Alexander-Honest Mum

Alexander (not wanting to sleep-wearing gifted onesie by Pumpkin Baby)

Oliver-Honest Mum

…When the kids don’t sleep it’s AWFUL, horrendous, mood alteringly exhausting and with two kids aged 4 and 18 months respectively, this is not what I bargained for. When will they sleep?! When will I sleep for a full undisturbed night-when I ask you?! Please don’t say when they’re 18 *screams!?

I, make that we, don’t seem to make kids who sleep.

Let’s backtrack, my eldest Oliver has had chronic ear infections from 12 months old (colic as a newborn too-oh joy) neither which have been conducive in establishing a consistent sleep routine and the glue ear has gone on for years and years (feel for him so much), only improving as Oliver has gotten older with his last infection 6 months ago… Yes we have had some successfully sleepy nights just not always, not regularly and now the dreaded phase of nightmares have begun too (poor him, poor us, poor tired little brain cells)…

Now let’s move on to subject two: Alexander, a great (couldn’t believe our luck) sleepy baby to start (in fact both kids slept through beautifully when Alexander arrived) then teething hit at 4 months and never seemed to stopped and well, nights just aren’t fun anymore.

The thing is, my husband and I are not tough enough to let them cry it out (we tried and failed with Oliver as I wept endlessly) and yes we tried everything else in between, failing as we went (we are weak) concluding that sometimes to survive, a Queen size bed is the only way forward.

I should also add, I didn’t actually sleep through the night myself until school and I *cough might have crawled into my parents bed until I was 7, (sorry Mum and Dad) so maybe it’s hereditary-that vivid, active imagination and boundless energy (never wanting to miss out on life asleep) which I still sort of adhere to. Don’t get me wrong though, I now, flipping wholeheartedly love a good sleep now I just don’t get it

And you know what, over the years, my husband and I have been sleep-trained ourselves and have (urgh) gotten used to less sleep but when it’s crap, its pretty damn awful (and we share the sleep duties equally).

What helps? Good healthy, wholesome, low-carb food helps me (even when all I want is cake (bad sugar crashes on no sleep make everything worse but sometimes you just have to give in), lots of water, yoga, a run, if of course you’re not too blooming tired to do any of the above…. but of course nothing, nothing in the WORLD compares to actual deep, sweet sleep does it?!

So, writing this on a tiny amount of undisturbed sleep last night, I feel like a moody, disinterested, zombie-like wreck truth be told. If I sleep tonight, tomorrow I won’t at least. It’s that simple so here’s crossing fingers (and toes) for tonight!

Any tips?

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50 Responses

  1. Jessica

    Ooh I have all of this to (not) look forward to! At the moment Jaspers only waking once but when we also have Rhys over night he wakes once and you get to that countdown stage till you have to wake up!

    Fingers crossed your scrummy boys start to sleep better, and hopefully it’s not inherited from mummy or they’ll be in your bed for a few more years lol xx
    Jessica recently posted…Is it weird?My Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Jessica haha thanks darling, I know-can you imagine, thank goodness for the King Size! Hope you get better sleep too xx

      Reply
  2. Victoria Mylittlel

    oh no, i cant relate yet, but i think my body is getting used to a “zombie” like condition i for the future and I already miss good sleep, i guess when baby arrives I will be just dreaming about it

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Victoria hehe you might get a sleeper although the constant bugs they get in the first 2 years particularly to build immunity plus teething means some sleeplessness is inevitable sadly x

      Reply
  3. Tory Knowles

    God it’s hideous isn’t it. Soul-zapping tiredness that feels like it’s never going to end. Yes, children are amazing and we’d never change them but what I’d give for a lie-in!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Tory so bloody tough, especially when it’s nights on end! Roll on the teenage years!
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      Reply
  4. Franglaise Mummy

    That is just horrific. I don’t do lack of sleep, I’m normally a very happy, upbeat, positive person, but take my sleep away and I turn into a monster! I’m lucky in that both of ours sleep pretty well unless ill or teething. This is what we do when they don’t sleep – go to bed early (10pm at absolute latest), then Hubs and I take it in turns to be on duty for the night, if I’m off duty I put my earplugs in and tell my brain to switch off unless Hubs wakes me for reinforcements. This means that we both get at least one decent night’s sleep every other night. Good luck lovely! xx
    Franglaise Mummy recently posted…The secret to decorating rental accommodation for kidsMy Profile

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    • honestmum

      @Franglaise Mummy great plan, husband and I share nights equally but never thought of earplugs. Alexander has since been poorly with a throat infection (post writing) so that was to blame for being quite so bad. It’s not usually this awful but great sleepers, I definitely don’t have xx

      Reply
      • Franglaise Mummy

        I’d never thought of earplugs before, but they’re a life saviour, I can’t recommend them enough! Good luck x
        Franglaise Mummy recently posted…The secret to decorating rental accommodation for kidsMy Profile

  5. Mandi

    I hate to break this to you, but my little darling (now 17) did not sleep a full night through until he went to primary school (which is when they’re six here in Greece).

    In every other respect, however, he was a pretty easy baby/toddler – just used to wake up as if bored with sleep and want company (chatting, reading, singing softly) in the night.

    These days, it’s not a problem. It’s a bit like having a pet sloth actually.
    Mandi recently posted…VintageMy Profile

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    • honestmum

      @Mandi bahaha a pet sloth, so I just need to wait another 2 or make that 13 years for the sloth days to start. Thanks for making me laugh x

      Reply
  6. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    I can feel your pain, we’ve been through sleep training with all of ours, and painful though it was, it did work. I recommend the Baby Whisperer. There is nothing worse than broken sleep, somehow so much worse than just too little sleep. Sending sleepy dust to you all, and, it does get better xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Sara thanks so much, yes have read that and was good but didn’t work for long. We go through good periods then shocking ones. Fingers crossed nightmares and teething cease soon x

      Reply
  7. Becky | Spirited Puddle Jumper

    I don’t have any answers i’m afraid but loads of sympathy! Your post is almost identical to the sleep situation we are in at the moment. Both F and S wake more now during the night than they did as babies (well, it feels like that!). S was a dream tiny baby sleep-wise, sleeping through the night from 9 weeks until 6 months, then teething kicked in and she woke all the time. She’s better, but still often wakes. Freddie ends up in our bed most nights- sometimes we’re so tired we don’t even notice he’s crept in between us at some point in the night! And they wake early too. This morning was 5.30am from S, who then woke us all up, and the day before 4.30am for the day 🙁 The tiredness is really getting to us, my brain is seriously fried at the moment, I can’t write properly! Hope you get some more sleep soon lady, I really, really feel your pain x

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Becky oh wow so similar, poor us huh, here’s hoping these kids of ours grasp how wonderful it is to sleep through xx

      Reply
  8. heidi

    I am a total bear without enough sleep. It’s awful for anyone who knows me. So I can’t imagine adjusting to a life without sleep.
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    • honestmum

      @Heidi ha I feel like a moody bear right now, the thing is it’s not every night but these periods of no sleep are so tough!

      Reply
  9. Notmyyearoff

    Z was a terrible sleeper for so so long. I think till about 2 years. Even now he wants to get Into bed with us most nights and we just let him. My solution is to buy a queen sized bed too (or we would if it would fit in our bedroom!). I remember when I used to sleep all night long and sometimes till 11am. Ahhh good times eh?

    Reply
  10. Eleanor (thebristolparent)

    If only I did have the magic answer…ours sleeps ok, but only just through the night at nearly 13 months. Controversial but I do truly believe that having to top up with expressed milk via a bottle from very early on, therefore she took to the bottle meaning we could add formula painlessly at 7 months and mix feed, and others could help, really helped us all get a bit more sleep. But I know that’s not for everyone, so not exactly a tip.
    Eleanor (thebristolparent) recently posted…#mummyessentialsproject – Week 1- furnitureMy Profile

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    • honestmum

      @Elanor I think everyone should do what is best for them and we did the same with my second, combined feeding worked although have friends who solely breastfed and babies slept through x

      Reply
  11. WallyMummy

    Mine is a pretty good sleeper but still has her moments and I’m a zombie when she does! My friend’s LB just doesn’t sleep – I feel so sorry for her but it all came down to illness for them as well. he slept like a dream until 6 months old, then got tonsillitis and that was it. Never slept through the night since. He’s 2 now… I just can’t imagine! And I totally understand why she can’t think about another child yet either! x

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @WallyMummy aw poor her, infact today little one is under the weather so think that’s why it’s been worse for us. Oliver is usually not too bad but as a baby those horrendous ear infections disrupted sleep constantly! x

      Reply
  12. Philippa @Letters to Elliot

    Oh man, sleep deprivation is the worst! It must get easier when they get bigger right? *crosses fingers* in the meantime, weekend lie ins and good food is the only way to go? If I could get my 4 month old onto a bottle I would seriously consider dumping my kids for a night with my mum, booking a hotel, and sleeping from 7pm to checkout time 🙂 xx
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  13. Lydia Gerratt

    Oh my goodness, I know how you feel. I also have 2 boys (3.5 and 1.5 yrs). My eldest only sleeps the whole night if he is in bed next to me (rubbish for my marriage) and our youngest is still having a bottle of milk every night. We’ve tried everything, apart from letting them cry alone until they sleep (like you, we just can’t do it) and nothing works. We even bought Atticus a beautiful high sleeper bed, but he thinks that the monsters can still get him ‘up in the sky’……

    I dream of the day when I’ll have my bed back to myself and my husband and the boys will be sleeping together in their room.

    My only tip and I’m sure you are already doing this, is to go to bed as early as possible!

    xxx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Lydia oh hun I relate and chatting to my GP tonight he said he doesn’t believe in controlled crying and said just do what you can to survive xx

      Reply
  14. Ebabee

    Sorry – no tips from me 🙁 But I have heard that you get either an eater or a sleeper. I got a sleeper but an incredibly difficult eater. As hard as it is to feed a very fussy child who is always underweight, I think sleep deprevation is worse. Really feel for you… hope things change soon x
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  15. fashion-mommy

    Totally feel your pain, but for me, insomnia and an inability to switch off causes me to survive on far less sleep than I need, and then spend days feeling like a zombie. Hopefully, as the kids continue to grow this might get easier – fingers crossed.x
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    • honestmum

      @Fashion-mommy sorry to hear that and hope so. I’ve found switching off and getting myself into a routine and rescue remedy for those stressful times help me sleep (if only those boys would let me for long enough) x

      Reply
  16. Jess Paterson

    There is nothing worse than sleep deprivation – just the pits. Totally dictates your mood for the day. I have no tips. I don’t drink caffeine, which I find overall helps, as mad as that sounds, as I don’t get the caffeine crashes. Giving each other a lie-in at the weekend to recover is the only way we manage. Good luck with the next zzzz! x
    Jess Paterson recently posted…How Old Is Your Child? A QuizMy Profile

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    • honestmum

      Ha, caffeine hates me and ends up making me feel worse but yes weekend lie-ins and taking it in turns at night helps and it’s not always this bad. Thanks for your comment x
      honestmum recently posted…When My Kids Don’t SleepMy Profile

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  17. Fiona @ Free Range Chick

    I have had insomnia on and off since my teens and have never got used to the zombie feeling. It always hits me hardest mid-afternoon, and all I can focus on is wanting to nap. My remedy is to get out. Mr Chick and I are super-cruel parents. We sleep-trained our kids – yup, we let them cry it out. And guess what? It worked. They’re 29 months and 10.5 months, share a room and sleep 11-12 hours every night, unless one of them is ill. The couple of nights (yes, that’s all it was), of brief crying to sleep were well worth it for us. But, I really understand the heart strings that they pull on when they’re trying to learn to get themselves off to sleep with the CIO method. (We bed-shared with our youngest until he was about 8-9 months, in a regular double bed with 6’4 husband!). Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough – the short message is much sympathies with your extra blurry days and disturbed nights. I’m certain it won’t be forever and in the meantime try and extract all the positives you can from the situation: extra cuddles! X
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  18. Mummy Says

    Oh honey I really, really feel for you. Jasmin went through a couple of months of waking every hour and demanded food and I found it awful. I had never known anything like it and started to get really sick. I’m so sorry, though, I don’t have any tips. We had to cut out night feeds and that worked – but yours is a totally different situation. I found being able to get support from my family invaluable. There were many afternoons when mum looked after the kids for an hour and I had a nap. Nothing beats night time sleep, and unbroken sleep at that, but support from wherever you can find it does help get you through the worst. Hopefully your better nights aren’t too far away xxx
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    • honestmum

      @Mummy Says thanks lovely, not nice is it but hopefully things will get easier…we do still give Alexander milk to make him sleep but know we must cut this out x

      Reply
  19. Kirsty - Hijacked by Twins

    I can totally sympathise with this post! The twins are now 26 months old and have only just started to sleep through but it is still not very night, we still get nights where one comes in with us. It is exhausting! But I keep reminding myself that they will get there as will your I am sure. Sending hugs xx
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    • honestmum

      @Kirsty thanks for this, all these comments are really reassuring, determined we will all sleep properly soon xx

      Reply
  20. Leanne @suggys.co.uk/Leanne

    Sleep deprivation is i would called the worst Torture skill ever known to Man!… Its horrible, a nightmare infact. My daughter 3rd baby would wake every hour through the night, i was exhausted! As even though eventually she would go to sleep about 8am i would have to get up and take the older 2 to school 🙁 Then i got strict and did a set routine!… it was the worst 4 nights of my life, but all it took was those 4 nights and now, because shes use to having a routine, she literally crawls to the stairs at 7pm and shes in bed all night till 7am… So for me Routine works very well 🙂 But urgh i can totally symphatise and i hope it gets better soon x
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    • honestmum

      Oh Leanne thanks for this, we try and stick to a routine too although recent house move hasn’t helped, thanks for this x

      Reply
  21. Mama and More aka Zaz

    Sleep deprivation is literally torture and I’m afraid the only two pieces of advice I can give are maybe once a month splurge on getting someone else in to deal with the pain, and maybe the 2 of you can recharge at a B&B or something (my friend employed a night nanny to sleep train as she couldn’t bear it!), and the other thing is… “This too shall pass”. Not much help but in years to come you can hold it against them! Good luck honey xxx
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    • honestmum

      @Mama and More thanks so much, we are considering getting someone in soon to help, just thought we’d let them settle in at the new house first. Wise words sweetie, thanks x

      Reply
  22. Franki

    Feel your pain! Luca is sleeping horrendously at the moment with teething or just being under the weather. It’s so tough. I sit at work in a zombie like state or asleep on my desk. I’ve increased the water intake in an attempt to feel better but struggling to cut the sugar. Work colleagues bring in cake every day practically! I’m praying it will end soon as I LOVE sleep, if not there won’t be anymore babies! Haha xx
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  23. Mummy Tries

    Oh lovely, you have my full empathy on this one! My almost 5yo doesn’t sleep well and the last three years (& 2 more kids later) have been a killer at points. I advocate all that you’ve said, especially the water and low sugar.

    One tip I was given by another mum was to give my daughter a foot massage just before bedtime. It calms her right down and means she goes to bed happy. It worked for a while for us, then fell by the wayside when we had our baby. Might be worth a try? *note to self: must reinstate asap*

    Good luck!!
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    • honestmum

      @Mummytries ooh yes good tip, did do massage for a while too, thanks for this and here’s hoping we all get some more sleep x

      Reply

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