And The Award For World's Worst Sleeper Goes To... My Kid.

I would like to extend a huge congratualtions to the parents who thought their kid would win this award, but did not. Did you really think you had a chance when my son won this award last year by a LANDSLIDE?  I imagine we will win this award until he is 15.  Which, at that point I expect I will be begging him to WAKE -UP instead of begging him to... See photo below.

Yes, this is a real book. You should hear Samuel L. Jackson read it...FUNNY! 
Since my sweet little bundle of non-sleeping joy came into this world, he has been testing the theory that humans need minimal sleep to survive.  Not only has he been testing this theory for babies and now toddlers, but adults as well. So far, the results of the test point to it's true, humans only need minimal sleep to survive. Albeit, we turn into evil psychotic bitchy humans, but, we function nonetheless.

I can hear my bestie, mother of two, telling me that children do not sleep well until they are four. I can hear her saying that because she has been saying it to me since my son was four-months old and showing no signs of sleeping through the night, unlike the rest of the four-month-olds I knew. Silly me, since my son was 6-weeks old I started hoping he would sleep through the night like those BS happy sleeping kid books said.

FYI: Those books were WAY off, because he is two-years and four-months old now, and STILL NOT SLEEPING WELL! MOTHERFU%#&#(@)#!!!!!!

You see, your child will NEVER take the award for world's worst sleeper from my kid, he has been sleeping like shit his entire life, he is a professional.  

Ollie started sleeping through the night when he was about 18-months old.  And by sleeping through the night, I mean, 7:30pm to 5:30/6:00am. Now, at 2 years old, I can count the number of times he has slept past 7am on one hand! Seriously. I blame nursing for the crappy sleep the first half of his life. He would wake up wanting to nurse every couple of hours until he was 18-months. Now, I don't know what the hell his problem is!

The only thing I know for sure about my kid is that, the later he goes to sleep, the earlier he wakes up.   If he goes to sleep between 7:30-8:30 he will sleep until 6:30. If he goes to sleep anytime past 8:30 he wakes up the equivalent before 6:30.  So if he goes to sleep at 9pm, he wakes up at 6am. 10pm bedtime he wakes up at 5am. It's SO maddening! Even when we go to a friends house, and he plays like an animal ALL NIGHT with another child and not leave until 9pm, he will not fall asleep in the car on the way home, he will sit there wide eyed, waiting for his bath and night-time story, and then once asleep at 10pm, still wake up at the ass-crack of dawn (5am) ready to get on with his day.

So again I have to say... You see, your child will NEVER take the award for world's worst sleeper from my kid, he has been sleeping like shit for his entire life, he is a professional.  

So what about naps?  Those are hit or miss, and follow the same rule of sleeping thumb. His nap time is between 12:30-1pm. If he goes down earlier or later, he will only sleep for 45-60 minutes. Randomly, he will sleep for three hours. But on average, he sleeps for about two hours... As long as I sit very still and quietly after the first hour.  That's right, he sleep like the dead the first hour, the next one or two is iffy.

Of course, I have read every sleeping book, consulted his pediatrician, asked friends, family and even strangers on occasion.  It turns out, genetics and sissy parenting are to blame.  FTD and I are not tough on Ollie about sleeping, we never have been.  We did not attempt any form of Cry-It-Out. When our pediatrician recommended putting up a baby gate, we ignored him. When he would wake up at 5am, one of us would get up and play with him. When we were told not to feed him until 7am, we would feed him earlier if he was hungry. Plain and simple, we suck and are to blame for our lack of sleep.

I do have one caveat, we lived in a condo with paper thin walls, so to keep the neighbors from completely hating us, we did what needed to be done to limit the crying. Well, now we live in a house... and it's time for a baby gate... I think... ok, shit, it's not. I CAN'T DO IT!!

I am so afraid of traumatizing this kid. I don't want him to be afraid of sleep, or his room, or me! I also don't think my sanity can last another two years to see if my friends theory about children not sleeping well until four is really true.

And what's sparked all of this is that, for the past two weeks he has been waking up at 5:30am.  It's devastating. He was really sick, so I blamed that, now... I have no idea what his deal is. Ugh. I got nothing, other than my prayers every night that Ollie will sleep until 7am.

What about you?  Do you or did you have a terrible sleeper?  What do/did you do to fix the madness?

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April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Uplifting Families said...

I nursed all of my babies and thankfully they slept through the night around 9months to a year old. I still have good sleepers until this day. I just think some babies are more touchy and want attention or feel secure. My older son slept with me for the longest time.

Layes Landing said...

Same here! We had a few months of blissful sleep, starting around 18 mo. Lately, it's been awakening at 3:30, and just hanging out until about 5am. I can't go back to sleep at 5, so I'm up since 3:30. I can't do the baby-gate thing either. I just want to comfort him as long as he will let me, because I know someday he won't want me to comfort him. He has been a boy (not a baby) for a long time now and matures more every day into a more independent boy. At least he wants mama at 3:30am!

Katie said...

Well, as you know, sleep is what first got us together. :) Will was also always a poor sleeper, especially after the 4 month sleep regression happened. Finally at 11 months he started sleeping through the night, but since about 15 months has been getting up routinely at 5:30. On the rare occasion we will get to 6 or 6:30. But more often it will be 5:00 (or earlier) We had to recently put him in a toddler bed because he learned how to climb out of his crib and would get very angry in there and we were afraid he would fall out and hurt himself. So now naps are basically non existant. He can get up in the middle of the night and come to our room, and he is still up at 5:30.

Tasha said...

I would try near anything(and we have) for my little girl to sleep from 10pm to 5am, let alone 8:30-6:30! She is two and a half now and still sleeps like a 'baby' (2-3 hour chunks). Last night for example she slept for 20 minutes at 9pm, then she slept from 1am-3am after that we were awake until just about 5:30 and she slept from then until just after 8:30am. And that is a very typical night for her, there are worse nights but I can count on one hand, in two and a half years, how many times it's been better. Unfortunately for us it is a very common problem for children with her particular medical issues. And naps are hit and miss with no apparent rhyme or reason. I understand the extreme stress of prolonged sleep deprivation, so I hope your little guy starts sleeping better for you!

cynthia said...

I don't know how much longer i can function on little sleep, but it's been 13 months and so far I am still alive so..
My son doesn't know how to go to sleep himself, without nursing (or being in the car). He will usually go for about 3-4 hours when he first goes down and after that he comes into bed with me and nurse/sleeps the rest of the night until I have to get up for work. His pediatrician told me we need to just make it happen, by which she means let him cry in his crib when he wakes in the night. I just can't bring myself to do that! So, yeah...I feel your pain. I am hoping he figures it out sooner rather than later though because I neeeeeeed some sleeeeeep! I know it's my fault but I just keep hoping his little body will want sleep too, one of these days. hahaha (Laughing at myself!)