baby

10 painful realities of having a baby who just. won't. sleep.

One of the biggest fears I had before becoming a parent was having a baby who didn’t sleep. So you can imagine my glee when my daughter started sleeping through from about six weeks old.

Yes, I was one of those smug bastards who happily announced to anyone who would listen, “My baby sleeps through”.

Naturally, when baby number two came around I had this sleep thing sorted. I would do all the same things, and once again we’d have a superstar sleeper just a few weeks in and I would once again be a smug bastard.

"I used to be one of those people whose baby would sleep through the night." (Image: Getty)

Well. Wasn’t I in for a shock to the system.

We did all the same things, implemented the same routines, and to start she seemed to be well on her way to sleeping through from an early age. Six hours, eight hours… YES! We were two for two. Smug City, b*tchh.

But then we hit a so-called ‘regression’ we’ve never appeared to recover from, and now 15 months in I’ve actually forgotten what it’s like to sleep an entire night.

Today was one of "those" ???? someone didn't wanna sleep at all last night ???? woke almost hourly till I brought her into our bed at 5am, to which she would set up camp diagonally across the bed ???? she isn't happy unless being held ???? dare even attempt to put her down, she will dig those claws in and scream bloody murder ???? actually put her down and the pause length before the actual scream is enough to make you pick her up before she even draws sound ???? (because the longer the pause the worse the cry fml) ???? I'd say it was teething, but I feel like I've been saying that daily for about 10 months ???? I think she's just like this ???? And of course the toddler decided she was going follow suit and grumbled and groaned all day because well #toddler ???? and I know, I know, you've gotta "enjoy the cuddles" and the "washing can wait" but fuck me looking at they pile of washing not putting itself away while I'm pinned under tiny dictators makes the eye twitch a little ????????‍♀️ #luckyyourcute There needs to be a delivery service that offers wine, coffee, ice cream, donuts, and tranquillisers for zombie parents with shitty sleepers and tantruming toddler for those days none of you are fit for public consumption ???????????? must be a #fullmoon ????

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Instead I’m up and down the hallway making bottles and rolling around on the floor to retrieve thrown dummies – it’s like she just want to let me know who’s boss.

I’m sure all mamas with babies and toddlers who don’t sleep would not dispute why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture, because it is exactly that – TORTURE.

And I’m also sure they will relate with at least one of these realities of having a child who doesn’t sleep…

1: Your love of ‘good’ coffee has manifested into a medicinal need to survive, therefore meaning you’ll drink any coffee. Hot, cold, good, bad? Just give it to me.

2: You will want to punch any smug bastard who declares their child "sleeps through" in the face. (Oh wait... I was that smug bastard. #karma)

Listen: I Don't Know How She Does It explains why sleep school could be a game changer for your family (post continues after audio...)

3: People will give you advice and recommendations with the best of intentions, but in your sleep deprived state, you’ll sometimes just want to shake them scream and them, “DON’T YOU THINK I’VE TRIED THAT?” (Yup, think I have given that advice. Again, my bad)

4: You have actually googled “can you survive on three hours sleep a week”, and bought a ridiculous amount of gimmicky paraphernalia just in a hope your baby will sleep.

5: You go to bed every night with your eyes falling out of your head, deliriously tired, only to lie awake for ages fearful of when the baby will wake because you know they will. Any. Second. Now...

ME. ALL THE TIME. (Image: Giphy)
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6: You will wonder if your baby is the spawn of Satan as they begin to cry at the exact moment you’ve just fallen back to sleep.

7: You will consider smothering your husband with a pillow as he sleeps soundly, not even flinching a muscle when the baby wakes again. Sometimes you just give him a swift jab to the kidney, purely so he can suffer the pain of disrupted sleep.

8: Every morning you get up, you will actually wonder to yourself, ‘How am I going to get through the day’? But somehow, you just do.

THIS is why we still manage to get up in the morning. (Image: Supplied)

9: Some days, after a long stint of nights with multiple wake-ups, you just want to cry. And you will just cry – a lot! - and feel like it’s NEVER. GOING. TO. END.

10: That one miraculous time they do sleep through, you will still wake up several times, freak out that they haven’t woken and go check they are still breathing.

All I can say is, please do not judge me for the things I say and do when I'm sleep deprived! As my mother likes to tell me, "this too shall pass" - though it doesn’t make it any friggin’ easier at the time. So when all else fails? WINE.

This post originally appeared on Olivia White's website House of White. To see more from Olivia, follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

How do you cope with a baby that won't sleep? 

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