"Go the f*ck to sleep. Why I now officially hate bedtime."

I was a mum who used to proudly say “he sleeps through” when asked how my baby was at night. From four months of age, our ‘little angel’ slept 7pm until 7am with one very occasional feed at night.

Alright alright, I hear you saying “you lucky b*tch”, and you’re probably partially right. Yes, luck had something to do with it, but I think it was also due to some hard work by my husband and I.

I was one of those annoying stickler-for-a-routine parents. I have a tendency to get a bit obsessive and strive for perfection when it comes to anything, really, so tackled the mission of trying to get my baby to sleep with enthusiasm.

We followed a routine book from when our son was just six weeks old and boy, did it work. After a while of using it he self settled and we got sleep – the joy! Yes, there were nights where he was teething or sick and it all went out the window, but the majority of the time it worked like a dream.

That was then. This is now.

"That was then. This is now." Image supplied.

Fast forward to 15 months of age and I officially hate bedtime. Gone are the days when he and I would read stories quietly, him sitting in my lap, and I’d whisper to him about all the things I dreamt for him. Gone is the quiet feeding, him getting drowsy in my arms, and me putting him into bed still awake for him to simply close his eyes and drift off.

These days, bedtime is a b*tch.

Nothing has changed with his pre-bed routine. We still bath him, dress him, read to him, give him milk in a quiet and dark room, sing softly to him – just like we did before. But our efforts are met with screaming. As soon as his sleeping bag goes on and he registers it’s sleep time, it’s full blown, toddler tantrum time.

As far as I can tell, this can be something that comes with the territory. He’s older and more aware of what’s going on. But it doesn’t stop it from being worrying and a right pain the as*!


I wrack my brain constantly trying to work out what we’re doing ‘wrong’. He’s easy to settle during the day, so why not at night? I find myself repeating “go the f*ck to sleep” over and over in my head, just like the words of the popular book famously read by Samuel L Jackson.

"I wrack my brain constantly trying to work out what we’re doing ‘wrong’." Image supplied.

As the book says:

“I know you’re not thirsty, that’s bullsh*t, stop lying! Lie the f*ck down, my darling, and sleep.”

“It’s been 38 minutes already, Jesus Christ, what the f*ck! GO TO SLEEP!”

We’ve taken to rocking him to sleep and pacing lengths of the house (not easy with a 13 kilogram writhing toddler). We’ve ruled out any other factors - but still he screams. The joys of city living mean we’re in an apartment block of six, all on top of one another, and I’m sure my neighbours think we’re torturing our child.

After a month straight of this behaviour, enough is enough. We’ve spent the last week trying some ‘controlled crying’. It’s working and he’s learning not to “take the piss”, as my husband would say. But, as any mum would know, leaving my baby to cry, even for a short time and when I know it’s just him acting out, is gut wrenching.

So now, if anyone asked me about his sleep, I’d have a very different answer. The bedtime fight continues and as far as I'm concerned, you can shove your Contented Little Baby/Save our Sleep/Pinky McKay routine where the sun doesn’t shine – yes, routines can work, but babies can still unlearn good habits even if you are strict.

As with all things parenting, it's about doing whatever works for you - and having faith that just as that one thing changed as quick as the wind it will surely change again, really soon!

Did you child have sleep regressions as they grew up?