So Your Baby’s Not Sleeping? Mine Neither.

This seems to be becoming a common theme at our house: bedtime rolls around and the little guy seems tired out and ready for bed. He goes to sleep. And forty-five minutes later, he’s up – crying – and refusing to sleep.

At this point, you would think that you have three options:

One: You go straight upstairs, soothe your baby back to sleep and go back to what you were doing.
Two: You ignore the crying, hope your baby goes back to sleep, and eventually cave to go upstairs and…essentially complete number one.
Three: You ignore the crying and your perfect little bean goes back to sleep. And sleeps through the night.

Yeah. Three doesn’t often happen in our house. And if it does in yours – well, this post probably isn’t for you.

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Here’s what happens to mommies when their babies after about two hours of refusing to sleep:
1. Their head starts pounding because they are sleep deprived AND trying to ignore the seemingly endless crying.
2. They want to cry for the endless trips up and down the stairs.
3. They want to cry because they feel badly for their child who can’t/won’t sleep.
4. They want to cry because they are so tired and would LOVE to sleep yet their adorable child refuses to.
5. They want to cry because THEY JUST NEED SOME FREAKING SLEEP OKAY?
6. They feel like a bad parent because everyone else’s child is perfect and never wakes up at night. They read it on Facebook.

Not that I’ve been there or anything (crossing my fingers, I assure you), but if this post refers to you then here’s what you need to do:

STOP. Take five deep breaths – one, two, three, four, five. Now repeat after me: it’s just a phase. Again: it’s just a phase. One more time: it’s just a phase. Oh, and the moms who make their lives seem perfect on Facebook? They’re lying. No one has a perfect life, it goes against nature.

It will get better, I promise. I’m still in the midst of the battle myself – which means that promise applies to me, too. Anyway: if you feel like you just don’t know what to do, I have some great suggestions that have started helping in our house. Slash they’re things we’re planning on trying if our current new tactics don’t work.

1. Put a cd player with lullabies on starting during your bedtime routine. That calm, soothing music could be just what your baby needs.

2. Try putting him to bed a half hour later. Perhaps it’s just too early for bedtime.

3. Maybe a bedtime snack is in order. After all, a hungry baby doesn’t sleep well at any time of the day.

4. Try letting him fall asleep in your bed. This doesn’t work at our house because RJ gets distracted. But it could work at yours!

5. Adjust the temperature in your baby’s room. Sometimes RJ gets too hot and can’t sleep, so I’m super cognoscente of how warm/cool his room is.

Have more suggestions? Tell me in the comments!


  1. 1

    Krissy says

    Our little one didn’t start STTN until she was 13 months old. It was a nightmare. She wouldn’t even go down. Then after a 2+ hour process of getting her down, she was up some nights, once an hour. At 13 months.
    For us, rapid return worked wonders and worked after a full week. We added the soothing sounds (steam train, heartbeat or whatever the flavor of the day was) and a nightlight. But rapid return REALLY did the trick. I couldn’t justify CIO. I don’t hold it against families that do- but it wasn’t working for me. We let her co-sleep too, just so WE could sleep a little.
    I learned one very important lesson from the whole experience: every family is different. Every Mom, dad, child, baby, everyone of them is different. What works for one may not work for another. And you have to do what YOU need to do to survive. If you have your baby co-sleep and it works? Great. I won’t judge. If you let your baby CIO and it works? Great. Again, I won’t judge.
    I will say now that after she realized how wonderful it was to STTN, she really didn’t stop. She’s been an AMAZING sleeper since, and she’s now 5 almost 6. But we are STILL dealing with PTSD from lack of sleep for over a year!

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