Sleep. Oh, how I miss sleep.

Jul 26, 2012 by

Guess what? I’ve discovered something. Am brilliant genius parent. Are you ready for it?

Some kids? Are just crappy sleepers. THE END. (I will wait for the applause and prepare myself for all the recommendations/criticisms…)

My three-year-old has always been an expert sleeper. She would win the gold medal every time in the Sleep Olympics. She has always been a good sleeper. Created her own fabulous sleep schedule. Baby, she was born that way.

My fourteen month old? Notsomuch.

She takes bullshit naps. At childcare AND at home. She still wakes almost every night at least once and sometimes several times. She is sometimes drop-dead exhausted after school and I can barely keep her awake to get through dinner and a bath before she zonks out at 6:45pm. Other days, she fights bedtime so hard, she’s awake until after nine.

Before you ask, yes, I’ve tried that. I’ve tried it all. Read all the books, tried all the tricks. I’ve even tried some sleep training methods that go against my personal better judgement out of desperation (Weissbluth, I’m looking at you.). My girl LAUGHS (er… screams?) in the face of sleep training. For hours and hours and hours.

I feel like I haven’t slept a good solid FULL night of sleep since well before she was born. And it’s funny, because I remember having to go on an overnight work trip when Olivia (the older one) was twelve weeks old and my colleagues saying, “Well, at least you’ll get a good night’s sleep!” and me feeling puzzled. Because I was getting plenty of sleep. She had already been sleeping through the night (14 hours straight) for weeks by that point.

Now? Now, I get it. Oh. My. WORD. I get it.


how audrey feels about sleep

And I guess, my point is not to complain about it, but more to say it is what it is. This is a season of parenting for us. A REALLY EXHAUSTING ONE. And we just have to push through it. I can’t make Audrey be a good sleeper any more than I made Olivia one. They are who they are. I don’t take credit (anymore. I’m so sorry for being that braggy first-time mom. OMG, so sorry.) for Olivia’s good sleep patterns and I don’t take blame for Audrey’s crappy ones. I just try to be consistent with each of them and wait for the season to change. As seasons always do.

Anyone else feel the same? I KNOW there will be a lot of y’all who feel differently. :)

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Stephanie Wright

Stephanie lives in Hartford County with her husband, Tom and their two little girls, Olivia and Audrey. No stranger to the web, she’s been in website production for over fourteen years and recently transitioned to a full time writing and editing position – which makes her journalism-loving self so happy. She hopes to share some stories and (gain?) some tips about the never-ending balancing act of motherhood, work, friendship and marriage.

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12 Comments

  1. Elise

    I’m in the same boat! First kid? AWESOME sleeper. Second kid? Crappy sleeper, until exactly 12 months old then BAM! awesome sleeper. yay! Third kid? Oh.my.hell. I didn’t realize it could get worse than my last one but this was worse. so much worse. Until she turned 17 months old then viola! Perfect sleeper.

    I can’t tell you how many times *they* told me I had to DO something about the sleep or else they wouldn’t be STTN until college. I did try some things, but none of it worked. As it turns out, they were ready to sleep when they were ready to sleep. And not a day sooner.

    Lets hope Audrey’s day is on its way soon :)

  2. Meghan

    My Henry is in between. Crappy to start and was too cool for naps then became a good napper and only VERY recently have we gotten nighttime figured out (unless he was teething or sick or just wanted to play or was on vacation…). I totally agree that for the most part it, it is about personality and whatnot. I mean… I think that we as parents sometimes can unknowingly stand in the way of improvements or can do a little prodding to help (for us that is massive snacks at bedtime these days) but really? It is luck of the draw. Just like colic and how early they walk or talk or whatever. We can try to help but we can’t make miracles happen. I really do think that kids will hit milestones (including sleep) when they are ready for them.

    I hope you get some sleep soon. I know all too well that it gets really old.

  3. Maria

    So if 1st born is sucky at sleep, will 2nd be better??
    Please God, send me a sign, or there will be no 2nd…

  4. Janna

    YES! If I hear one more person give me advice on how to get my twins to sleep through the night, I will stab them with a fork. Okay, I am exaggerating a bit, but they are 10 months old. Are they really supposed to be sleeping through the night, and next driving themselves off to Harvard?

    I have a wonderful mom, who explained to me how myself and my two older brothers all had different sleeping patterns. It is what it is, is the truth of the world.

  5. thewrightsteph

    Maria… Honestly? I wish I’d had the crappy sleeper FIRST because then I’d have appreciated Olivia’s DREAMINESS so much more!

  6. thewrightsteph

    Janna, I love your mom. Please tell her.

  7. Parents of crap sleepers, unite! Nora never slept well and still doesn’t. Adorable sleepy newborn photos? Try spunky, spirited, eyes-wide-open photo shoot. Getting out of the house to grab a bite to eat with a newborn? Forget it. She still needs to be rocked or nursed to sleep, and wakes up at least once a night (two or three times is more realistic). I know she’ll sleep through the night when she’s developmentally ready to do so but OH MY GOSH will she ever be ready?? I hope we all find some relief soon….

  8. vanessa

    Thank you Thank you Thank you…….after reading this, i know i am not alone . My 2nd born is a TERRIBLE sleeper & i have been blaming myslef for months. every night i pray, “let this be the night” that she sleeps through night…..i have been praying for this for 12 months….and every morning it comes to be that my prayers have not been answered. i know (hope?) that one night, she will…and i will wake anyways just because i am trained. : )

  9. Aimee

    Oh how I feel your pain. Deep into my sleep weary soul. @elise I have the exact same pattern. Each child progressively worse. Third is currently 18(!) months and still often awake at 4 am. Often = Six nights out of seven. At least. And with each passing day I’m a little less….everything. Except sleep-deprived.

    Will we have number four? Why no because with this pattern she wouldn’t sleep until college. If I was lucky. Plus a million other reasons (many of which you eloquently documented already Steph).

    I hope all of us get some rest soon. Lots and lots of rest. And comfort ourselves knowing that it’s not entirely up to us when these little ones finally figure out their sleep groove.

  10. bernhardsonbunch

    YES! I have TWO awful sleepers. Two. My older son didn’t sleep well until he was in a bed around age 2, and my 14 month old sleeps like a newborn. Up all the time. I have tried it all also. Trust me. Nothing worked. CIO lead to hours and hours and hours of screaming with zero sleep for anyone. I hope it gets better…and I hope we both get some sleep SOON!!!

  11. Alycia

    So true!!!! 1st girl: horrible, horrible sleeper even now at age 6! 2nd boy: sleeps like a champ. Didn’t do much different in training!

  12. Kate Street

    love this post! I was soooo the braggy first time Mama and I, too, am SO sorry!!!!!

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