Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stop Bragging About Your Sleeping Child

My children are terrible sleepers. I don't what it is, but they just don't enjoy shutting their eyes and moving to dreamland. Maybe they feel as if they're missing out on something terribly exciting. They're not. I can assure them of that. Actually, I can't assure either of them of that, because if I could, they would listen and go to sleep.

I have to say, one of the worst things that I've encountered as a parent, that goes into the category of unsolicited advice and comments, is the parents who tell me all about how wonderfully their children sleep.

This one goes out to you people, the ones with sleeping children. Here goes:

If I tell you that my four year-old can't wind down and fall asleep at night, I do not want to hear about how your child slept through the night at three days old. What I want is for you to emphathize with my situation, tell me how hard it must be, and then maybe if I ask for it, or seem open to it, offer some practical advice about how I might get him to actually sleep.

Should I mention to you my 18 month old, who is teething and doesn't want to be put down at night, my baby, who screams if I'm not holding her every second of every day, I don't want to hear about how independent you kid is, and how he can entertain himself all day long while you run errands at Target. I want you to give me a hug, and tell me it's a phase. Tell me she's going to sleep some day in the future.

I don't want you to tell me how awesome of a sleeper your child is. I don't want you to tell me what I'm doing wrong. I don't want you to be a judgmental asshole.

Get a hold of yourself. You're probably A) Lying about your baby's sleep habits or B) A narcissist who has no empathy or C) An alien.

Thank you. Now give me a hug and watch my kids so I can take a nap.

I apologize for any typos in this post, I'm sleep deprived and I'm not fixing them. SO THERE!


  1. Actually, the truth is that as a baby my first child slept very well at night. That changed as she got older and couldn't wind down to sleep, but at three months she slept through the night under her own steam. I was all smug and stuff. Then I had another child, who still only sleeps through the night about half the time at almost four years old. He doesn't wake up to eat now or anything, but he doesn't spend the whole night in his own bed either.

    My point is that these people may have great sleepers - but it really has a whole lot more to do with their kids than themselves. They may find themselves eating crow with their next kid, just as I did.

    1. That's what's happening now! Samara does not want to go to sleep at all. And yeah, I hope those people eat their words.

  2. The only thing i know for sure (and i only have one so far, so what do i know, really?) Is that EVERYTHING is a phase . It will pass! Lilah has been both a good sleeper and a bad sleeper and it seems to be purely developmental.

    And also: when if comes to yourkid and their sleep, your choices personal. Whether you choose to share a bed, sleep train, cry it out, what have you. You have to do what works for you and your family.

    1. See? Seel! That's what I'm talking about! That actually makes me feel better.

  3. OMG! I was just about to lecture you and Theo called me from his room insisting I lie down with him. Seriously, he has slept well since he was 22 months until this evening. Clearly, you are to blame.


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