

I can feel her eyes looking up at me. Do not make eye contact, I tell myself. Do NOT speak to her. Do NOT engage with her in any way. Any interaction will only encourage her to stay awake ALL night.

She blows raspberries, I don’t even blink.  She grabs my hair. I do not move. She gurgles something and quite deliberately makes it sound a bit like Mummy, but I SHOW NO WEAKNESS.

Finally, her eyes close, her breathing becomes slow and heavy and her ‘limbs are limp’, so (according to Dr Sears), IT IS TIME.

I creep over to the cot and prepare for the nerve-wracking transfer. I hold my breath and slowly, slowly lower her over the bars.

So far, so good. I lie her down. Still asleep.  I put her blankets on.  Still asleep. I tip toe back to my bed, slide under the covers and close my eyes.  The pearly gates of dreamland are just within my reach…

And then…

A TORTUROUS SCREAM pierces the comfortable silence of the night and snatches me from slumber once again.

Right, that is it. I have had enough of this EVERY night. I am NOT getting up again. NO more Mrs Nice Mummy. I am going to stay right here and close my eyes.


Bring it on baby. I am done.  I put the pillow over my head in an attempt to block out the screams. I am going to sleep.


The screams are louder now but I don’t care. I am staying in bed.


Her screaming has now woken Husband James and the Toddler but I am still NOT getting out of bed.


Ok I am getting out of bed.

And I am back at Square One.  Holding a baby in the darkness.  Rocking, shushing, and praying for the strength to make it through tomorrow after another sleepless night.

She is still awake.

I play the white noise app on my phone. Music box? Ocean waves?

Still awake.

I ask her really nicely to go to sleep. I bribe her. I beg her.

Still awake.

I lie her down in the cot and activate the lullaby machine in the vague hope that tonight WILL be the night she will be ‘soothed gently into a deep sleep’. She immediately screams. I leave her for a minute – waiting for the (five star rated at Amazon) dream machine to do its work.  It doesn’t. She screams some more so I get her out.

Still awake and now in a very bad mood.

I lie her down in bed next to me and feed her. (I have been trying to wean her off the night feeds using a method I call If She Screams Really Loudly I Will Just Feed Her).   This also gives me the chance to do useful things like pick up my phone and Google Stuff That You Really Shouldn’t Google When You Are Sleep-deprived at 4am In The Morning.  Can you die or get some horrible disease from lack of sleep?  Has my baby got some horrible disease because she will not go to sleep?  Why won’t my baby GO the f**k to asleep?

She has finished feeding but still awake. 

Right, time for co-sleeping…or as it is known in our house Co-sleeping With The Enemy or Pretend To Be Asleep No Matter What  (not for the fainthearted).  She pulls my hair, she bites my nose, she stands on daddy’s head, she tries to climb up the headboard, but finally, finally, finally…

 …she sleeps.

She looks cute, and at 9pm, 10pm or even 11pm I might have gazed lovingly at her for a few minutes. BUT NOT AT STUPID PAST 4AM. I am so over it by now. Desperately seeking sleep, I lie precariously on the edge of the bed.  Despite her size she seems to be taking up a hell of a lot of room. But I dare not move. One cough, sneeze or bed creak and I will be right back at Square One.

I look at the clock.  IF I go to sleep RIGHT this second I could still get a few hours sleep before the actual morning.


My body is tired but mind is wide awake…and being rather annoying. Why does my baby not sleep? I am definitely not going to be able to get out of bed tomorrow/today. Everyone else’s baby sleeps. I am rubbish at babies.  


Eventually my aching muscles sink into the mattress and I doze off…for about an hour and a half. At which point, I am rudely awoken by the Toddler shouting something about Thomas the Tank Engine and Weetabix.

So I get up, get dressed (eventually) and get on with it (with the help of a big cup of coffee).   And as I play, sing, read and laugh with my lively girls, I think to myself that actually I am not that rubbish at babies. My house is a mess, I can’t get my head around anything more complicated than Play Doh, but the girls are happy and healthy, so (for today at least) I am kicking sleep-deprivation’s arse….

It is amazing how much better things look after a good….ninety minutes sleep…

So, how do you get your baby to go to sleep and stay asleep when they do not want to be asleep?

Wait until they are like, really, really, really, tired (about two years) then they will finally sleep like, well, a baby….

Failing that, read this post and do the complete opposite.

Still awake?  Then invest in a good survival kit – coffee, wine, a spare bed and Sky plus- and wait for it to pass. Good luck!!!

Do you have a survival kit? Feel free to share any of your tips on surviving with a sleep thief in the comment box below 

 More hot tips in my book Sleep is for the Weak: How to survive when your baby won’t go the fzZk to sleep.  Available from book shops or on Amazon now!! 


  1. My 3 month old is going through the whole 4 month sleep regression and I was going crazy because of the lack of sleep. My mom kept telling me he just needed to learn to sleep in his crib (he had been sleeping in a swing) and the internet said co-sleeping is horrible. Well I followed my instincts to co-sleep and he finally sleeps through the night again. No complaints here!

  2. It’s 04:34 and my 3 yerarpbold nightmare sleeper and eater has FNALLY gone to sleep on my side of the bed. I’ve also successfully transferred her to her own bed!! Now I have 3hrs in which to sleep before getting both kids up for nursery / school!! It’s like this every night….it’s been 5 years since I’ve slept properly!!

    • To think I even found it hard when I just had one baby up all night and nowhere to go in the morning. Now no sleep and have to get us all ready and out for pre school! Four years of bad sleep here and counting!!

  3. When it’s 2.30 and you’re googling random crazy questions and you reply to this blog but lose your message because your Wi-Fi disconnected.. >|

  4. My 1yr old girls has kept me awake since before she was born! ‘put baby down sleepy but awake’ they say. Ha! Gina I challenge you to ‘put baby down sleepy but awake’ when the fall asleep after a feed and can’t be woken.
    And in the mean time I plot my revenge – thinking of waking her every couple of hours when she’s a teenager!

  5. Holy sheet this was funny! Too funny. I have been doing this silent, jiggly, sound-like-I’m-choking thing while I read it and try not to wake up my four month old who is sleeping on my lap. While I balance atop a fit ball because I’m too scared to move lest she wakes – like she did the 3 times I tried to put her down earlier this nap. Thank you for the (albeit suppressed) laughs.

  6. From the bottom of my heart thank you for writing this and to all other mums who have commented. I now feel like a normal parent! My lb (now 5) didn’t sleep through until he was 3 and still has bad nights sometimes with night terrors. When I was pregnant everyone said “don’t worry about his sleeping…. you never get two the same!”…… oh how right they were ….. This one is bloody worse! But the way he melts my heart every morning makes up for it. And I just keep repeating the mantra….. It will pass…. Right? !

    • It will pass! Thanks for sharing. The only thing that keeps me going some nights is knowing others are in the same boat! Before i wrote this i did nit feel normal at all. Hang in there! My second hated sleep just as much as my first!

  7. It does change. In the end. My 9 year old was the World’s Worst Sleeper. He could bounce around all day – then bounce around all bleeding night, too. And he was fine with that.

    Now I look at my nearly 8 month old, and he’s not as bad. He isn’t great, either, he isn’t one of these “part-time babies” as my dearly beloved calls the ones who sleep a lot. But I know, from the 9 year old, that it does pass. My beautiful little non-sleeping eldest now sleeps all night, every night, in this own bed, and is a charming, clever, fantastic boy during the day, wonderful with his baby brother and fabulous company as well.

    It does pass, fellow sleep-deprived parents. You’ll look back and – well, not laugh, I expect – but recognise that it was a phase. And you’ll never take being asleep in your own bed, on your own, for granted again!

      • What a fab blog!! It has certainly cheered me up. My lo is 2.5 months and sleeps on her terms. I’ve been trying to get her down for the last 4 hours having done the whole bedtime routine..bath, book, feed and she is currently in bed with me feeding with wide eyes!!! Why will u not sleep u must be exhausted! It’s good to know we are not alone and maybe one day she will sleep for more than 2 hours x

        • Ha…oh my youngest has recently started going for three hours at a time now…the luxury! But for a long time it was anything from half an hour to an hour!! She is almost two…we’ll get there…i hope!

  8. I used to sky+ everything to keep me sane throughout the night as I fed, rocked, sung to and begged my babies to sleep! Now 7 years later I can laugh about it….just x

  9. I can hear her screaming from her crib right now. We had a glorious month of sleeping through the night. That ended two weeks ago. The terrorist is back. The sleep dep is back. 90% coffee 10% suicidal. No bigs. She’s almost 2. Merry Christmas you frigging monster. Enjoy the lump of coal. They do grow older, right?

  10. Thanks for writing this. It helps to know I am not a terrible person for saying things like “what is wrong with you NOW?” and “please, go the fuck to sleep, you NEED to sleep, I don’t know what to do” while crying or thinking other evil things during the witching hour. It helps to laugh about it.

    Found this page after one of the worst nights of my life; my LO is 1mo and kept me awake from 11pm to 12pm with 3 or 4 too-small intervals of sleep while drinking every bottle I had stored (at one point 5 in 6 hours) or crying when I put her down. Doesn’t help that I am exclusively pumping and when I could snatch one of those too-small intervals to pump she woke up immediately afterward. Doesn’t help that Husband had to be at work very early so it was all me while he slept like the baby should have been and I secretly thought extremely evil thoughts.

    Thanks again. It feels good to bitch sometimes, even better to know others are bitching too and that all that sleep advice over the internet and books does NOT work for everyone. WE’RE not doing anything wrong. Our babies are fine, too. It’s just that some night (or most!) they can really suck.

    • Thanks for the commenting. Oh god, i often have often had a good swear at 4am as i grab my dressing gown and head for the baby’s room for the fifth time in one night. It helps to vent before unleashing yet more lullabies!! I have even contemplated running away during those twilight hours. But it is what we do not what we think…so i reckon that is ok. Hang in there my friend! Feel free to bitch on here any time!

  11. I left nearly 9 years between my two darlings because it took a long time to get over my sleep deprivation – Isaac (now 9) didn’t sleep through regularly until he was 6 years old. Danny (now 4.5 months) is a bit better than Isaac was, but it’s not that much better

    This time I gave up on plans very early on. He’ll sleep if I’m cuddling him? Fine, I’ll cuddle him. I’m not proud, if it will get us some sleep, I don’t care, even if he ends up tucked in my armpit….

    • That is tough going. Sounds familiar as I am far more of the Get Sleep However The Hell You Can attitude with my second. Still tired but a lot less stressed!!

  12. I love your posts! I have the exact same struggles / thoughts / methods with my 8 month old! It sounds like I may have another year AT LEAST of it though!!!???
    Everyone else I know has/have had babies who sleep – or only ever wake once or twice a night. Plus they even get away with shushing and/or patting back to sleep! My little one won’t be fobbed off with that!
    Anyway just wanted to say your posts have really cheered me up by making me laugh! xx

  13. Omg! how I laughed. You have described my nightly battle with one of our 8 month old twins to a tee… How I long for more than 3 hours sleep!

  14. Having the same issue! And so damn true about picking up the phone at 4am! Lol hope it gets better for us both. Xx

  15. oh wish I had read these 30 odd years ago! I tried the “just let her cry”…. routine while i sat sobbing outside her room. She got herself in such a state sobbing and making herself sick that I thought that was too cruel. (for both of us). So it was musical beds until she started school, then she settled as she was probably so tired and I invested in some story audio tapes which I would play once I had read her two stories. Occasionally she would come in during the night, but then we bought her a double bed and she slept with her little sister…. result!! Keep going are not alone!. this is why they started 24hr TV… haha!!

  16. OMG I could have written that as well!
    Im a Mum of three, 9 years, 6 years and 18 months youd have thought I would have cracked it by now! no chance! 2 older ones still get in bed with us and neigther have never realy slept , husband gets out cos not enough room , by this time the baby has eventualy been brought in our bed as well, then the baby starts feeding and Im too scared too move busting for a pee as well!
    its a nice problem to have I guess, and how nice to read there are many that have the same problem! = Lol! xx

  17. This blog is not only hilalarious but u have pretty much gone through the samw thing we do with our 16 month old lol. She slept from 7:30pm to 8:30am from 8 weeks until she was 10months then shen she decided sleep wasnt as important and eould rather play. Our problem isnt getting her to sleep its her waking she can either have just lost her dummie n I can put it back in and she goes straight back off or she wakes and I have a crazy child running round my living room at 4am. I dont co sleep I never have not that I think there is anything wrong with it we have jist never done it and I think I scared of rolling on her lol she has gone down at 8pm tonight so fingers crossed if she stays there lol

  18. It is so refreshing to hear others talk about their beautiful babies in these terms. I used to think I was terrible for thing he was evil, wicked, horrid etc etc, but that’s what we feel at stupid o’clock. Good news is, mine is 12 now, and each child has their own challenges. Now he is an amazing young man I am unbelievably proud of. The more you get out of the ways early on, the easier the journey become later on..ying and yang and karma. Thanks for the laughs x

  19. My 16 month boy slept good for the first 5 months not sure what happened he started to wake as soon as you put him down in his crib. Then he would wake a couple of times then at 6 months he wakes every two hours you can your watch by him. So I feed him get him back to sleep then in his crib then I get to have an hour to an hour and a half sleep. This has been going on for a bloody year now. Wow I am so burnt out its not funny. I get migraines and this is not helping out at all. First my husband could help and take the wake up at 10 so I could sleep but Jasper decided it had to be mom to put him down for his naps and bedtime. If he does go down for a nap it is for a whole 40 minutes. I have read all the books it easy just let him cry it out it will take three or four days three weeks later he is just getting really passed off so let’s stop that. Anyway I am going on and on. Just want to say I feel your pain.

    • It is ok helps to get it off your chest! We had the same we only me being able to settle my daughter, then I got so tired, headache and low one night I went to stay at my mums leaving little one with daddy! She slept in bed with him, still waking every few hours but and was perfectly fine to settle for daddy when I wasn’t in the house! Since then he takes the first waking! Follow your instincts and get sleep however you can-maybe he will sleeP in your bed- or not. what do I know!? Good luck my friend!

  20. you are awesome! I’ve tried it all and the only thing that worked remotely was co sleeping. she cried till she threw up and then threw up again. and again..tried everything and bassinet worth hundreds of dollars? not even one night; a cot? what cot? may be one night. she’s almost three we live in the hope some day real soon we will have a full nights sleep in her own the moment it is start in her bed and end in ours..we live in hope and for the moment happily accept this compromise…

  21. My ten year old daughter still wakes up most nights. Thats the bad news, the good news is…… After ten years of mummy and her spending night after night hugging through the sleepless hours, we have a wonderful close relationship, and i know that im blessed. However, i do feel that i have aged 20 years! Hang on in there. It does get better, or we just get better at coping with it.

    • Oh that actually brought a tear to my eye! This sleep deprivation has turned me into a massive wimp! Thank you so much for your comment. I really hope the extra cuddles will mean my daughters know I will always be there for them whenever they need me. Cheers Karen,this has really cheered me up during a particularly bad bout of baby waking!

    • That is exactly how I felt before I found other sleep thief victims so thanks! It doesn’t always feel right at 4am in the morning but what does?! We just live in hope that tomorrow will be better!

  22. Absolutely brilliant and hilarious! Mainly because it reflects my life so much! (and others it seems-yes there is something strangely comforting in that :))
    Also- don’t you just HATE anyone who says’mine slept through the night from 7 weeks! ‘Gush gush! Etc…
    Thank for sharing!
    From a Mum of five year old girl who refused to sleep through the night until about three but still gets up and gets in to bed with me but at least goes back to sleep and 17 month old boy who also refuses to sttn and is driving me mad :))

  23. I was fortunate in that my daughter slept through from 10 weeks. She has however, always been rubbish at napping through the day (can’t have everything I guess!). Then the 8 month sleep regression kicked in and I haven’t had an unbroken nights sleep since October. The thing is, she was back to sleeping normally before Christmas but my insomnia kicked back in… It’s not fair! Am I allowed to wake her up??

    • Thanks! Oh dear. I sympathise. I had insomnia with my first child so literally never slept. Somehow it is more painful than being kept awake by the baby. Hope you sleeP soon!

  24. Oh my I could have written this. First baby didn’t sleep til 2 1/4 when I put her in a big girls single bed and little boy who is 9m still feeds plentifully and wakes 3/4 times a night usually. You do not suffer in pain I am right here with you!

    • Oh thank you! Glad to hear I am not alone. Actually my toddler also sleep better (mostly!) in a a big girl bed! But baby is not fussy- she is happy to NOT sleep anywhere!

  25. This articulated our experience so perfectly (and very amusingly) that we both had to laugh! Wife gets near wits-end with our 9-month-old ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ and it always helps to know there are others out there in the same boat, as opposed to those ‘sleepthroughers’ full of well-intentioned but ultimately useless advice!

  26. Ahh ladies I feel your my darling daughter didnt sleep through the night until she was 3 1/2. In 2 weeks time she will be 21, does it get better………. not really, I now get drunken calls at 3 in the morning to go and pick her up from clubs.

  27. We have children from the same pod , Gina ford baby whisperer …..pah !!! And if one more person tells me to sleep train I’ll flipping scream ……
    Child one =4:5 years goes to sleep like a dream but rest assured between the hours of 12-4 am she appears in our bed …….. Every night year in year out ……. Get up put her back …. Get up put her back but she is still staring me in my face at 6 am every morning …. To make matters worse my 2 year old is now playing up ,not going down to sleep and then waking at 3:30 every morning , shouts until our street hears him and I have rescued him from his beautifully cosy cot !!!
    Haggle red knackered look no further than me …. May the force be with you .

  28. hilarious how members of members have commented on this blog without a hint of irony…. NO-ONE WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT HOW PERFECT YOU ARE..OR HOW BLESSED OR HOW AMAZING YOUR ` I LEAVE MY BABY TO SCREAM THEMSELVES HOARSE AND NOW THEY ARE GOING TO BE THE NEXT DALAI LAMA` TECHNIQUE IS. Emily-Jane hang on in there…one day they will leave and go to Uni xxxx

  29. I feel your pain, my twins now 7 didn’t sleep until 3 months before Their 3rd birthday !!! & my little lady almost 3 was just before 2 & 1/2 !! Their daddy was the same as a child according to the mum in law & still need very little sleep, ! !! Near damn killed me though esp with 2, as they all got a little older, both set grandparent were fab & would take them for a weekend when I got to my wits end ! There is light at the end of the tunnel, how many 3/4/5 year olds do you hear of that don’t sleep ! I think when they get to nursery/pre school, there little minds get wore out !! & then they sleep , best of luck to you xxx

    • Thanks for the comment! Quite true! My toddler is 2.5 and usually gets in her new big girl bed without a fight. So one down, one very hyper little sleep thief to go! Roll on pre school! X

  30. Love it I have tried EVERYTHING and now just give in and stay with him with lots of cuddles till he falls asleep happy and secure. I have not had a full nights sleep since he was born and at one point it was every two hours awake. Now (he is 2) I decided that enough was enough and just gave into it all and he loves going to bed with his mummy’s nigh time routine and eventually he sleeps all night bless him. I have a much more contented boy who loves his mummy’s cuddles at bedtime and falls asleep happy. So im guessing he is not stressed at where I am and if I am going to be there and has a good nights sleep…. worked in my household …good luck to everyone x

  31. So reading your post I have decided that we can definitely be friends…as I dont befriend anyone that has the golden child “oh she’he slept through from 6 weeks” eff off!. 2 Years later and the second one on the way….I hear you loud and clear!! Life is hard…very hard! Thanks for sharing friend;)

  32. Brilliant brilliant brilliant, I have not laughed that much in ages . I pretty much go through the same every night . I’m glad I’m not alone and good to hear a mum being honest .

  33. What worked for our twins, who were combination fed til 8 weeks then just formula: 1) get them ‘tanked up’ on feeds in the last couple before bedtime (7pm?), so their tummies are full enough to see them through the night (started @8 weeks for us) 2) put them down sleepy but not asleep for EVERY nap/sleep – “please put her in the cot now grandma, no really, put her down now!” 3) we still use a dummy for naps/sleeps, which stops the suck trigger waking them once they are old enough/weigh enough to not need the night feeds(s) 4) buy a Vicks £30 vaporiser when they have colds, but watch for damp on the walls

    We found the baby whisperer / healthy sleep habits books worked for us and seemed to have a well balanced approach, I.e. routines but not schedules to the exact minute. Good luck!

  34. Made me chuckle my answer iv got twin boys there two now they go to bed at 6:30 and I go at 10 but my problem is co sleeping the only way they would sleep they do sleep till 7:30 next day but there still in my bed

  35. I have 15 week old twins and every night seems to be different – I have, on occasion, heard the yell (my babies don’t cry or whimper, they go straight to YELL) and hopped up out of bed and grabbed the wrong baby. The one who was sleeping soundly. And woken him with a fright so he bawls, and the original one is still bawling. I DEFINITELY wouldn’t let mine cry, it’s a case of “oh-shit-ones-crying-shut-him-up-he’ll-wake-the-other-one” – I’m kinda used to the sleep deprivation now, I’ve learned to cat nap. You can recuperate a lot in seventeen minutes 😉 I know it won’t be forever, so I don’t really mind. I do hate when other people with babies younger than mine brag about them sleeping through, though. Like seriously. It’s like a giant contest. “He came out of the womb and slept for 12 hours straight and even set the alarm and woke me in the morning”. I have seen some late night infomercials those sleepers will never see, and they will never know how many things a multi-chopper can chop or how fast I can get abs or remove hair permanently. Missing out, I tell ya.

    • Twins? Oh i have it easy compared to you in that case!!
      Ha yes there are many benefits to not getting much sleep… Those are just a few! We are lucky really because if we are ever captured by enemy spies and they torture us with sleep deprivation – we will be able to kick its arse!!!

  36. Emily, if there’s something your sleep deprivation didn’t affect is your sense of humour (or maybe it enhanced it?). Seriously, if you can still find an hilarious perspective on this, then hats off to you, you’re one badass wonderwoman! Not sure if it could work for you, but I hired a non professional nanny, which didn’t cost me a fortune to help me go through the day. I sometimes had a nap after lunch with her watching the twins. It was a little bit of a gamble dictated by kind of an emergency situation. .. I was lucky that it went OK but I don’t know how I would have done without her.

    • Ha after years of sleep deprivation have got to the point that if I don’t laugh I will cry! And possibly never stop!
      Twins must be really hard. I would love that but at the moment our budget wouldn’t even stretch to non professional right now! Luckily I have Nana who I can call on a really bad day and husband and I take turns to sleep in on weekends! The ultimate goal is to one day afford a cleaner! Ha wild dreams!

  37. When it comes to babies in the night I cant help but share my perspective!
    Wow this made me so sad and full of gratitude. I did not have such a terrible experience. Not because my baby slept through the night because he didnt. My baby woke up every two hours till he was two! The end of two not the beginning. He slept next to me the whole time. He woke up, woke us all up, I snuggled him, feed him and he slept again, except when he wanted to play. Then we played. I trained MYSELF to fall back asleep immediately within 30 seconds with MEDITATION. Is the parents that need sleep training not the babies! I never put him in a baby cage. I never felt deprived, nor did he, even though I may have looked it, because I knew a few years was nothing in the grand scheme of our lives and we have one of the closest mother son relationships I know. In fact I dont know many nine year olds that can sit down and talk to their mother the way we do, so secure in who he is, open with his feelings and genuinely happy to be with me. It is beautiful allowing our babies to be as they are and MOMMIES, so worth the sacrifice. Babies are so full of life! We are so tired with our hectic lives out of balance with nature, and so we want THEM to stop being so AWAKE so we can sleep away and forget what they are trying to teach us; when really, being AWAKE is so very wonderful and natural. There is nothing wrong with the babies, it’s our attitude that is suffering. Just a different perspective but my advise… Chuck the coffee. Invest in Superfoods. Get a meditation tape. Spend more time in nature and less time on smart phones and relax and enjoy the loving fatigue that comes with parenting.
    And imagine that the characters in the blog below where a whimpering grandparent that is YOU who cant sleep because you are close to death and you desperately want to connect and be AWAKE and the “mommy” is your child, now grown up, and cursing under their breath at how frigging annoying you are waking up and crying for Love all the time. ONE day you will be the child again, old and vunerable and your children will remember. PEACE UNTO YOU

  38. Thank you. Thank you more than you can imagine for just being honest and normal.

    It’s bloomin awful. I feel like I’m being tortured and yet all the other mums and dads say their baby sleeps 16 hours a day and they have wonderful, fulfilled parent relationships for the 20 seconds they need to look after their child.

    I walk around like a zombie and want to cry from tiredness at work.

    Thank you again. It’s nice to know we’re not the only ones.

    Chris x

    • I know what you mean. I feel so much better for finding out there are others out there going through the same thing. Not sure why it helps but it really does. And if it makes you feel any better, since becoming a parent I may have cried more than the babies!

  39. Ha, this sounds like my life my first son slept like a log from 6pm till 8am i of course smugly thought i was a freaking great first time mum, especially when he walked early spoke beautifully and ate anything i put in front of him…..I was freaking wrong ten years later and a baby, another beautiful boy there was me smugly i will just do what i did with the eldest no problems its all about the routine…..what i didnt factor in was this baby was born from the devils spawn and is the polar opposite to his brother…..he wont sleep, oh he goes down perfectly at 6pm after his dinner ( which he is extreamly fussy about) he sleeps well until the very moment i close my eyes no matter what time i go to bed its like he has a sixth sence of my eyes closing and sleep welcoming me, but i have found the cure ( please dont shout at me i already know i am a crap mum) chocolate white to be specific i give him some when he screams at me he is happy then to grab a bottle and go back to sleep ( he is 19 months by the way i am not feeding a newborn white chocolate at midnight i promise) and i get some precious sleep.

    • Yes! They are definitely psychic. As soon as I start to drift off,I swear I hear mine thinking ‘let the games begin’! Brilliant-that is one technique have not tried!

  40. Yeah, I did the same and decide sanity was more important and looked at what was important, pretending that m lifey is perfect in this testing period or go with the flow. I slept with my two as they were let’s face it wanted to feel safe I slept well they did too so eventually I had at least 5 hours sleep. I ensure babies had milk and cereal before bed to avoid hunger pains at night. I also slept during the day as my body was saying sleep or get ill, easily irritable etc. My house is a mess but works and is practical, essentially safe too. It is allows the children to play, learn and become independent. The show home were you clear up, not allowed this toy in this room etc didn’t work for us.

  41. Both my boys have been good sleepers. I don’t know what it is I particular but I believe fresh air and a midnight feed are a help. We actually wake the baby (9 mo) at midnight for a bottle and a change, he’ll sleep to about 7-8am after going to bed at 8.30 pm. We did the same with the now 3 yo.

  42. “I have been trying to wean her off the night feeds using a method I call If She Screams Really Loudly I Will Just Feed Her”. Love it! Made me properly laugh. Thank-you 🙂 I used the same method for my first and BOOM- three years later she sleeps through! The second is, so far, a good sleeper, but I won’t hesitate to use this method to wean her if and when the time comes. Thanks for sharing 😀

  43. Oh I absolutely understand where u are coming from!!! I laughed so much as this is exactly what happens to me…and mine are 5 and 3 and STILL I hold their hands to get them to sleep and STILL they wake up and call/cry for me or come to find me. Just last night we all ‘slept’ as a family in our double bed!! I have actually resigned myself to the interrupted sleep and I am sure at some point they will finally tell me, “mummy go away” but it ain’t happening soon. When they are a bit bigger we are thinking bunkbeds and then finally the novelty and the physical impossibility of holding hands will finally release me….who knows. But they are my angels and if wanting mummy nearby is what makes them feel content and safe then that’s what they get. They are still so young.

  44. Wow, I feel like this could have easily be written by me….a couple of years ago. I am out of the worst of it now, but it takes years! I also had two non sleepers and yes all the baby sleep books are a waste of time and money. Here’s a post from a while ago, when I was dying from lack of sleep, it’s horrible, hope you get some light at the end of the tunnel soon:

    Hope ypu don’t mind blatent self promotion!

  45. Thank you. Made me laugh out loud. I have a 5 yo who sleeps fine, always has, a 3yo who doesn’t sleep and a 1yo who probably would if he didn’t keep getting woken up by his brother! I could have written this myself! I find it hilarious how many people still try to’solve’ things despite your writing. I think you are very gracious in your replies! Here’s to getting some sleep in 2014. 😀 X

    • Ha thank you! I figure people have the best intentions but what us sleep thief ‘victims’ really just want is a little moan now and again! And to know we are not alone lo this nightly battle. Before I wrote this I never imagined there were so many of us out there! X

  46. How can I do this when my little man simply stands straight back up, screaming, when I put him down? Would I need to just stand next to the cot repeatedly putting him down? What about when he vomits? Should I quietly clean him and the cot, change bedding etc all with no eye contact and then reassume?

  47. For my first 3 children, co sleeping made it manageable, with older babies helping themselves to boobies while I mostly stayed asleep. My 4th child just saw being in our bed as playtime, so didn’t work. Now at 2yrs 9m she still wakes on average 3 times a night and combined with my almost non sleeping 10m old, I average 3 hrs sleep per night, in total. Now have a co sleeping toddler and a baby who usually takes about 45min to get to sleep, then only stays down about 20min, which is sometimes interrupted by my toddler waking. Sleep training hasn’t worked for us as mine simply scream hysterically until they vomit, for anything less than being picked up.

  48. That made me giggle. Because now, with a soon to be 15 year old a 13 year old and an 8 going on 18 year old. I can confirm. You will be the recipient of sleep. Eventually! It’s gone the other way now, now he won’t get out of his pit!!! Lol. Hang in there!!!! All will be well, and those parents who spout about having the perfect sleeping child. I’m sat here laughing my arse off. If you think you are in the clear wait until the get hormonal!!! Stay sane drink wine and most of all keep your sense of humour. You’re gonna need It 😉

  49. I could relate so much to your post! My son was just the same and we tried everything but he could cry for 12 hours straight through the day so leaving him for 1/5/7 minutes was never going to work!!! Just to give you something to look forward to – he is now 11 years old and for years now he has just got himself up when he is awake, put on the telly and fixed some cereal – he worked out that the quieter he was, the longer we would sleep and he’d get to watch more tv 🙂 he just doesn’t need much sleep and that doesn’t fit in with the rest of us so when he really needed us for everything it was RUBBISH but on a positive note, we have never needed to leave a party early, while friends were taking their grumpy, sleepy children home, he was tearing up the dance floor 🙂

  50. I absolutely refused to be awake AND standing in the middle of the night. Nope. So, at first we had a pack-n-play by my bed and when he was able to pull up on it (5 months) we transitioned to all-night bedsharing. At 12 months we began putting him to sleep on a mattress on the floor in his room and upon his first waking we would bring him to bed with us. He nursed at night until he finally night weaned at 23 months. At 2, he got a big boy bed and that, in conjunction with his getting older is helping him sleep a little better. Days after introducing the big boy bed he slept through 10pm-7am with no waking for the first time EVER. Now at nearly 27 months he will sleep bedtime to morning about 2 times a week, and the other times he will wake in the middle of the night and he comes in our bed until morning (like we’ve been doing since he turned 1). This evolving routine came to us simply because walking back and forth while singing (or not singing) wasn’t an option for me. [Love your writing, btw 🙂 🙂 ]

  51. I don’t know how u cope with the toddler waking as well. This is the worst part for me. Not 2 at the same time!! But don’t worry about co sleeping for a while. If that’s what works then great. U need ur sleep to function well in the day and that’s what really matters.

    • Thanks! Actually the toddler finally sleeps thank god! She sometimes wakes up for dummy/drink/nightmare but then daddy sees to her and she goes straight back to sleep! Yes co sleeping with the baby can be a god send when it works and she goes to sleep!

  52. yup, same night feeding/co-sleeping malarkey in this house . ds1 was a great sleeper, loved his bed and didn’t present with any real bedtime challenges. then ds2 came along, whole different ball game, and now both boys take ages to settle at bedtime, need me to lie with them, have to nurse ds2 to sleep, feeds through the night, all ‘terrible habits’ that i’ve gotten into. i miss a full nights’ sleep, would like to spend a full night in my own bed but this bedtime phase shall pass. looking at the bigger picture, in ten or twelve years time i’ll have more sleepless nights wondering where they are and who they’re with. at least now i know who they’re with by night-me! i fully agree that all children are different and some will sleep through the night with little or no encouragement but it saddens my heart when babies/toddlers are allowed to cry, accused of manipulating their parents, crying crocodile tears etc. they’re babies, they only have tears to communicate!! i’m sure if they could clear their throat and say-excuse me mum, i know you’re having your me time but i’ve just had a bad dream/wet my vest/saw a scarey shadow/really miss you-then i bet they would. until then, they’re going to cry and as parenting is a 24hour job then its our job to get up off the sofa and go to our babies. goodnight!

    • What good points. Not looking forward to teenhood!
      Oh if mine could talk she would definitely not be so polite- more like ‘what are are you doing trying to sleep without me mummy? It is time to party!’

  53. My 20 month twins generally sleep 7-7 and have done since 9 months, but maybe once a week/two weeks one wakes up in the night (just to keep us on our toes) so it’s just easier to bring that one into bed with us to save waking up the other twin. It gets interesting though when no. 2 then wakes and we end up with 4 of us in our double bed, inevitably me and the other half are hanging off the edges of the bed whilst the girls are spread out in the middle lol! I wasn’t a big fan of co-sleeping before but I say whatever keeps you sane is the way to go!

    • It is ok to be honest i have had more advice than i have had sleepless nights! What really helps is knowing others are going through the same thing. Not sure why but it does. So thanks. It will improve – my toddler is now 2.5 years old and FINALLY sleeps like, well, a baby!! Just hope her sister eventually does the same!

  54. Hey, you’re using the same night weaning technique as me!
    Thanks for that – I feel so much better about my 10month old twins’ failure to sleep through the night (I’d even settle for them sleeping through the evening!)

  55. I feel your pain, I have 22 month old twins who have slept through a handful of times, we got a spare double bed and take one each when they wake, not for everyone but this way we get way more sleep. I could never just let them cry, I’m too soft. Secretly I love the cuddles x

  56. My lo is 19 weeks and has spent the entire day screaming and not sleeping. pretty unusual for her thankfully but she’s now over tired so i have put her down early in the hope that she’ll stay calm after a big feed for long enough to fall asleep. I have no back up tonight either as OH is away until tomorrow evening. So last resort Baby Einstein on the ipad in the cot white noise in the back ground for when it ends and me on the sofa outside praying that she falls asleep……It’s not looking good.

  57. This is great! What’s even more humorous is the comments on here made by some of the parent’s who think they have cracked the sleep deprivation problem! No child is the same, therefore no one method will work with all. I have 3 children, my first two slept from 6 and 8 weeks an amazing 12 hours a night. However my third who is currently 3 has NEVER slept through the night. We have tried leaving her to scream but that distressed her so much that she now refuses to sleep in her room! We have had to bring her bed into ours to try and get some sleep and to avoid all the bed swapping that was going on through the night. She now sleeps, but not until we have both gone to bed! She will no doubt, one day, learn to be independent, but in a world where we are living very busy lives, sharing a few hours at night with your baby, co bed sharing isn’t that terrible, unless others make you believe it is!

    • Thanks for your comment! I think you are right. No two babies are the same and they all need different things.we usually end up with the baby in with but it can go one of two ways. She will sleep for a few hours taking up maximum space but at least it is respite! Or, like last night, she will decide to have an all night party!

  58. My son was an amazing baby slept through from his first night until 4months hit n I went through exactly what you did I’ve felt every little thing you’ve written above the only time he would sleep is in bed with us n that I wouldn’t have and then at 10 months old I was this mummified character with lack of sleep for months I’d send him to my mother in laws not to do house chores or anything but to sleep all day! At 10 months old daddy came up with the best idea we had a spare room and bed so he said why not put him in his own bed so I was not the slightest convinced besides this was my first baby not only was I putting him in his own bed at 10 months old I was for the first time putting him in his own room too! Guess what it worked! He woke three times still but the difference was he wasn’t in the cot next to my bed screaming n crying n falling out of the cot whilst he slept I slept when he woke I’d give him his feed soothe him off and gently swift off into my own room I hope things get better for you because as a mum with a working partner and the very littlest help I know the feeling x

    [email protected]

    • Thank you! We have put her in her own room recently but she doesn’t seem to be any better or worse. However, maybe she would prefer a bed to her cot? She certainly likes ours! Worth a go.

  59. I love this. So true. There really is no answers (although there’s about 1000 smug parents who will tell you them). I have 2 children, one that didn’t sleep through till she was 4 yrs old (other than a few months to lead me into a false sense of security and allow me to conceive number 2). And one that slept through from around 5 minths. I have brought them up exactly the same and honestly tried every trick in the book with my first and nothing worked. For those that are going through it, I can only wish them all the luck in the world and promise that it does pass – eventually.

    • I went through the same thing with my two babies. Tried everything in the book with the first, did the opposite of this with my second. Two very different babies but same result= babies who will not sleep!! But my 2.5 years old who FINALLY sleeps is the light at the end of my very long and exhausting tunnel…

  60. I have had 2 of these little non sleeping monsters, second one is just starting to get the idea of how to stay asleep at 22 months. With the first I refused to let him get in our bed and all those other things that supposedly will make them never sleep, he was still 21 months before he slept through, so with the second one I just gave in after a while and put him in our bed when he woke up, at least then I could be lying down while awake! He eventually just stayed in his own bed longer and longer.

    • I do the same now. It sometimes works – but sometimes (like last night!) she wakes up and just wants to party- all night!! But more often than bot i manage to get an hour or two at least with her next to me. I know it won’t be forever. My toddler is 2.5 and sleeps really well in her new big girl bed!! So I am confident when the baby is a bit older she will see her sister going off to bed and want to do the same (she copies everything she does now anyway)!

  61. Brilliant – and so true. We are at the pillow over our heads and try to ignore crying stage which will inevitably turn into – I need a nights sleep, stuff it and bring him in bed with us. DS1 (now nearly 6) was a text book sleeper and I knew we wouldn’t get a 2nd one. DS2 is nearly 8 months and life is too much of a party to sleep for him.

  62. Oh girls…. This has brought back so many memories. I truly believe you should go with what you feel is right for you. My son is now 23!!!!!! and I am getting lots of sleep lol, so we get there in the end. I never left him to cry, call me soft or whatever you want…. I just went with the flow…. What else can you do. I read lots of books and older mums gave me advice which really made me feel I was rubbish. So as I said in the end I thought stuff it I’m going to listen my natural instincts (no not throw them out of the window) and my baby (at full pelt) pick him up, feed him and soothe him back off to sleep…don’t you just love them……. So funny reading the blog. Nothing changes x enjoy your little bundles they soon grow up xxxxx

    • You are so right. With my first baby i never trusted my instincts at all – i just went with all the advice from books or other people. But now, with my second I trust myself a lot more and go with the flow as you say. I am still tired but not half as stressed!! x

    • Thanks! I agree. With my first baby I never trusted myself and went with everything the books or experts told me. Where as now with my second, i follow my natural instincts and i am still tired – but not half as stressed!! x

  63. My little monster has just recently started sleeping much better after 18 months of the 2-3 hour waking nonsense. I did everything ‘right’ that you’re meant to do from the start (all those ‘helpful’ suggestions listed above – do they really think parents of non-sleepers are completely oblivious to the various sleep training techniques?) but she wasn’t having any of it! I don’t know what changed in the last month. Of course I’m expecting another baby any day now (when did I have the energy to have sex?!) so it’ll probably be months and months again before I get a vaguely decent nights sleep.

    My conclusion is that if you’ve got a good sleeper then it’s mostly down to luck. 95% baby’s personality, 5% what you do influences how well, or not, they sleep. No one wants to have a badly sleeping baby!!!

    • Ha I agree. My first baby started sleeping of her own accord after about two years, nothing to do with the countless rubbish we tried, then of course, we had her sister to deal with. With baby two we were determined not to get another bad sleeper so were all over it from day one! More relaxed, didn’t let her sleep on us for hours, put her down awake bla, bla boring bla! Yes still she doesn’t sleep. If it is the way they are you just have to wait it out I guess! At least I can look at my toddler and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel!

  64. I love reading things like this. It makes me feel soooo much better about my own son’s terrible sleep patterns and our failed attempts at sleep training. I’ve had days where I’m so tired I’ve almost thrown up but I know it’s not forever (well, it had better not be!)
    Hope you get some decent sleep soon.

  65. I believe the problem lies with putting the baby to bed at 7pm… Think about it for a moment. We usually get anywhere from 7 to 8hrs sleep a night, right? Well if you put baby down at 7pm, come 4am that’s time served! My son is almost 6 months.. and he has been sleeping threw the night since he was 2 months.. My wife and I have worked his feeding schedule so that he gets his last bottle at 10pm. So come 6am he is ready for his first bottle of the day! BAM 8hrs sleep. Now after his 6am we put him BACK down to sleep till about 9:30a 10am of which he gets his 10am and then starts the day. So all in all, we’re looking at almost 12hrs sleep with a 15 to 20 min feeding time at 6am.

    So his schedule is as follows.. 6am bottle then back to sleep, 10am bottle with playtime and exercise, 12pm nap, 2pm bottle with playtime, snuggles and exercise, sometimes a 4pm nap (based on how he’s doing), 6pm bottle with playtime and exercise bath time, 9pm nap, 10pm LAST Bottle for the night then to bed…

    I know not everyone has a schedule that might allow this kind of break down, but if at least you try and make baby’s last bottle as late as you can, hopefully they will sleep threw the night. Its been working like a dream for us! Good luck

    • Thanks for sharing. We have tried early bedtime, late bedtime, keeping her up with us, dream feeds, plenty of play and exercise, snack before bed! She is not waking wits hunger she simply doesn’t want to be asleep!

      • My oldest daughter simply doesn’t want to sleep either. We just go with it too… I have moments of guilt trying to fit in to society but our children are happy and I sleep ok because I co-sleep if there is any problem in the night rather than fight the problem and waken the whole house.
        It’s not easy sometimes but it is a precious time and I am honestly savouring it most of the time because all too soon, they won’t need us in the same way at all and this time is flying by. Peace out all sleep seekers x

        • Yes this is only a tiny part of their lives and so I try to make the most next when I get a good nights, well a good two hours sleep! Peace out back at you my friend!

      • Great blog!.. It’s so difficult to know what to do for the best really, I have twin girls now 18 months and one has always slept through and needed slightly more sleep and the other wakes up and cries out on a regular basis, we always went in up until around 14 months and then realised she didn’t actually need anything and now leave her to go back to sleep, but those 14 months were so hard. I don’t think you can control it or blame your parenting, some people are lucky and have easy babies, some difficult and the rest sit somewhere in between! and cat naps are the key

  66. It’s as of you’ve been a fly on the wall in our house for the last 8 months.
    I loose track of the amount of times I get asked if he’s sleeping any better. If he’s in his cot yet. If he’s in his own room yet. NO he’s not. He’s lying at the side of me and he’s learnt how to pull my vest down and help himself. But do you know what. He’s the happiest baby you’ll ever meet and this way we both get some sleep!
    I”ll tell you what is new though, this week I decided to stop trying to live up to what I used to think he “should” be doing and enjoy the sleep we do get.

  67. Ah this made me smile, so, so true!

    I’m past that stage now, just about. My daughter wasn’t too bad, had stages of waking but could be persuaded back to good habits with controlled crying-ish techniques (not strict, I’m not willing to do that).
    Boy child has the lungs of a gorilla. could keep up a scrap all night if required. So he slept in with us for pretty much the first year. I decided to choose sanity and sleep over ‘creating a rod for my own back’ guilt. He’s now 3 and sleeps brilliantly, decides he wants to go to bed when he’s tired, and sleeps through most nights. Though there are still some times when one or other of us heads through for an hour of lying on his floor (daddy mostly now as he’s suddenly the favourite parent!)
    Good luck for tonight! This too shall pass.

    • Ah thanks for this. Love hearing a success story! I choose sanity and sleep every time and little one sometimes, if we are lucky, finally settles in our bed most nights!

      • Just a thought, but if baby is going to end up in your bed, why not just take baby straight to your bed so you all sleep better. Makes no sense to me putting you both thro trying to get baby to sleep and in cot. Trouble is baby knows it too! But you might get a few more minutes/hours sleep. My son slept thro from 15 weeks but my daughter different – but she had coughing/choking episode at 3 weeks so I used to rush to her when she stirred. Now reaping effects …

  68. Hahahaha…so true 🙂 I won’t leave mine to cry so we go through the song and dance every night too. Hang in there!

  69. I’m lying in bed next to my son who has taken over our bed waiting for the baby to wake and continue her onslaught of nightly sleep torture. You’ve just made me snort so loudly I nearly woke him up. Brilliant blog. I’m an antenatal teacher (who has read way too many sleep books) have 3 kids and no one sleeps in our house. Blooming farce so your words bring comfort, hilarity and much joy to me! Going to send your blog to my clients who sometimes need reminding that babies are not sleep automatons. I wish you a good hour of sleep my friend x

    • My babies are anything but. In my experience no matter what you do they will only sleep when they are good and ready! Glad my nightly torture is of some help! Ha. I am currently in bed with sleep thief number two who seems to think now is definitely the time to experiment with head butting. Daddy is dealing with number one! Good luck to you too! X

  70. OMG your blog is hilarious!! I burst out laughing several times!! My husband and I are going through exactly the same with our little angel/mini exorcist 13 month old son. Good to know that other parents are going through/thinking the same as us!!!

  71. I am looking forward to another sleepless night with my 10 month old – Not sleeping, just ‘Night Survival’ we call it! Praying for the day he sleeps through … Having had one baby that did sleep through, and now one that doesnt, I will still love them both equally in the morning. And all though im not well rested, im still awesome 😀 Good night all x

  72. maybe Im just blessed with children who just sleep but a friend years ago said not to treat babies like babies and from the start do not put anything in the cot other then the baby and blankets. tell them its sleep time and turn off the lights(fully) and walk away. if they scream they scream. but they will finally realise mammy is not coming back through screaming. if they look for a feed during the night after 7 weeks old, give them water. they will soon give up and get so bored they will go to sleep. but if you continually go in when they cry, they know how to get your attention and why sleep when (their fav playmate) mammy comes if they scream hard enough. of course stay alert and near by for safety but do not relent on staying out of their room. look it worked twice for me but thats not saying it will work for others. both my children slept for 12 hours a night since 7 weeks old and still do 8 and 3 years later.And teething was not an issue as I knew something was seriously wrong when it kept them up. it was clear they were in pain and all the remedys worked for them as they were not sleep deprived children and I was a calm well rested mammy.

      • Perhaps you need to weigh things up. What will bring the most emotional harm to your baby – crying for 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes (with you standing close by but just out of sight) for a number of nights or permanently stressed out, sleep deprived parents for literally years? Not forgetting the impact both options have on your toddler too. Parenting is a tough job but one of those jobs is teaching your child to settle itself to sleep (or back to sleep when they stir in the night). You wouldn’t wish to instil separation anxiety into a pet dog so why would you do it to your child? Whether we like it or not, from day one our job is to teach our children to be independent of us (self-feeding, going to the toilet alone, going off to school etc) so why is sleep any different? What will happen to your poor child if you have to go into hospital for a few days? How traumatic would that be? I appreciate how hard it is (I’ve been there) but it’s about playing the long game and ask yourself what real harm will come to your child from crying? I suspect you find this process harder on yourself than on your baby – they are resilient, extremely fast learners so have more faith in your child…and yourselves. Good luck 🙂

    • I use the same technique and my boy sleept through the night from 5 weeks and still loves me loads and is a mummy’s boy as long as I know he’s feed dry and warm then if he cries it’s for attention I listen to his cry on the monitor and I know his cries it’s not for every mumma but the ones I know that do it have babies that sleep like angels

      • but how do u know the impact. i would b scared it would made him insecure in life. he was calling for attention yes but babies should b with their mums non stop. our bodies r made to survive on less sleep. … i always just imagine women in past, e.g. tribe cultures. they would sleep with the baby and carry the baby anywhere … work with baby, cook etc. the baby was with them. now we have so much crime. etc am not saying its coz people made up cots and buggies and left babies alone to cry, put them in daycare but i always wonder what if negativity in people starts at early stages of their life. in the past 5 years of my life i have learnt that my babies are mine and i wanted them and i should just be very thankfull i have been given those two gifts.

    • Definitely doesn’t work for everyone. I can’t listen to my baby scream, not for 1 minute, not for 5 minutes, and definitely not for the hour that we tried this technique for on several occasions.

      • That sucks Emily sorry won’t let me reply to your comment my sons not that bad luckily he just crocodile tears a lot I know they are cause he stares at me and makes sure I’m watching and cries louder if I turn away he was also such a crier from the get go so I’ve like adapt to listening to him cry and usually within 10 minutes out like a light 12 hours straight ! Yay I hope it gets better !

  73. Thank you for sharing, this has made me laugh so much, which is much needed! I am also desperate for a good night sleep, it becomes like an obsession, doesn’t it? but totally agree with you, only solution is to just wait… and a big mug of coffee and loads of chocolate to find the energy to carry on! Thank you for sharing, great knowing some other people out there are going through the same issues!!!!!

    • Thanks! Yes I once got so obsessed with getting that all important sleep, that I started adding up how little sleep I was getting per week! It drove me mad. Now I see any sleep as a luxury, not a given. I am still tired but not as stressed!

    • Not necessarily, my 19 month old slept through from a few months, and is going from 7.30 to anywhere between 8.30 and 10.30. All babies are different, my boy adores his sleep and dont think it will be changing anytime soon. He doesnt seem smug at all, just happy he isnt in the same boat as a lot of others. I am one of the fortunate ones and dont know how I would cope being sleep deprived, so I sympathise to all that are.

  74. We found feeds are the key, we kept to a routine of staggered 6 bottles from birth throughout the day & this seemed to keep their stomach topped up till morning.
    Other half found it hard to breast feed purely because we couldn’t tell how much they were having. Obviously can’t control illness/teething/ocassionional madness. Perhaps we have been just very lucky but I think this feed routine helped.

  75. Oh my word, this is brilliant! Don’t know why other people going through the same makes me feel better…. But it does! Thanks 😉 I’ve got a 5, 2 and 1 year old and swear sometimes it’s like a circus in my house! 🙂

    • It definitely does help. I feel better from finding out from this it is not just my babies!
      Oh I can imagine.- it is hectic enough in my house with just two children!

  76. This was a good read. After having been by myself for 4,5 weeks with a 22 months old and a 2,5 months old I found myself wandering in the night from one bed to the other at least 4 times. How I got through these weeks I still don’t know. My Instagram community tells me I’m not the only one and in some weird way that helps. What doesn’t really help is the loving comment from parents with older kids saying ‘it’s amazing how much you can cope with’. Am sure they mean well but doesn’t sound half as ‘relating to’ without the bags under their eyes. Oh well… on the bright side… they’ve been there, done it and are still standing.

    • Thank you. I agree. sometimes the only thing that makes you feel better at 4am in the morning is the thought that somewhere out there someone is doing the same thing!

  77. haha..this made me laugh..I was just nodding my head to all of what you just typed..I have 3 kids..6yr 4yr and an 8 month middle girl didn’t sleep through till 18months old..and my 8 month old is a pain in the butt with sleep(or lack of) top it partner lives in a different town so only here at weekends..and I also have a dog…a cat and a puppy(puppy is not toilet trained..ughh)…oh..and rabbits….to look after while sleep deprived…ughhh …I just keep telling myself….they’ll sleep soon….please!!! they have to sleep at some point!!…lol

  78. Hi, I really feel for all you mums. I’m a mum of three and have been very lucky with all of them. A couple of suggestions for those who are soon to be mums again or for the first time. I always put my children to bed around the same time, and never waited for them to go to sleep first. I take them up , settle them , kiss them goodnight and shut the door. I’ve always had a baby alarm but for my youngest, she is nearly three now, we bought one of the camera alarms. Now, I thought it was a bit gimmicky and rather expensive, but soo good! You can check your baby is ok without disturbing them and opening the door. I think this helps as you can judge whether they need you to go in or not. We also, never tiptoe around, we go upstairs if we need too and flush the toilet which I’ve heard some parents say they daren’t do! Perhaps we’ve just been very fortunate, but perhaps these tips will help someone. Good luck to you all

    • Thanks for sharing! You are lucky- if mine is still awake, as soon as I think about putting her in the cot she screams blue murder! No matter how tired she is!

  79. I loved this article, Emily. As I read this, I felt like I could have written it (perhaps less eloquently than you did! haha)! It’s nice to know that someone else out there has felt/ is feeling what I’m feeling. I’ve been praying for 11 months that my little “sleep thief” will decide to sleep through the night. Someday we will sleep again!!! 😉

    • Thank you NikkI. Yes some nights it feels like it will never end but my 2.5 year old is living proof it does-eventually. It took her two flipping years though. Good luck!

  80. I cant believe that people actually ‘kiss them goodnight, close the door, and get them up at 7 or 8’ – wowsers! Being a parent doesnt stop at bedtime. It is scientifically proven that these types of distressing techniques actually cause lasting damage. I dont even know what to say about ‘I dont care if they puke (my daughter did)’ – poor babies!

    • Ur a mum day n night weather that be 8pm or 3am I put them bed and if they dont cry or shout for me I check when I go bed tuck them in eg ..and then go to bed to await thenext wake up call if I cud only drop off to sleep instead of it taking me hours and then I get hour before one of them want

      • I feel your pain- I am not as bad as I was with my first but still can’t get straight to sleep after seeing to the babies. I have various techniques I try to relax in between wakings. Mainly as hard as it is try NOT to worry about getting back to sleep. As soon as I panic about not getting enough sleep it is game over! I also used relaxation downloads from this guy. If nothing else his voice is enough to sooth you. Hope that helps.

    • I find it incredibly sad how judgmental women are about each other’s childcare techniques. Just because I kiss my daughter goodnight, pop in to check on her covers before I go to bed then get her up at 7 (and have done since she was 1yrs old) does not make me someone who thinks that being a parent stops at bedtime. I find that pretty offensive. And regarding things being scientifically proven, you can find scientific evidence for pretty much anything these days – including the fact that according to some scientific papers, co-sleeping is dangerous (British Medical Journal). I used what you call “distressing” techniques with three nights of crying it out when she was about 3 months old. Since then my daughter has been a great sleeper and at 5 is still a good sleeper, happy, chirpy, independent, inquisitive, chatty and well adjusted – and that’s according to other mums and her teacher (not just me – her biaised mother). Maybe she was born a good sleeper (although she wasn’t until we did the sleep training) and we were just lucky, but regardless I would never insist my way was the right way. It was right for us and our child. I have no problem with people doing what they think is best regarding co-sleeping, picking their child up, rocking them, talking to them, feeding them etc I do have a problem with those people judging parents who have used techniques that work for them and by implication saying that they care for their children less and do not have their children’s best interests at heart.

  81. I have 3 boys and yes like the rest of u hardly no what a full night sleep is or if they do sleep all night the think 3-4am is perfect wake up lets play time..glad im not alone out there..myself like the rest im sure have tried everything…hello to u emily

  82. Omg, I am happy not to be in that place anymore! I did my 2 year sentence though (well, 3, as there are 2 kids and one overlapping year with even less sleep. Lucky my husband actually took turns with me with the nights; I think it was self protection ;)), so I can SOOOOO relate! Hang in there, the feel of having your creativity returning to you is worth looking forward to 🙂

  83. I agree that Sleep is for wimps! My 4 year old generally sneaks through to our beg at about 12.30 everynight to be followed by her 2 year old brother at sometime between 2 and 4am. To be honest at the moment it is easier than spending 30 minutes of every 90 putting them back in their own room.

    • I know what you mean. I can’t remember the last time we had the bed to ourselves for an entire night. But with two little ones to look after you definitely have to get a bit of sleep whatever way you can!

    • Thanks for your comment but I am totally against anything like this. I would rather be totally exhausted for as long as it takes for my baby to feel secure enough to sleep without my help, than try this sort of method!

  84. my son was really weird, he was a perfect little sleeper until about a year old, had a perfect routine, 1 hours nap during the day, in bed at 8pm, awake at 8am. then i moved house and now seriously regret it. he’s almost 3 now, still up at 12.30am as im writing this, sleeps maybe 4 hours during the night if im lucky, ive tried co sleeping, which doesnt work if my partners in bed as i end up getting kicked out of bed, sleeping in his room, everything. my support worker is annoying, she keeps insisting im doing everything wrong, suggested i change his cot into a bed which i did 6 months ago, and thats made it even worse as now he can get out of bed and come cry at me. surprisingly over christmas i did manage to get some sleep, as i was looking after my sister in laws cat, who absolutly adores connor, and slept in his bed every night he was here, it was the only week he stayed in bed, but unfortunatly, i had to give the cat back, so now we are back to normal, with me getting about 3 hours sleep a night if im lucky, and my support worker telling me i look really tired and that she will get the health visitor to come out and talk to me about sleep training, which is everything ive heard before as she has nothing new to suggest that will help me.

      • lol this is the thing, i have 3 cats of my own, but unfortunately they have grown up with him so are used to him chasing them around the front room and refuse to sleep with him. plus the cat is technically her 7 and 9 year old daughters, and they were heartbroken when my other half (their uncle) just joked that we were keeping her. and as much as i like sleep i dont want two little girls moving in with me just so i can have her cat

  85. I have just texted the link to this to my partner, who is sat at the end of our bed browsing his phone. He is (for what it’s worth) keeping me company as we sit in the dark and silence in fear of waking no.2 (currently dozing on my lap). Although I slightly regret the text as he is now stifling laughter and shaking the bed. Sums it up for me!

  86. My 2 nearly 3 year old takes his self to bed between 4:30 and 5 in the afternoon and wakes up sometime for a warm milk and sometimes he plays for an hour or so an sometimes he go back to sleep a wakes up between
    6 and 8 am on a good day my 1 year old goes to bed at 5 and wakes up once for a bottle and sleeps then till 8 in the morning but my 6 year old will he go to bed an to sleep no and we have tried it all he finally goes off about 10 sometimes later and if we’re lucky earlier but the moon has to be made out of cheese for that to happen

  87. Mine didn’t sleep she was over 2. She’d wake for a feed (45 mins) and then take another 45 mins (minimum) to settle. Then it would take me a while to fall asleep again, by which time she was ready for another feed. The sleep deprivation was bad, but the desperation was worse! Nowadays (she’s 9) she still sometimes wakes in the night — and is awake for over an hour — but mostly stays quietly in bed. It helped us both to know that before electricity, people routinely woke in the night for an hour or two. It’s stopped us thinking ‘it shouldn’t be like this!’ which only makes it all worse. It is what it is. If sleep training is not for you, it is not for you. It wasn’t for me, either, much as I wanted it to be.

    • Oh sounds familiar. yes it is not easy- especially if you are not the kind of person who can sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow! Even on a good night mine wakes every two hours which doesn’t leave much time for me to sleep in between.

  88. I have 4 boys oldest is now 24 ! youngest is 6 months, my older boys all co slept till about 3/4 years ,Aways put them to bed at 8 with a baby monitor,night light ,I gave a late night feed top up before I went to sleep,this helped them sleep through till dawn unlless they where poorly, they have all grown up very independent waking up on time for school uni then work ,SO dont worry ,do whats easy for your family, and your baby knows if you are stressed or upset ,sometimes if they are too tired they will not sleep.Try bed time at 8 or 9 evenings every day.

    • Thanks for the tips! The problem is she won’t sleep unless I am in the bed (and then only if she is not messing about!). It has been so bad this week I have been going to bed with her at 730! But clearly this is not a good solution! X

  89. Ah, shame it only worked the once for you. Hopefully someone else reading this might have more joy.

    For anyone who hasn’t tried it before, the trick is to shush REALLY quietly, otherwise it will distort and wake baby up more.

    I know what you mean about the revenge thing! Mind you, we’re so selfish going to the loo occasionally, aren’t we? Who the hell do we think we are? 😉

  90. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this spot-on blog! My wife works full time and I run a business from home, so I tend to deal with most of the nighttime issues that occur with our 20-month old boy – and boy is it hard work sometimes!

    I do have a tip, however, that I find works about 50% of the time. It worked when my son was a baby and still works now. We have a Philips Avent monitor beside our bed, and when my son wakes up and starts chattering, if I’m quick enough, a few gentle ‘shushes’ down the monitor sends him straight back off to sleep.

    This doesn’t always work, and if he’s in full-on crying mode I have no chance, but even if you can get it to work every now and again, it’s better than nothing! The best part is that you don’t have to get out of bed or even open your eyes!

    I hope this is helpful to someone! Good luck and stay strong, people! x

    • Thanks Nick!
      Tried the monitor thing, it worked once but never has since! Our baby is also a lot easier to settle back to sleep if we can get to her before she gets to full screaming mode. I left heR five ish minutes once while I went to the loo and she stayed awake all night in revenge! X

  91. thanks for posting. All too true. We’ve just had number three and we’re a lot more relaxed about the sleeping thing, well everything for that matter. After number two I realised that they all go through similar phases. Whether it be sleeping, eating or playing, interacting with others. Whatever it is we just do our best to tune into our kids needs and apply boundaries when needed….

    • By number three you must have it all sussed out -maybe?! The first is definitely the hardest-I remember worrying she would never ever sleep! At least with number two, it is probably more tiring, but you know that it too will pass-I hope!

  92. Thanks for posting this. It made me laugh so much. I certainly recognised many of the behaviours of both baby & mum! So good to know I’m not alone:)

  93. Thank you for making me (and my none sleeping baby girl) feel normal. Too many smug persons around me, with their wonderful sleepy babies. She’s now 13 months and I thought it was just me with a none sleeping child!

  94. Yay, we are not alone! Thanks so much for sharing this. I am the back-up plan when my wife has completely given up. The only technique that works for me is to pick the little monster up and trudge back and forth across the house with exaggerated steps until I estimate that she is asleep (usually about 5km of trudging). The sleep state is difficult to gauge and makes the transfer extremely nerve racking. Still loving it, thank God for cuteness.

  95. That was an enjoyable read, though unfortunately at your expense! Sounds like you are a great mom… you manage to laugh and play and appreciate your girls when you haven’t had your 8 hours sleep. I am rubbish at enjoying life when I’m sleep deprived. I hope a restful night’s sleep is in your very near future.

    • Thanks! Oh god i don’t always enjoy life when I am really sleep deprived…there are good days and bad. After a particularly bad bout of sleepless nights we are forced to have a Thomas the Tank Engine/drink coffee (me) juice (kids) marathon! Which actually, the toddler is usually quite happy about!

  96. Loved your blog… little girl was a nightmare she used to b up 6 times a night but she’s 6months now n getting a little better, now she wakes uo 2 maybee 3 times at most n I just prop her bottle up turn her on her sido. She doesnt take alota lot offof milk during theethe day n when zhezhshe does its only 4oz sobut she does love food lol. . So iI dodon’t mind jumping up n propping her bottle up with a blanket, saves me having to get her out her cot etc. After her feed she goes back to sleep no bother… goodluck to all you other fab yummy mummys too…x

  97. As I lie in our bed at 2am with toddler asleep on one side having abandoned his bed hrs ago, and baby being weaned off night feeds with a bottle of water (it deludes me that I am winning!) on the other, your blog made me laugh out loud – just what a girl needed in the middle of another ‘ordinary’ night shift. Thank you!

    • Ah thanks for the comment! Hope you manage to get some sleep tonight. My night shift currently consists of sharing a bed with a snotty,snoring baby who has taken to only sleeping ON me and Daddy is in with the poorly toddler! X good night, good luck!

  98. It’s been such a struggle with my twins. They are two and a half and they finally seem to be starting to sleep through. But I’ve had like 6 nervous breakdowns getting here. I can’t handle CIO. They puke. I love the people my children have become from getting loved so much. Maybe will be worth it in the long run. As long as I get some sleep now!

    • Twins! Wow hats off to you. One newborn is hard enough! Yes it is tiring keeping up with their all night partying but I look at my happy, confident 2.5 year old and know it.ll all be worth it!

  99. Owch, I feel for you! Mine are 5 and a half and 3 and a half and still want to be cuddled to sleep. Older one taught himself to sleep TTN when little one was a baby, which was incredible since she woke every hour screeching like a banshee and i had to walk her around OUTSIDE to get her back to sleep! Funnily enough I think she may have had worms and I didn’t realise, when I finally gave them both some medicine for it she started sleeping much better.

    She still wakes up at least once a night yelling for me. I have given up n any kind of training, just lying down and getting comfy, at least you get a cuddle out of it. You might look back on this time and shudder but the cuddles are never something you regret. If you have the brainpower for it you can also try removing certain things from the diet and see if that sorts it out, sometimes there’s a subtle irritation from some additive, wheat, dairy etc. But most importantly just finding someone to look after them for a while so you can go and nap will probably do you all the most good. Best o’ luck to yer! xxxx

    • Thanks so much for your comments. Husband and I TRY and take turns for a nap on weekendS if we can.I guess you are right though, the extra cuddles are one benefit of non sleeping babies! X

  100. My mum sent me this after I called her in a sleep deprived moment of weepiness (is that a word? lol).
    I AM SO GLAD SHE DID because I needed to read that I’m not alone. My 2 1/2 year old daughter did really well when we brought home our new daughter until about a week ago. All of a sudden, 11 weeks in she’s turned into the epitome of jealous first born. She was never a good sleeper but now it’s getting worse and baby girl isn’t much like my first born isn’t sleeping much at night either. It’s HARD and the mommy guilt of trying to meet both of their snuggle needs is no fun at all. CIO isn’t an option for us either, she’ll eventually cry herself to sleep but then ends up waking every couple hours in tears, so we aren’t getting any more sleep anyway. It’s easier to just sit with her for however many hours it takes for her to fall asleep peacefully :/ I truly believe some babies/toddlers just don’t like to sleep, hopefully as they get older and end up sharing a room they will either keep each other entertained all night while mommy and daddy sleep or they will get their snuggle needs from each other and sleep well. Wishful thinking I’m sure,but I’m hoping it will be my reward for the many sleepless nights I’m having now!

    • Glad it helped. Having two is definitely hard on the cuddle front. They are both ill right now and when daddy is at work I am being torn between the two! But I am thinking (hoping!) the same as you- one day they can entertain each other to sleep!

  101. I went through everything you describe with my first. When it came to my second i thought – i am not doing that again, it will break me. So we co slept (following UNICEF’s guidelines for breastfed babies) from day one. And you know what, it’s worked. Yes, he still wakes up (at 20months) but I just feed him back to sleep. The fact I don’t have to get out of bed means I hardly wake. My husband sometimes sleeps with us, sometimes he doesn’t – depending on his shifts. Babies just want to be near their mummies – it’s an instinct for survival. Being next to mummy means they feel safe. Co-sleeping might not be for everyone but it has worked for me.

    • Co sleeping is great! And some babies seem to need that 24 hour closeness more than others. Mine included! On the nights it works I catch up on a bit of sleep as she may even go down for a whole two hours! But other times she just thinks it is all night party time. Party meaning pulling our hair, jumping on our heads and trying to crawl out of bed.

  102. My children are 7 and 8 now and have never been good sleepers. Even at 3 i was sending the oldest to nursery blurry eyed from frequent sleepless nights. As the younger one got older it got worse. By the time they were 3 and 4 we were up hours in the night as they’d wake each other and keep each other up. We had tried lots of different books, and websites for advice. We’d been to a sleep clinic too. We’d end up sleeping on the floor between them each night. Now at 7 and 8 they have had separate rooms for just over a year now and finally the 8 y/o sleeps through. The 7 y/o still wakes frequently but is old enough that as long as she’s not complaining of pain she goes back to bed with only a stern warning.

  103. Haha, I love this. On particularly bad nights I got into the cot with my baby! He still woke loads but at least I didn’t have to get up. He refused to sleep in our bed.
    I now have a 2.5 yr old & an almost 4 yr old – neither sleep through!
    My advice. .. wait until they’re teenagers and never let them have a lie in…Ever! !

  104. Oh, how i needed to read this 15 months ago….would have saved me thinking im the only one.
    My little one was breast-fed for 6,5 months and he did so every 2 hours night and day. And I didn’t have the heart to try to sleep train him..i just thought he is hungry..i can’t deprive my child of food..but by the time he was 10 months i was done, i was ready to try anything.
    So went into a local children centre for a chit chat with other mummies and tried – the crying technique- but living in a flat, that just irritated the neighbours – seriously couldn’t deal with them.
    So then i tried the weaning of the night milk technique…and surprise surprise that worked for us.
    Basically just gave him water instead of milk at night…first night he was very unhappy and woke up i think every hour, but the next night he woke up less and the next even fewer times…and just gave up on trying and 4 nights later he slept thru..YEEEY
    Shame that 3 months later he caught the norovirus and it threw his sleeping of the rails for next 1,5 months.
    Well now him being 2 he is pretty good. Moans now and them (dreams) and 90% of the time it just needs to cover him up so he feels the touch and he’s of to a la la land.
    Expecting number 2 in 3 im preparing for this merry-go-round to start again.
    so good to know that all the babies a pretty much the same and we all go thru this and come out even stronger the other side…we are just SuperMums

    • Ha super mums I like that.doesn’t always feel like it at 4am though! Yes i hoped the night feed weaning would help with my first. Turns out she wasn’t actually waking for breast but well, just to be awake! Good luck with baby number two! X

  105. Fab read! Thank you Emily Jane. I am seriously impressed with how witty and well written you are when completely knackered! Our nights are very similar but we only have one little monster so hats off to you! Your piece made me laugh out loud and really cheered me up – thank you… And good luck tonight!!

    • Ha ha thanks Sam jam -well to be honest i do have to check it a billion times before I put it on here and then there are still sometimes typos I have to correct! Plus i find it quite therapeutic to write it all down! Good luck to you too! X

      • Loved your blogg. My first didn’t sleep through the night until two and a half then one night decided to sleep. The second is 13 months and has yet to sleep all night. We are having a really rough time with him waking up to ten times a night. I am exhausted. Due to lots of illness in his short little lwo spte stays in hospital and bad reflux its been very difficult to soothe him. Just hope things improve soon. Ith

  106. Hi all,

    My little one would not sleep for the first 15 months of her life and was also totally immune to sleep training. Eventually we figured out she had silent reflux and it was pain that was waking her up several times a night. Once started on Ranitidine and Gaviscon things finally got better and by 20 months was sleeping 11 hours a night. I think this condition is quite common but often not diagnosed. Am now expecting number two and desperately hoping he will sleep better than my daughter did! Good luck everyone.

  107. I have a 2 year old who still does not sleep through, and i’ve just resigned myself to the fact he will be getting out of his bed and coming to my bed by 4am every night!! Anyone who say their baby/ toddler sleeps all night is a liar!

  108. Ha ha, I have just had the night from hell with my 2 year old and 8 month old and my 90 minutes sleep, and was beginning to wonder how I was going to survive today without having a coronary/section order placed on me. You’ve really lifted my spirits, your blog could have described my night. Glad to know I’m not the only one rubbish at babies at 4am!

    Thanks Emily Jane x

  109. I wish the thought of them sleeping through by 2 years old was true! Mine is heading on for 3 years old and no sleep for me! We’ve tried crying it out, gentle training like no talking, just patting the bum (not picking up) etc. nothing works…..I think he’s trying to kill me with sleep deprivation!!!!!!

    • Oh no you poor thing. The toddler only started sleeping, mostly, at 2 because she was ready! She was also immune to training. Not sure about my second baby though she is even worse. I can’t even remember what it is like to go to bed and actually go to sleep!

  110. I had a non sleeper too and we tried EVERYTHING bar spending thousands on sleep clinic. She would wake every half an hour on average and take two half hour naps…unless we were out and about of course. We read lots on sleeping, as I’m sure most have, who have non sleepers. We were at our wits end! I’m from Texas and when she was 7 months I was heading over for a month and my husband was joining us for two weeks. My sister was all ready to help when we got there so we could get some sleep. I said we’d get over the jet lag and then go from there. Well the second night there, she slept and only woke up for her milk. Then to our surprise, she took two long naps. This went on and got better and better and she even dropped one of two night feeds. It was like heavenly bliss!! As I’ve spoken to others about non sleeping babies, I have come across parents that say the same thing, after a long-ish haul flight and tome change, their baby started sleeping. coincident….probably not. she’s three now and sleeps 12-13 hours a night and still takes naps!! I think it restarted her inner clock!! I say for sanity…give it a go!!

  111. Hi, I’ve been a full-time professional nanny for many years now. I’ve found that most sleeping issues are started because of poor “lay down” time. Try to lay your baby down 20 minutes earlier than you usually would. I also find that the afternoon nap is incredibly important for successful sleeping at night. I saw in an earlier comment you don’t use the cry out method (everyones personal choice.) I recommend reframing from picking her up or even touching her, this tends to make the initially more alert, and consistently more dependent on you coming in all of time. Instead, slowly wean her off the holding, by entering the room, NOT picking her up and lightly patting her chest, tummy, or back. Eventually, after a few nights of the above stop the touching all together and only lightly “shush” her or make other soothing sounds. Good luck! and I have a post on this issue, check it out!

  112. Oh how I loved reading this, it is so good to know I’m not alone in the world of a baby who NEVER EVER Sleeps! Very refreshing to hear. I am only on number one and wonder if I could ever survive with two? I was never a coffee drinker until my son was born and now boom, I can’t get enough of the stuff! Fab blog 😀 xxx

  113. i loved reading your post! me and my husband are going through same thing with baby number 3 if she wakes the other 2 wake up and they never go back to sleep and with having a new born as well are 3girls run rings round us at night time and its a killer but at least mine go back sleep within the hour. im just praying everyday they wouldnt wake up and just sleep through the night, once the 3girls wake they wake their brother up so it does take twice as long to go back sleep and by then its like 7clock in the morning and i give up so i get the biggest cup iv got fill it wiv coffee and the tv is on (but ya gotta have sky plus) i dont know how i get through the day with 4kids and hardly any sleep but i see their happy smiling faces and my sleep can wait.
    i feel for all the sleep-deprived mothers out there xx

    • Oh my goodness Jennifer. How do you do it? You make my night time battle seem like a piece of cake. I know what you mean – one smile from them and all is forgotten…at least until bedtime!!

  114. This is funny but I feel slightly bad laughing as at 33 I have had 5 proper lazy good sleeping children but have suffered insomnia for a good few yrs now so I do understand the not getting any sleep part but thank god for nytol as they work wonders , just a shame there not available for babies lol 🙂

    • Ha ha! Five sleepy ones! Lucky. But I feel your pain- I had insomnia with my first sleep hating baby so on the rare occasions she did sleep I was wide awake. Baby two doesn’t even give me chance for insomnia! Ha.

  115. I thought what Helen.said wouldnt work either…. but it did. 1st night is the worst…. i dont care if they cry so much they puke (which my daughter did) the next night she cried for hour and a half…. then night 3 she went down easy. Why dont you try it? X

    • Thanks for the comment. I am really glad it worked for you. When you find something that works it is great. It is just the cry it out route is not right for us! But I know it is good for a lot of families. X

  116. Twenty years ago I was on child number 5 who was the spawn of the devil as far as sleep went. She woke every hour, on the hour. At a year, my husband started working away (I wonder why???) and I had to do something. So, not believing it would work, I tried the approach of completely ignoring her when she cried. The first night was gut wrenching as she howled and screamed but I stayed strong. The second night she howled for an hour but then slept til five. The third night, not a peep!! And she slept ‘like a baby’ from there on. Not saying it will work for all, but worth trying if you can keep your nerve. And, btw, my other four slept through the whole of the first nights noise which was my biggest worry about the technique! Good luck!

    • Thanks for the tip. Not sure it would work for mine though! If I leave her for even ten minutes she goes nuts and then, I suspect as revenge, she will not settle down for the ENTIRE night. Cheers! Always good to hear other people’s stories and to know it’s not just me!

    • The tough love approach defo worked for my 2 my 1 year old daughter started going in her cot awake a few months ago now and sleeps all night from 7:30 – 7 took 3 days for her to self soothe. And my son now 4 took a week before he stared sleeping through at 14 months I’m an great believer in it, I know come 8pm I can relax and have me time or time with hubby

    • yep, I agree. You need to get hard and just let them cry and howl. It takes 3 or 4 nights and then you’ve cracked it. Once you’ve checked they are ok on the first occasion they cry (just in case some disaster has actually happened) then I didnt go in again. She soon got the idea that crying wasnt going to get her anywhere. We rarely have a broken night now at 2 yrs old. Its tough though – but worth it!

  117. Love your writing. We have three girls who each had their years of not sleeping. I went grey by 35!!! Would love you to write for my business blog? How do I contact you?


    • Thanks Rachel! Three – now that is hardcore! I am on my way to the grey with two! Sounds interesting! I keep meaning to put an email address on here. I will email you my details!

      • 3-hardcore try 5 at 33 lol my 2 year old was still messing around at half 1 this morning all 5 children have had no proper sleeping pattern and I can’t remember in the last 15yrs if all 5 have ever been asleep at the same time I have never had that ME time some parents claim to have lol but can’t complain wouldn’t change it for the world and would Love another I must be mental lol x

    • god i wish my hair went grey at 35 im 23 with 4 kids and im dying my hair so the grey doesnt show! im in awe of you x

  118. Kick your husband out of bed. Make him sleep in spare room, sofa, cushion on floor in living room, blow up mattress. This won’t solve your child waking up but it will mean you don’t have to get up to go to her AND it means there will be enough space in the bed you don’t have to clutch the side (I hear you on that). Your marriage will survive. You MIGHT, MIGHT get 5 more minutes sleep a night. Maybe. But you don’t have to get out of bed in the middle of the night and at the moment it’s just too bloody cold to get up.

    • We sometimes do this as it is just too cold to get out of bed all night! Like you say, she still wakes up but we stay warm! The thing is without husband to block her in she tries to escape and dive off the bed! I think we will have to invest in bigger bed!

      • You don’t need a bigger bed :)… just reposition your bed so one side (the one your husband sleeps at) is faceing the wall… We did this and it works.Your baby won’t have a chance to fall down or run away from the bed 😉 My husband sleeps with No.1 (she is 21months and still doesn’t sleep all night) in one room and I sleep with No.2 (3,5 months now) in our master room. It is the best solution. Only 1 year or so and I will be sleeping next to my husband again.. yupee!!! 😀 (Have to mention he snores really loudly from time to time)

        • Ha Good idea. Yes my husband often sleeps with the toddler when she is Ill. And yes I admit a break from the snoring is nice too. Occasionally the baby will go to sleep with both of us but sometimes she simply takes it as an invite to an all night pyjama party!

      • You could also get a bed guard for the side which stops them rolling off. I’ve co-slept for varying lengths of time with all 4 of my kids and the bed guard is great. I love this post, it was so funny, I had an almost identical experience with baby number 3! I was expecting to be “expert” by the third baby but she soon put me in may place LOL.

        • Ha yes I thought after dealing with my first extremely sleep hating baby by the second one I would be all over it! WE did everything differently this time… No running to her at the slightest grunt, not letting her fall asleep on us for hours on end, we were more relaxed as parents, no dummy… yet same result! Another sleep thief had arrived!!
          Great idea! I will try a bed guard thanks!

  119. This is great! Thanks for posting. Going through this with number two also, and feeling like a failure oh…. ALWAYS. But! I know it’s just my stupid western expectation that a baby will sleep through the night. They’re worth it though. Remind me of that in the morning…

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