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  • plusthedog

Sleep thief

It’s 4.30 in the morning. 

I am downstairs with a wide-awake 13-month-old waiting for him to get tired again. My Fitbit tells me I have had 2 hours & 38 mins sleep, during which I was woken up 5 times...and I only got that sleep because The Husband took the baby for that time.

I have mentioned before that he dosen’t sleep. He never really has slept well. About 6 months ago he was wakeing up every 45 mins throughout the night. Now, normally it’s 2-3 times a night with a 5.30am morning.

We have tried everything. 


I have shortened his nap, lengthened his nap. Given him extra naps, given him no nap (this dosen’t work!) I have put him down awake, put him down asleep, fed him, not fed him, only offered water, made him a bottle, sent the dad in instead of me, rocked him. I have brought him downstairs to play, left him in his cot to play (scream), let him play with my face in bed.  I have rocked him, not rocked him, changed positions of holding him, let him cry while I hold him. I have fed him to sleep, not fed him to sleep, I have tried baths and sleepy lotion and ‘sleepy feet’ oils and a defuser in the bedroom, we have used a blackout blind and natural light and a night light, we use Ewen the dream sheep, we have given him teddies and taken them away...

...he has a consistent nighttime routine, he eats a decent meal at teatime, he has infant paracetamol if I think he needs it. 

I have warmed his room up, cooled it down, put on more clothes, put on less, swaddled, un-swaddled.  He isn’t a thumb sucker, he dosen’t have a dummy or a ‘lovely.’

He has an active life-I make him walk whenever I can. We do things in the day-go to the park, walk the dog, go to playgroup, chase his sister around....I literally do not know how to make him sleep.  

I. Do. Not. Know. How. To. Make. Him. Sleep. 

And then, about once a week, he will inexplicably sleep 7.30pm to 5.30pm without a stir. I have to check he’s ok because we are not used to it. But I can never replicate it. The next day we are back to square 1 again, and we never know when one of these magic nights will happen, they just suddenly do! 

Someone suggested to me that maybe he is just one of those people who dosen’t need much sleep. Like Maggie Thatcher, maybe he dosen’t need more then 3 or 4 hours a night in general. The doctor isn’t worried about it (yup-I asked!) why should I worry about it? But the thing is this, even if this is the case, and he just dosen’t need much sleep, I DO. I need sleep. I cannot function in 2 and a half hours of sleep a night. I can’t really function too well on the average 5-hours a night my Fitbit tells me is the norm. I need to sleep. 


Even with The Husband stepping in to help out, which he does as much as he can, I am still exhausted, with the added issue of, when he has helped, we are both exhausted so snap at each other all day as a result, and play ‘I’m the most tired because...’ Which is never helpful. I get slightly more sleep and he gets significantly less. It still dosen't really work.  

The Health Visitor tells me he really ought to sleep through the night by now, and I know this, I understand we need to get him sleeping! 

At this point I have no bright ideas or solutions. I can’t think straight. My caffeine habit is getting out of control. I don’t know how people have more babies in quick succession. I am nearly responsible enough for the dog on this little sleep, let alone more babies.

At least the dog sleeps well. Mostly!  

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