Sleep Tips from the Mom Whose Kids Never Slept Through the Night

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If you follow my instagram account (flynnandnola) you probably know that sleeping is not the Boone Babies strong suit. While I describe Flynn as a good sleeper, I realize (usually from a horrified look on someone’s face when I describe his sleeping patterns), that he really is no gem. I mean he’s almost 3 and has never slept through the night. Not once. Not even by accident. However, all in all Flynn naps well, goes to sleep pretty easy and usually sleeps a decent amount at night.

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Nola on the other hand is a hot mess. With Flynn I always could read his cues and get him to sleep and develop a pretty regular routine throughout his life. Nola girl has yet to keep a pattern of sleep longer than 2 weeks, loves to stay up late, hates napping, nurses all day and all night and really is just a mess. Most days I handle it with little to no cursing and lots of coffee. Sometimes at 3 AM, after searching for Flynn’s paci and throwing my boob back in Nola’s face, I google sleep deprived mother, my toddler hates sleep, dr. sears sleep problems, sleep amounts for toddler, how to survive on no sleep…you get the point.

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Originally, I was going to compile a list of things not to say to me such as “maybe it is the coffee”. But then I realized that some times I welcome the advice/suggestions and other times I want to take your Parenting Sleep Bible Book and shove it up your ass. I think my reaction probably depends on the number of hours of  uninterrupted I had the night before. So really instead of a list of things not to say to an exhausted mother, one thing you can say is “shit that sucks”. I’d say you could even say it will all work out, just hang in there, but depending on the number of minutes the parent received in sleep the night before, they may begin scream that if they don’t sleep they are going to lose it. So stick with shit that sucks, more coffee? That might work. Then again, it might not.

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However, if you are an over exhausted mom reading this at 3 AM searching not for a long term sleep solution or step by step guide, but something to help you survive this season of motherhood, here are some notes for you. Feel free to comment that I am a complete a-hole and that if you don’t get any sleep you will end up in a mental institution, as that is often a response I have when things get real tough.

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1. Acceptance. Seriously. I accept the things I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference. Right now your child and you are partners in working out this sleep business. Maybe you aren’t ready to let them cry or maybe you never will be, maybe they don’t really care what Harvey says they aren’t the happiest baby on the block and won’t be for a number of years. Whatever the reason, accept that your kid isn’t going to sleep. Don’t expect to get anything done during “nap time”, don’t plan on making a fancy any dinner. Just accept that you and your kid will not be sleeping for a bit. Once you accept that, then you can plan accordingly.

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2. You’ve accepted it. Great. Plan for no sleep. So you know that tonight you are going to get no sleep. Prep for it. Brew the coffee. Stock magazines by your bed. Save your favorite blog reading for 2 AM. Get your netflix ready for a middle of the night show. Be ready to come downstairs at 3 AM, microwave old coffee and let your kid do their thing. Whatever it is – just plan for something that will make you a little less annoyed. If your kid is a no napper, prep for that. Prep quick meals you can eat. Locate the healthiest meal delivery service. God knows just find food. Practice reading the same book over and over again. Have boxes of games ready to play. Don’t plan to do anything. Seriously. It just makes you angry.

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3. I will preface this by saying I know I am awful. Just as bad, fine worse,  than the mom’s from Toddlers and Tiaras and Dance Moms. I know it. That being said Dress your kid in the morning and make them look real cute. I am serious here. Despite what you are about to think/write/think about me, I didn’t have a kids just to dress them up. I had kids to torture myself. Just kidding. I had kids because kids are awesome. But sometimes my awesome kids don’t sleep and make me angry. So when they look real damn cute, it is much harder to get angry. So throw a little bow in their yogurt filled hair and think this sucker may not know that kids their age are “suppose” to get 12 hours a sleep a day, but they sure do know how to look cute. {Reading that back makes me sound awful. Sorry, mom}

4. Stop reading how much sleep your kid needs. Seriously. So your kid slept 10 hours yesterday. And the guidelines say they need 14. Your kid is not going to die due to a season of bad sleep. And they will work it out. Now I mean if you think there is something unhealthy going on, talk to your doctor, but once you rule out that there is really something prevented your kid from sleeping, other than their stubbornness and love of your boob, relax and quit worrying.

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5. Tell people you don’t know  your kid sleeps great when they ask. Unless you are open to sleep advice, deny, deny, deny.  Seriously. People love to give sleep advice. And sometimes it is super helpful. And you learn a tip or trick that will get your kid to sleep 2.25 minutes longer than the night before. Sometimes you are like yes I have tried that and she still is dancing, even though I stopped blasting All About the Bass. And no I don’t think you are torturing your child by letting them cry, but I am weak and cave and did you see her poor teeth. The poor teeth I cannot let her cry.

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6. Finally, Repeat daily. Your parenting is not measured by the number of hours your child sleeps. You are not a failure because your child thinks naps are done in cars and Jimmy Fallon is a signal to turn off the lights. And most importantly, your child will not grow up to be the next Ted Bundy because he cannot soothe himself to sleep at x months old.

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{This post was brought to you by an episode of Blaze}

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