I Think I’m Failing, Please Help

In Motherhood, Parenting, Uncategorized by Jen25 Comments

I sit here at my computer screen exhausted and worn out, so here goes my plea out to the great internet and beyond. I think I’m failing, please help!

Having raised, 3 children already past babyhood, I kind of felt like I had this whole baby thing down, it’s not easy, but one can survive it. Then my baby Anneliese came. She is now almost 18 months old and since birth has not slept for longer than 2 hour stretches ever, EVER!

During the day she is a normal toddler, playing, eating, causing trouble, but at night we have become accustomed in this house to a certain type of torture.

I have always strictly enforced bedtime and so she goes to bed between 7 and 8 p.m. Then is up every 2 hours for the rest of the night. I have tried it all. The cry it out method does not work as at 9 months she figured out how to propel herself out of her crib and fling her body to the floor. She likes her father just fine during the day, but at night will scream longer and louder when he goes to get her.

This is how most nights end up, with her in the middle of our bed and the rest of us having to get up for work and school. Oh, and yes that is a sticker stuck to her belly button.

Did I say I was exhausted? That is the understatement of the century, I am frazzled, my bones hurt, I want to lay down and sleep in the grocery store, at the park, I think I am developing narcolepsy. I hear stories of other people’s children sleeping for 12 hours and it makes me jealous.

I think I need Super Nanny! Please help! What have you tried that works?



  1. Oh god my heart goes out to you and I had colic with my first and seriously didn’t sleep a whole night through for almost 2 years. I thanked god everyday that even though my two girls are 16 months apart my younger daughter was a good sleeper from the get go. And yet about a year ago, she started to climb into bed with us during the night. I was letting this happen and go on, when finally about 2 weeks ago, I took her out of my bed and let her scream for 2 hours before she fell back to sleep in her bed. Now, since then she has been staying put in her own bed sleeping through the night for the most part. So, I say try letting her cry it out longer and see. Sorry if that sounded lame, but it worked here.
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  2. That’s really hard. 18 months without a full nights sleep is terrible. Exhaustion probably barely covers it. Does she sleep all night in your bed? Maybe you could try moving her into a bed in her room. Then, if everything is baby proofed in there, maybe just let her cry it out longer? Without the danger of her getting out of her crib, maybe you’d feel more comfortable letting her ride it out? I hope it gets better soon!!
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    1. Author

      Thanks Marie, I told my husband yesterday that I thought my body was starting to shut down, my hair is falling out and the bags under my eyes really can’t get any bigger. That’s what our cuties to do us, right?

      Usually she ends up in bed with one of us mid -night and the other parent vacates the bed, but last night we made her crib into a toddler bed. Now she can’t fling herself on the floor and kill or maim herself and we have a plan, here’s to hoping it works!
      Jen recently posted…Man-day Post: Canning your SPAMMy Profile

  3. Ugh, I’m so sorry, Jen!

    I’ve only had one child, so I know I don’t have any advice to give. Our daughter has always been a crap sleeper.

    I will say that although she never naps, she will at least give us between 8-10 hours overnight now. That isn’t to say that she doesn’t wake up, turn on her reading light and “read” herself back to sleep, but that she has stopped calling for us. This is a relatively new thing – she’s 32 months now and she started sleeping without interrupting us at 29 months.

    Wow – that wasn’t supposed to make you more depressed because I know it’s a long way from 18 to 29 months! I think I’ll not try helping anymore… :)

    I’ve been a walking zombie and can’t imagine it with having to manage other kiddos, let alone a blog! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you’re doing an awesome job, Jen!
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    1. Author

      YAY, another parent with a crap sleeper! I am not alone! Someone at church today told me all of her babies slept through the night from birth. My husband thinks it is revisionist history as we tend to block/try to forget all of the sleep chaos our babies bring us.

      Last night we moved her into a toddler bed and interestingly it was one of the best nights she has had. I think she didn’t like feeling caged in her crib. she woke up at 2 am and we did the put back to bed method and it moderately worked, but I have hope that if we stick with it we can all be sleeping well here soon!
      Jen recently posted…Man-day Post: Canning your SPAMMy Profile

  4. Jen,

    You can do it! You are NOT failing. There is hope– one of these days she’ll be in her own room and this agonizing stage will feel like it just flew by. We went through similar agony with our first two boys and are in the throes with our third, but the best thing I can say is that they do grow out of it.

    If you figure out the magic solution, please do let me know though!

    Best of luck,

    P.S. You deserve a cookie.
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    1. Author

      Can I tell you happy it makes me to know others have the same sleep problems, not that I’d wish this on anyone. Just knowing though that other parents are dealing with this is comforting. When I tell people about how bad it is, I usually get the response that all of their babies slept through the night from birth….

      A friend in Canada told me I should try gripe water, which they have used on babies for years. After reading about it, I saw that it has alcohol in it, A LOT of alcohol! I guess if our new put to bed method doesn’t work, I could just go get some whiskey (j/k).

      Thanks for your kind words!
      Jen recently posted…Man-day Post: Canning your SPAMMy Profile

  5. She’s beautiful.
    You’re not failing. LIFE is failing with its imperfect things, like nausea during pregnancy and sleeplessness during having children.
    Now that we got that out of the way.
    I’d be curious to read what works. My kids are big sleepers, which I think they inherited from me because I slept through an earthquake and a gunpowder plant explosion once.
    I hope this gets better for you fast.
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    1. Author

      Thanks Tamara. We have a plan and started phase 1 last night and we had some success. I’ll keep you posted!

      A gunpowder plant explosion, no joke?? Have you blogged about this experience?

      I have one child who is a heavy sleeper, she is my favorite child :) My oldest is a night owl and always has been, when the baby is bigger I think they will become roommates!
      Jen recently posted…Man-day Post: Canning your SPAMMy Profile

  6. My kids are pretty good night sleepers, too. Not by anything I’ve done. They just like sleeping, I guess. Sooooooooo I wish I have advice to give but alas I do not. Do you have a king size bed? If not, I would suggest you definitely get one of those, so at least for the time being you can still have maybe some space :) Would she sleep like in your room in a porta crib or something? Or maybe she would just be insulted by that. What about maybe you get her a toddler bed and then start sleeping with her in her bed till she gets used to sleeping in her room in her bed. Maybe start sleeping with her in her bed and then the after a few nights make yourself a bed on the floor and each night inch it closer and closer to the door. Or sneak out in the middle of the night. Maybe? Good luck, Jen!!!

    1. Author

      So last night we switched her crib into a toddler bed and began the put to sleep method and we actually had some success, we still have quite a ways to go, but I am feeling at least like the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t all busted and broken!

      Hoping for good things tonight!
      Jen recently posted…Man-day Post: Canning your SPAMMy Profile

  7. I wish I could help you but I can’t, mine were relatively good sleepers through the night, with the exception of our daughter staying awake till daddy came home from work, but even then she would go to sleep. All I can say is it does get better and they do grow out of it. You can do it!
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  8. You are not failing, Jen! I was always so jealous of those moms who had babies who slept 12 hours a night too. My kids were terrible sleepers. I feel your pain although mine was a very long time ago. Trust me, these days will not last forever, but I know that doesn’t help much now :). She is so precious laying there sleeping, sticker and all! I’m glad to see from your other comments things are improving. Hang in there!
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      Thanks for your kind words Candace, I think one of the hardest things as a parent is to reach out and ask for help when you are feeling lost, at least it is for me. It was good for me to do this and it really got me motivated to try again and make things work for our family.
      Jen recently posted…Man-day Post: Canning your SPAMMy Profile

  9. How’s the new sleep method going, Jen? My girls were both terrible sleepers. I wrote in a blog back then, but there’s no way I couldn’t maintained it to the extent that you’re doing with all your stuff. I was just exhausted and depressed from that! So although you may see yourself as zombified, I see you as superwoman so kudos to you!
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      You are too sweet, seriously. No Superwoman am I, you should have seen the wreck I was this weekend. I have never been so very tired in my life, all of the sleeplessness just compiled and it was brutal. Luckily we are having some success. I am so excited about the progress. Yay for sleep!
      Jen recently posted…Reclaiming Sleep In Our HouseMy Profile

  10. Oh my goodness, I could cry for you. I don’t do well with lack of sleep. In fact, I become super crap mommy. My first was a fabulous sleeper… my second was awful. At about 10 months I broke and decided to sleep train her. I initiated regular rest times, strict before bed routines (including a snack to fill her up) and put her to bed at the EXACT same time every night. I put a sound machine in her room so that she would always have steady white noise to mask any other neighbourhood noises (i.e. cats in heat.)

    If she cried and fussed 2-3 hours in, we would not go to her for at least 5-10 minutes and then every week we increased that amount incrementally (the idea being we wanted her to learn how to soothe herself back to sleep). Realistically though, when we cracked the whip on ourselves and initiated these changes, she was sleeping through the night within a month.

    Big hugs my friend. You’re not a failure. You need sleep… I hear you.

    Praying you all get your sleep soon.
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…Creating A Play Area That Blends With The Local EnvironmentMy Profile

  11. The stories of babies who sleep 12-13 hours always made me break, too! I’ve tried everything to get Baby to sleep longer, but 9 hours tends to be his sweet spot. When 2 hour stretches is the best you’ll get, I’m sure 9 sounds like heaven, but I still feel a little cheated out of 12!

    Check out Alexis and her awesome blog Troublesome Tots (www.troublesometots.com). She’s my personal angel. <3
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  12. We use a fan for white noise if that helps…

    Our bedtime routine:
    Bath (every other nightish)
    Bedtime diaper and jammies with jammie song.
    2-3 short {board} books
    Lights off
    Song while pacing (and burping)
    Song while pacing (and burping)
    Into the crib.
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      And he falls asleep with that? Man oh man am I jealous. I had one toddler/baby that would do that, but all of the rest have been tough. Come to think of it, it was my boy that this worked on, the girls were soo much tougher!
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