My Children DON’T Sleep And Never Will | Tales From A Delirious Mom

“Children will sleep when they are tired.”
“Maybe she has an ear infection”
“Does she REALLY wake up that much? You’re exaggerating.”
“Its sleep regression she will grow out of it”
“I am tired too – my child only slept 6 hours last night”.

Yes I have heard it all and more over the years. I have not had an entire nights sleep in almost SIX years. That’s right ladies – my oldest is almost 5 and has yet to sleep thru the night… ever. No I am not being dramatic, its unfortunately true! And guess what I AM NOT ALONE!!!! Sorry for the all caps but I am sick and tired of hearing how there is something wrong with children who don’t sleep!! I recently went to a semi-family reunion and after holding back tears while talking to some of my cousins; who are newer Moms, I realized that it was time for me to talk about my sleepless children. It literally breaks my heart hearing these stories of Moms feeling inadequate because their children don’t sleep. Mostly because I was and AM that Mom who spends constant sleepless nights.

Viv (almost 5) has slept thru the night less than 10 times her entire life. You may think I am exaggerating – and oh how I wish that was true. But it isn’t… She did not sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time until she was almost 6 months old. When she was 12 months old she finally would sleep up to four hours a night. But at this point I was still up all the time because I had another newborn at home (eek). When Viv turned 4, we finally were able to get her to bed in less than an hour’s time when it usually took us a minimum of an hour of fighting if not more. Now at almost 5, Viv still wakes up between 3 and 5 times a night – coming into our room and waking us up. She always has some excuse but really it usually is that she has trouble going back to sleep or she is sleep walking. Viv is a master negotiator and even in a sleepy stupor, she will fight tooth and nail to win – a Coppotelli trait I used to be proud of  -_-


{Picture taken by Lauren Carlisle of my sweet sleepless Viv}

Noli (almost 4) on the other hand is a pretty good sleeper. She usually goes down with little fight and by age 1 was totally sleeping through the night. However, she does go through about a week or two a month where she wakes up regularly. Its nowhere near as severe as her sister, so I feel bad even mentioning her issues. However, I feel like it is important to note that even my “good” sleeper still has issues.


{Picture taken by Lauren Carlisle of my sweet Noli and me}

Now that you know their basic habits let me tell you the about of things I have tried (or at least the ones I can remember)… Lights on, lights off, lights off 75 minutes before bed. Ferber method, cry it out, babywise method, Happiest Baby method. Sound machines, music, audio books, lovies, pacifiers, bottles. Cosleeping and rockers. Cherry juice and melatonin. Changes in schedules, naps, and activities. Literally NOTHING made a difference!! I would try things for a minimum of two months and would see little to no improvement.  

Here’s the thing… I literally was breaking down crying every night thinking of these “perfect” Moms were able to put their kids in their crib fully awake, walk away, and they would go to sleep for hours on end. I realized I was the one that needed to change when I was screaming at my children for the umteenth time that Mom needed sleep and if they didn’t go to sleep I was going to… whatever horrible thing I could think of… Vivian laughed in my face! Noli cried because her sweet soul had been damaged. In that moment I realized I had reached next level of crazy and it was time to accept what was actually happening… It was my husband’s fault!

Yup it’s not ME – the SAHM pinterest Mom who works part time… NO WAY!! It was my husband who is an insomniac, sleep walks most nights, talks every night, and comes from a family of night owls!! (I will share stories another day). I began to just throw my hands up and let them go crazy staying up all hours of the night. I still had a set bedtime and would not let them out of their room… but I accepted defeat (or rather my husband’s fault).

Did things get better –  of course not!! But the tone of bedtime changed. I was no longer desperate, I was calmer, and my children responded. They started to fight less and sleep longer. We are by NO means any more successful than those first nights, but I am now more sane during bedtime which is definitely a blessing! I should also mention that I FINALLY met other Moms whose children didn’t sleep. I really wasn’t alone and realizing I wasn’t fighting by myself made all the difference!

Bottom line despite the fact my children don’t sleep – they really are fantastic children. So it was me who is an obsessive about sleep who had to adjust. I have no doubt that my children will follow my husband’s sleepwalking night owl footsteps and never sleep – and we will all survive! For my children have all their needs met, I am more sane, and my husband isn’t alone with his crazy sleep habits!  


{Picture taken by Lauren Carlisle of Viv, Noli, and Drew}

NOTE: I understand it isn’t really my husband’s fault but sometimes his sleep habits make me question if my children’s issues are genetic!

Lauren Cop is a part-time SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor ciao_laurencop_sig-01of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she teaches at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on FacebookTwitterPinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

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