Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Got A Kid Who Sleeps? You Owe Me.

So it's 9:30 p.m. and all the little people in my house STILL are not asleep. In fact, half are still awake

Yes, we're battling colds, but the battles with sleep around here seem to go on without end.

It is a rare night that we don't get up at least twice with the boys. Usually, it's the same boy.

Yes, the boys are almost 16 months old.

No, I don't want to hear about how your two-year-old has slept 11 hours a night since he was three weeks old. Or how you taught your babies to sleep using Ferber, Pantley, Sears or anyone else's methods. I have all the books. I've read all the books.

And you know what?

For some kids, it doesn't make any difference.

How do I know this?


I have my own little experiment going on right now. I have three boys who all have the same diet, sleeping conditions and routine.

Two of them sleep all night about 95 percent of the time.

One sleeps all night about once a month.

Amelia was not a sleeper. Alex is not a sleeper.

I am no longer a sleeper, and neither is Jeff. We haven't had a full night's sleep since 2006.

Both Amelia and Alex had reflux and other issues that led to their sleep troubles, but I also think part of it is personality. The reflux is long gone for both of them, and still neither one sleeps great.

Amelia finally learned to sleep all night about the time she turned three. Now if we could just help her learn how to fall asleep, we'd be in business. The girl will often lie in her bed for two hours or more before she falls asleep. She's tired. She'll even tell us that, but she can't fall asleep. I'm not sure which of us finds that more upsetting and frustrating.

And now we've entered the phase of fighting going to bed at all. UGH. I don't blame her. I wouldn't want to go lay there in the dark for two hours either.

We've tried it all for our kids. Earlier bedtime. Later bedtime. Calm routine to settle them. Major playtime to wear them out. Loveys and pacis. Noise machines. Lullabies. Night lights. Room darkening shades. Lying down with Amelia. Even flannel sheets to help keep them warm.
Two sleep no matter what. And two don't.

So if you're out there feeling incompetent as a parent because your baby or toddler doesn't sleep, join the club.

And for all those "helpful" souls who can't wait to tell us how your kids started sleeping through the night while they were still in utero, and how your great parenting helped them: Stuff it.

Not only do we not want to hear it, we are tired and we could snap at any minute. You are taking a serious risk waving your well-rested, superior attitude at me, no matter how much caffeine I've had.

Besides, you should be thanking me. Because the Law of Averages dictates that your 11-hour-straight-through-the-night sleeper be averaged out. And I and my 7-interrupted-hours-if-you're-lucky child are doing just that.

You are welcome.

Feel free to use your energy to send gifts.

© Trippin' Mama 2010


Barbara said...

You just made my whole day! One of my trio is NOT a sleeper either. So now I'm also not a sleeper anymore. I've been sleep deprived for the last year. I, too, have tried every trick in every book with no such luck! I have friends posting statuses on FB about how well rested they are because their 2 month old or 4 month old or however month old "slept all night for mommy." It makes me crazy!!!! CRAZY! Thank you for keeping it real!!!!

Girl said...

I hear ya. I have four kids too, all different ages. I haven't slept through the night since 1999.

My youngest is just now sleeping through, but I am pregnant again and waking up at all hours to use the loo.


It doesn't get any easier. You just get used to it. Or maybe people just learn to stay out of your snarly way LOL :)

Alysia said...

I would like to be a member of the "no sleep club". I to haven't slept an entire night since 2006(gosh that is a long time:). It is funny that we both have 2 of 4 kids that do not sleep, our oldest and 1 triplet. Maybe someday we will get to sleep again, but I figure that will be in about 20+ years!

Christy AKA Trippin' Mama said...

Ladies, we are totally starting a club! We'll tell the world that our kids don't sleep and it's not our fault.

Founding Member of the Sleepless Mommies Club, sleepless since 2006.

The Gausman Six said...

I'll join the club! Of my 4 luckily 3 are good sleepers...but oh the one that's not. In fact, he cries & is awake so much that if we take him out of the room the other two triplets wake up because they are so used to his screaming! He is there own personal white noise. :)

Karen said...

Seriously!!! Zachary has never been a sleeper for us either. It seems we make progress and then something changes. (We're praying these next three are all sleepers. ...miracles do happen. :)) Anyway, the following book, written by a clinical psychologist has taken away the fight of going to sleep at bedtime. It's "What to Do When You Dread Your Bed" (avail. at amazon) ...Now he just wakes up in the middle of the night and plays for 2 hours! One battle at a time! Anyway, if this is at all helpful in your current battle, great! I'm thinking ambien or whiskey are the next solutions. ;) - Karen

Anonymous said...

Just have to comment on the "maybe in 20 years" comment. Good luck with that! Then you are awake hoping they get home safely from wherever they are.LOL:)
Aunt Teresa

Second Heart Mom said...

I must say that I am NOT excited to hear that my daughter's lack of sleeping may continue for a year or more. I have only been dealing with it for about six weeks and I'm already a basket case and grumpy, grumpy bear on most days. Do you just get used to it? Or are you just grumpy for years?

Anonymous said...

My kids are 10 and (almost) 8. My younger one sleeps through the night so rarely, that if he does, I race in there to see if he is breathing. Seriously. The ten year old HAS gotten better with age, so maybe there is hope?

I'll be the secretary of your sleepless parent club.


i totally of my girls wakes up still to eat...and this week they both have sniffles so they are both up...ugh!


i shouldn't have commented...she just woke up...time to go nurse!

Emmy said...

Neither of my kids slept through the night until after they were 2 and I read every book, every bit of advice, even asked my pediatrician.

Some of us are just lucky like that. So I think it was about 2004-2009 that I did not sleep through the night either.. and well now that I and my kids finally are.. I am pregnant.

Christy AKA Trippin' Mama said...

Second Heart Mom, hang in there! We don't mean to scare you. Your little one is still too little for you to know if she'll be a sleeper or not.

I find that caffeine and catnaps helped keep the grumpies at bay. Plus you've still got all those pregnancy hormones to deal with right now, so give yourself as many breaks as you can.

Anonymous said...

Easily I to but I think the brief should secure more info then it has.

susie said...

Sign me up!