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I Understand The Guys That Wrote "Go The F*ck To Sleep"

By Beth Anne Ballance |

3am, camped out on his floor with dry cereal and toys.

As I’ve said before, we have been having sleep issues with Harrison for a few weeks. It’s been drama and exhaustion in our home as we are all running on 2-hour spurts of sleep, including the toddler.

Toddler without sleep = bear waking up from hibernation. ANGRY, I tell you.

My husband was trudging through the work day, I was living off coffee, and our normally obedient and sweet-natured child turned into a defiant hurricane of two. We felt short on tempers and started pointing fingers as to who was to who was to blame for this lack of REM cycle. I was in tears every night at 3am, stuck to the rocking chair with a toddler that screamed anger every time I even attempted to move him back to the crib.

We realized that our toddler held all the power in our home over sleep, and therefore over our moods. That had to change immediately.

We tried bringing him to our bed, but he is less keen on snuggles and more interested in how he could get Curious George on the television. (Also? Ninja kicks from the toddler to his momma’s face. Ouch!) My husband spent more nights out of our bed and on the toddler’s floor trying to convince him to have a “sleepover” or a “camp out,” but no dice. I spent hours rocking him, thankful for the quiet moments together but dreading 7am. We tried warm milk and back rubs and none of it worked. NONE OF IT.

So I dusted off my old Ferber book, got the stopwatch on my iPhone ready, and we began sleep-training our 27 month old two nights ago. We did a few other things, like turning off his light at the source and removing all toys from his room, just to give us all the best chance possible at this technique working.

What surprised me a bit is the (albeit few) commentors on my blog that suggested we just “ride it out” and that it was a phase. BY GOD, THIS IS PARENTING AND YOU SIGNED UP FOR IT, their comments imply. I understand that I signed up for sleepless nights and hard times with parenting. But I really hate the idea that parenting also comes with the acceptance of pure exhaustion and abuse.

What we decided to do is entirely up to us for what works best for OUR family. If rocking your toddler to sleep every night at 3am works for you, then YOU GO MOMMA! Rock that baby! Work that updo! (name that skit!) For us, our little boy operates best on 8 hours of straight sleep minimum, so I feel it’s my job as his momma to teach him how to get there.

It works for us, the way rocking and snuggling in the bed works for you. Check it and respect it.

P.S. The first night he was up 2.5 hours. Last night, he was up 25 minutes. We’re hoping for an uninterrupted night’s sleep soon!

Beth Anne writes words & takes pictures on The Heir to Blair.
You can also find her on the TwittersFacebook.

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About Beth Anne Ballance


Beth Anne Ballance

Beth Anne Ballance is a born and bred Southern Belle, blogging at okay, ba and using words and pictures to celebrate the challenges of motherhood and the joy of life. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Read bio and latest posts → Read Beth Anne's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “I Understand The Guys That Wrote "Go The F*ck To Sleep"

  1. Kyla says:

    Good luck. Sleep issues are the worst. My son (now 5) took a long time (2 1/2 yrs I think…it’s all sort of blurry) to get to sleeping through the night and whenever there were big changes (moving, new baby, new bed) he always stopped. It took time, but he got back to sleeping through the night. We had issues with him being up for a couple hours in the night last year. I think because of adjusting to going to preschool 5 afternoons a week.
    My daughter is the same age as Harrison and I’m still waiting for consistent sleeping through the night. I’m hoping that when these 2 year molars are done then sleep will be better.
    There isn’t a cookie cutter answer for fixing sleep isssues. It is different for every kid and every family. My fingers are crossed that you get a good sleep tonight.

  2. Rose's Daughter says:

    Good Luck! We are in the same predicament in our house and just about at wits end. We tried rocking him back to sleep, but all he wants to do really is come in our bed. And THAT is NOT working. My toddler acts like he is in the fight of his life during his sleep cycles and Mommy and Daddy are casualties hanging on to the edge of the bed,bruised and battered at the end of the night. I’ve been avoiding crying it out, but I’m almost open to anything now.

  3. CDN Mummy says:

    I’m with you! Our son has to adapt to our life not the other way around and he to is a monster on not enough sleep. Of course we are not hard asses on everything but if it’s about something that is important to us, like sleep (and brushing his teeth), than yes I stick to my guns. I can’t stand commentors that judge you bloggers without really knowing you or the situation. They should just not read the articles that offend them. I don’t read certain bloggers for a reason because not much good comes out of commenting negatively.

  4. Megan says:

    Heck, I’m all for sleep training at 2! Mine has been having a lot of nightmares so he’s been in our bed often lately (and my husband once ended up on the floor!)
    It’s not only what is good for the kid (which is sleping better) it’s what good for you so you can be a good parent. Which would be sleep ;)
    Hope it keeps improving!

  5. Shannon says:

    We have been doing this for a few weeks now…and its getting better….our Developmental Pediatrician suggested that we try the ferber method with less rocking and getting him more used to sleep on his own. Sleeping issues are hard enough with a kid who has autism and so we want to remedy any issues as soon as possible. As our dev, ped. would say, you are teaching him that you have confidence that he can sleep on his own, but also that you will be there if he really really needs you. its all good to me!

  6. Kit says:

    If I didn’t have children or a job I would go to bed at 1am every night and get up at 10. But, unfortunately, the world is not on my schedule so I force myself to climb into bed every night at 11 (okay 11:30, darn Twitter!) and set my alarm clock.

    You and Harrison need to figure out what works for him and you. Good for you for taking charge!

  7. Valerie says:

    Sometimes the healthiest thing for our kid is the hardest for the parent to implement. I think this is one of those cases. Sleep is sooo important!

    Sometimes, in my very personal opinion, I think people take the easy route by NOT addressing the sleep issues.

    Hope that makes sense.

    Good job, mama! For doing what you feel is good for you & H.

  8. Christina says:

    this has been riding on my mind since I read about your struggles, so I am commenting here since the blog post is like 10000000 deep.

    One last ditch thought.. this one is going to make you mad. LOL

    have you tried (dun dun dun) eliminating all TV? I noticed my kids are straight up pulverizing each other after sitting for 20 minutes watching something as benign as little bear. So. I just wanted to toss that idea out there. Take simba and mcqueen and the man in the yellow hat and let them all collect some dust. See if it helps. You might be insanely surprised that the TV (while obviously not in his room or even being watched at bedtime) is overstimulating his brain and carrying over into his non-sleep.

  9. Danielle says:

    We went through this when our older daugher was around 2.5 years old. We moved to a new house, and she suddently started screaming when we put her in her crib. She spent a few weeks falling asleep in our bed, and us moving her after she was already asleep. Then, I decided to get a queen size futon mattress, which we put on the floor, and laid down to sleep with her. That worked like a charm. Maybe he’s ready to be done with the crib? Though, our daughter didn’t wake up for budge once she was asleep, which was very fortunate for us.

  10. Selena Mae says:

    We are in the exact same sitch. Yo go mama.

  11. Rebecca says:

    You do whatever you need to do to get that little monster to sleep. (I say that with all the affection in the world :) ). If my son started that No-Sleep-Till-Brooklyn routine again, I’d be doing exactly the same thing. So let the naysayers be all righteous. You are doing what you feel is best for your little family and that’s all that matters.

  12. Colleen Kunze says:

    First of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that little book. I found it when I was seriously sleep deprived and laughed my butt off. It was SO true. My son is now five and makes it (most nights) from 8:00-4:00, at which time he crawls into our bed and falls back asleep until about 6:30. It was not always so . . . he didn’t sleep through the night until he was 10 months old and then it was only on good nights. He slept in our bed from two years old until four years old because it was the only way anyone (and I guess I mean him because he just kicked the crap out of us every night) could get ANY sleep. At four I finally got my head on straight and said “ENOUGH!” We bought a cool set of bunks with even cooler ($400) bedding that he picked out. Then we started the tough love – telling him that he HAD to stay in that bed that we spent a small fortune on. It was tough and we had a lot of tears (half from him and half from me) but now we are at a place that we can all live with. I wish I would have stood up to him a couple of years ago and not had to deal with being sleep deprived for so long.

  13. Alicia Turskey says:

    I hope your sleep training journey went well. So far I have been blessed and the sleep training I did with my boys at 7-8 months has stuck. I have a 27 month old and a 12 month old in the same room. The 12 month old sleeps 7:15p-7am and the 27 month old gets put in bed at 8, I know he’s awake (quietly) reading or playing till 9ish and gets up at 7a with the little one. You really just have to do works for you and your family. Forget the judgemental people out there!

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