My children are now nearly 8 and 4.5. Both of them were notorious frequent wakers until they were at least 3. Both started to improve a little around 3 and started to sleep through the night close to 4 – as long as someone was bedsharing with them. For the most part they both sleep through now. My eldest bedshared until he was 7 and then he felt ready to try sleeping on his own. My youngest is still bedsharing at 4.5. I have a lot of experience in surviving kids who don’t sleep through the night.
We wait until the kids are ready, we follow their lead and don’t force them to try sleep alone until they are ready. Papa Ginge and I are definitely a wait it out rather than a cry it out family. We believe that children are biologically primed to wake frequently to breastfeed and for safety and that its normal, indeed healthy for them to sleep with their parents if that’s what makes them feel safe and secure. So we played the long game and have had many many years of sleepless nights.
I’ve written about it comprehensively over the years so now I’m popping it all into one blog post for those of you who are in the desperate depths of sleep deprivation. I promise it doesn’t last forever, it will get easier and you will survive! In the meantime, here are some posts about surviving kids who don’t sleep through the night to help!
How to get more sleep when your kids don’t sleep
Some kids just wake a lot, no matter what you do. We found, instead of trying to get our kids to sleep more, it helped if we flipped the script and instead focussed on what we could do to help ourselves maximise our rest. This blog post contains my tried and tests top tips!
Stop telling me about your great sleepers
There is little more soul-destroying than when you are delirious with sleep deprivation and dare to express your struggle to someone and they respond by telling you how amazing their baby sleeps and how refreshed they feel. I get you, this post is a rant about how I felt about people bragging about their magic unicorn sleeping babies. Enjoy and know, you are not alone. My kids didn’t sleep for shit either.
10 steps to getting through the day with littles when you are so tired that you want to cry
When you are dealing with grade A non sleepers, simply getting through the day without having a nervous breakdown can be a challenge, especially if you have multiple very young children. I get it, I’ve done the clock watching, the crying, the eating all the sugar just to try and stay awake. This post has my top ten tips for just making the best of your day when you feel like you are going to die from sleep deprivation…
How to make your child sleep in longer
My kids are both 5am risers. We’ve had long spells where this became 4am. If we make it to 6am we are overjoyed. Of course this is easier now the children are older and can entertain themselves for a little bit while we dose but I’ve done hundreds of pre-dawn get ups. I’m not here to give you the magic solution to making your child sleep in. Frankly I don’t believe it exists but in this post I give you my 5 tips for making it more bearable…
Let her cry they say…
I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’ve been told to let my non- sleeping children cry it out in the past. This is my heartfelt response to why that’s not something we’d ever do…
Why parents hate to mess with nap time…
It’s not just night time sleep that is tough when you have kids who struggle to sleep. Nap times are crucial and often people who don’t have kids waking them up 20 times a night don’t understand that. I wrote this post when I was sick of being pressured by people to mess with my 2 year old’s nap time.
4Moms Rockaroo video review
When your baby won’t sleep you’ll buy any gadget to help. Here is our review of the 4Moms Rockaroo video from when Lena was just weeks old (my ovaries can’t cope with how little she was). This is our most-viewed YouTube video with 174,000 views at the time of writing this.
So there you have it, my top posts on surviving when your kids don’t sleep through the night. I hope that you find these helpful, if you did please share the post with other parents you know who are struggling or pin it on Pinterest. And hang in there – I promise it gets easier, you’ve got this. If you are struggling with your children’s sleep please feel free to chat to me in the comments. I reply to every comment on the blog.