The proud mother of an okay sleeper

Parenting / Friday, February 5th, 2016
The Popple loved her cot at first. It didn’t last.

The Popple is a slightly-worse-than-average sleeper, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

She’s slept for up to eight hours in a row at night, but it’s only happened a few times. Usually she sleeps for at least one 4-6 hour stretch, plus a few shorter ones at the beginning of the night and early in the morning. I feed her twice most nights. She has never, ever slept through the entire night without waking.

She takes two naps most days. The morning nap is usually in her cot; the afternoon nap almost never is. She usually needs to be pushed in the buggy or rocked in the carrier for her second nap. Naps tend to last around 45 minutes, though she sometimes sleeps longer.

So why am I so proud of these somewhat acceptable sleeping habits?


We went through about four months where the Popple woke up every 1-2 hours ALL NIGHT. We tried all the things. The pick-up-put-down method. Controlled crying (that REALLY made things worse). Cuddles. Dummies. Feeding. Rocking. Nightlight. No nightlight. Blackout curtains. Toys that played lullabies. Me singing lullabies. Some block thing that projected green stars onto the ceiling. Nothing worked.

For a few months the Popple refused to go in her cot at all, and we resorted to co-sleeping. I spent many uncomfortable nights curled up on the edge of the bed, because the Popple sprawls out pretty spectacularly for a wee thing. The nights were long and the days were even longer, when my head always felt fuzzy, like it was stuffed with cotton wool.

And then, just like that, she started sleeping. Kind of.

I don’t think my husband and I had much to do with it. It was as though she just decided one day that she was finally going to have a go at this whole sleeping thing, and bless her, she’s trying. She’s just not that great at it. To be fair, neither am I, and I’ve had 30-plus years of practice.

(Popple, I’d like to apologise in advance if you’ve inherited by habit of waking up at 3am to re-run awkward conversations from several years ago in my head so I can feel weird about them all over again.)

But she sleeps for more than two hours at a time, mostly. She goes into her cot without protest at night and sometimes naps there during the day. I no longer have to share my bed with a squirmy, farting baby.

It feels like winning.

16 Replies to “The proud mother of an okay sleeper”

  1. It’s so tough when they just don’t sleep. We had almost a year of all the things you mentioned above, and one day something clicked (after lots of tears) thank the sleep gods! Co-sleeping was our biggest annoyance…super wriggling and once I got two fingers hooked up my nose. I’m pleased you’ve got your bed back 🙂

  2. It absolutely sounds like winning to me!!! I’m so happy for you that it just got better. And one day it will just get better again. And one day Popple will be a teenager and she’ll sleep and sleep and sleep. I love this post, your life sounds like mine. And that picture is beyond adorable!! #abitofeverything

  3. Woohoo for average sleeping! They string it out til you just don’t think you can take it anymore and then cut you a break #FartGlitter

  4. I could have written this blog post myself, we were going through the exact same thing at 4 months that lasted right through to 6 months. It’s exhausting isn’t it? I now feel like we have turned a corner, and she goes to sleep at night with little protest. The daytime naps need work, but we are getting there slowly. I hope she continues to sleep for you. Claire x #abitofeverything

  5. It is definitely a step forward – yay! That’s pretty decent, I would say. I’m sure sleeping through will come soon enough! She’s absolutely adorable! Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

  6. I’m with Helen, I’m so happy for you. Don’t you start to feel a little human again after more than 2 hours sleep? Getting them out your bed is the hardest part. My wrists are in agony for sleeping funny as not to roll onto little monkey. Fingers crossed your little one decides a full nights sleep is what she needs. #bestandworst

    Renee @peonieandme

  7. […] Sleepless nights and dirty nappies may sound like dull writing subjects compared to sex robots and swearing corpses, but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Days out that involve nothing but walking back and forth in front of a shopping centre and waving at dogs? Watching videos of frogs singing in Spanish? Going almost a year without a full night’s sleep? […]

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