Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Kids Are Not Sleeping

Truth time.

I am struggling.

Don't get me wrong, I simply adore my girls. They are sweet and funny. They are starting to play together and listening to their little giggles coming down the hallway when Reese isn't dragging Kendall around the room to play by her onesie  seriously warm my heart in a way that you can only understand if you've heard those little laughs yourself. They are really smart and super active. And they are silly and goofy as all get out and I have know idea where they get that from.

Yes, it was a child's costume party… BUT the invitation specifically said "adults included. Yes, we are the only adults who dressed up. It is what it is.

But, this feels like my biggest confession of all, my kids aren't sleeping. 

Now that may feel pretty anti-climactic to you, considering I have a baby and a two year old,  but to me it's a big thing. Because I am a self-appointed baby sleep training expert. My techniques were taken from my two sisters who had children before me, and they work. Reese slept through the night in her own room since she was 8 weeks old. I have advised numerous friends on ways to get their baby to sleep. Kendall also slept through the night in her own bed at around 8 weeks. And then we took a two week trip to the east coast and came back on the weekend of the time change.

My kids aren't sleeping. Like, not at all. Reese has stayed awake through her nap time for the last two weeks straight. She has refused to sleep. A week ago she woke up in the night super scared and my husband brought her into our room and she has come into our room at 4am every.single.night. since then. And Kendall. She is up at 10:30pm every night to nurse and then usually wakes up at least once but usually 2-4 more times. Every night. Literally and I mean literally literally.. not literally like we use it nowadays which doesn't actually mean literally… but literally I have not had a night where one or both of my kids wasn't up a minimum of twice since September. That's 4 full months if you're counting. and it shows.

Holy tired eyes, batman

I am seriously at my breaking point. I have tried everything- letting them cry it out, letting them sleep in our bed, putting them in their own rooms, letting them sleep together. NOTHING is working. Last night after Reese was up and crying for an hour and Kendall nursed for 45 minutes straight I got back in bed and just lost my junk ok i had sinfully lost my junk before this point but this time i just broke down crying.

I had all these plans of being intentional this year.  And I've still got big plans, I do. But I just can't seem to do anything out of sheer exhaustion.  I was talking this over with my small group this week (and begging other moms for any and all advise) and said "Before when other parents had babies who wouldn't sleep, I honestly somewhere deep in my heart thought it was the parent just not doing something correctly."


So this is my confession. I still whole heartedly believe in sleep training your baby, because I've seen it work. And if my husband had a different job where he wasn't possibly in life or death situations on the reg and didn't need the sleep, I would maybe handle things differently… but its becoming dangerous for him.

This isn't one of those posts that gets a pretty drop-the-mic ending. This is just a post where I tip my cup and show the junk inside. I'm struggling. I think there is maybe something you're struggling with, too. Let's get it all out in the comments. Share our struggles and encourage one another because Lord knows I need the encouragement, too.


  1. Oh, girl...I SO get you here. And I've been there, not so very long ago. I have no tips about sleeping, especially since you've tried everything I would suggest, but I do have prayers. And I do have my own junk - trying to manage the anger when I can't believe I have to tell that child ONE MORE TIME to stop doing that thing that might just drive me to hysterics. Or the fact that we've had the big boy bed set up for a while and no patience to train him to stay in it, so we're still using the pack-n-play. I know that bringing our junk to the light is often the best thing we can do. You're not alone. I'm praying for you.

  2. I'm literally (and again, this is the original meaning, not the colloquial) typing this one slow letter at a time, because Cambria is *actually* sleeping on something other than Mommy or Daddy. She has had *maybe* 4 nights since her diagnosis where she's successfully slept in her crib all night. We've tried a *huge* list of things as well (including but not limited to putting her crib mattress on the floor so we could cuddle and then slowly rolling away and hoping it sticks) but the only sure way to get her to sleep is in the recliner, on one of us. She's so big, that now that means getting headbutted in the jugular and kneed in the crotch all.night.long. it doesn't help that with stress, I sleep poorly, and Derek gets more tired than normal and needs more sleep. I can't imagine fighting this same battle with two kids at once >.< *hugs* If I was out there I'd totally bring starbucks over and throw a tempertantrum with you. (hey, as an adult, sometimes it helps to wine, flail and pout, then laugh at yourself) Oh, and I'm also going over to your sleep training post right now in hopes it might impart some new ideas onto our very spread thin brains!

  3. I'm laughing right now. The kind of hysterical laughter that--yep, there it is--turns into hysterical sobbing. I am in an almost identical boat. Like, same kids ages, same night schedule. Same toddler pulling his sister around by her onesie. Except my toddler never slept through the night till he was a year and my baby never has. Except like two nights. Some Miss America said once, in a really peppy, perfect makeup way, "I can sleep when I'm dead!" and I quote her all the time! Ha.
    I have no advice, just a lot of commiseration. My 2 y\o dropped his nap the day his sister came home from the hospital, so now we do quiet time. He sits on my bed and reads or plays quietly. I dim the lights and turn white noise on, ao he actually usually does fall asleep. My friend just made a pallet up on the floor by her bed for her toddler who keeps moving to the parents bed, and that seems to help.
    Hang in there, friend. And let me know if you figure it out so I can do exactly what you're doing.

  4. Oh Ashley, girl. I can sympathize. and. my kids are 5,8 & 10. My ten year old wakes up 3-4 nights with growing pains in his legs and arms. This means getting him meds, a hot bath and a massage at 2am. He also wets the bed which means a middle of the night clothes/sheet change a couple nights a week... and he is ten.
    My 5 yr old comes to our bed every single night in the middle of us and our 8 year old either squeezes in the middle too or at the end of our bed.
    almost every night its inevitable that one of us moves to the sofa....depending which one has to be up early in the morning...
    its exhausting and my vents via facebook come with remarks about discipline and strict bedtimes...yet bedtimes and disciple aren't going to cure a bed wetter or growing pains :(
    It's tiring...

  5. aw, bless you!


  6. Oh hon, this couldn't have come at a more similar time for me. Well, minus the second baby :) My little man (23 months) has decided that he doesn't want to take naps anymore, won't go to sleep when he's tired for bed, and wakes up around 12:45/1:00am EVERY NIGHT screaming and crying. The one thing that keeps me sane through it all (for me) is knowing that I am so blessed to have him, to have him cry for me, to be his mom. My world would suck pretty bad if he weren't in it. And so we just keep pushing along, working through it, and me having to ask for a LOT of grace!

    Praying for you guys!

  7. oh my word, I hug you so tight. I understand. The things we do for our men in uniform! My hubby worked an ACTUAL NIGHT SHIFT last night - as in he got home at 6 am - and he had more sleep than I did today. Like, what? So tired. and I don't even have my second on the outside yet!! Still 5 weeks until that ups the anti on sleepness nights. hope you get a nap soon. much love to you

  8. Oh girl I am so sorry you are struggling with this right now!! I have a 10yr old boy who was a horrible sleeper (but I was a clueless teen mom) and now my 19month old, who I have bragged to be "the worlds best sleeper" thanks to sleep training is also forgoing sleep these days. I feel terrible for actually feeling angry when she wakes up every couple hours. I know she is a blessing and once morning comes and I have had a few cups of coffee I convince myself it isn't so bad. Thank you for being honest because you are not alone!! Bless your heart for surviving with a toddler AND baby because I cannot even fathom!! Someday we will all sleep again right?! This can't last forever!! :) ........ right??!! Lol

  9. Oh girl I feel you!! My husband is an officer too so I have literally been alone when it comes to getting our daughter when she cries and all that..

  10. I totally understand! I will keep you in my prayers. I have a 6mo and he hasn't slept throughout the night but once.

  11. You should check out www.babysleepsite.com I'm not affiliated with them or anything I just wanted to bring you some hope. They have done all of the research on different sleep training and they can create a plan tailored to your family's needs and parenting style to help overcome this challenge. I hope this helps!

  12. I am struggling with my 17 month old not sleeping either! I am exhausted. My emotions are running high. My husband is working late hours and I am substitute teaching. I love my little girl but sometimes Mommy needs a break. My 10 year old struggles with sleep because of his ADHD medication and the fact that schools have been closed due to the cold for the last few days. Hang in there. I am trying all different sleep aids like lavender oil, calming baths, bedtime tea, and warm milk. Hopefully someone reponds with a no fail sleep solution. =)

  13. I'm new to your blog - but boy does this post remind me of my life. I have a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old. Neither sleep through the night. It's SO hard to deal with the lack of sleep in our house somedays. One thing we tried with our older daughter was an air mattress on the floor in our bedroom and that helped her sleep through the night most of the time, but we tried to put both girls in their room together (we live in military housing and it's small) and that ruined everything for us lol. Sending some prayers your way!!

  14. This.is.my.life.

    My oldest slept through the night at 8 weeks and to this day, she is an amazing sleeper. My middle babe (she will be 5 this year) I'm not sure she ever has. Seriously, she comes running in my room around 3am. And my almost 15 month old has slept through the night ONCE. Ive tried so many different things and nothing works. I just pray that I will sleep again one day...