No One Gives A Sh*t Your Three Year Old Doesn’t Sleep

When you bring a brand new human into the world, everyone makes allowances for you. Forgetting to text back, not getting out of your PJs by midday, constantly looking like crap – it’s fine, you’ve got a newborn! If you are crazy enough to have twins, then people make HUGE allowances for your state of permanent zombie-fication and the fact you are barely coherent for the first year. But you see, as each year passes people’s sympathy wanes and I have found right now, that quite frankly no one gives a give that your three-year old doesn’t sleep.

We won’t sleep EVER

In fact, people look at you like you’re a pretty crap parent! When I rock up on the school run with eye bags, that are now so deeply ingrained I look poised to spring into Halloween action sans face paint at any given opportunity, everyone wonders why. You see my twin daughters are now three years and seven months old and go to nursery for three hours every afternoon. Instantly, I have been propelled into this “lucky cow” status as I get a few hours to myself. They’re growing up, gaining independent “soon be out of your hair” Hooray I feel like saying on crap days, but in reality, I’m shattered.

My kids don’t sleep.

Yep, my pair who are due to start SCHOOL in September rarely wake up in their own beds. I genuinely cannot remember the last time where I woke up and wasn’t hanging off the edge OF A SUPER KING SIZED BED with two monkeys laying horizontally and kicking out like the karate kid every few minutes. I wake exhausted, but no one really cares anymore. I have given up moaning now because a) who wants to hear it b) people constantly offer me advice c) look down their noses at our wild routine. But that’s just it, we have a really good routine.

Bath, book, bed. By 7.30pm everyone is asleep. Granted, I sit on their floor reading out loud until they drift off but that for me is actually quite nice to be there whilst they drift off. But you can bet your life that come midnight, someone will be creeping across the landing and sneaking into my bed. In a permanent state of tiredness, a humongous bed and a husband that works away I don’t often realise that someone has got in until I feel a swift crack across the chest as they start wriggling about. In a daze, I can’t always summon the energy to take them back into their own bed.

Three years, seven months. I never imagined my kids still wouldn’t sleep through in their own beds. It’s expected of small babies and young toddlers but it’s not really spoken about as they get older as people jump to conclusion. Just as with a small baby, if you get one that sleeps you are given an imaginary perfect parent crown; I know because my son slept through pretty much from 6-7 weeks old. I used to wonder why the hell people found parenting hard work. He sleeps, it’s simple! Man, do I hate first baby me. All smug with no eye bags and waking refreshed as I sprung out of bed – what a cow! But it’s true. People used to ask me for tips on how to get their baby to sleep. Funnily enough, no one asks me this time round. Just pitiful and snooty glances.

I should have sorted it out by now is what I reckon people think. I have honestly tried EVERYTHING but P1 especially is not one for sleeping. She never has been. From a tiny baby, she was always so much harder to get to sleep and to stay asleep. Her twin like now slept much easier and longer, but I think she’s often disturbed by her sister moving about.

I have resigned myself to the fact that this is it for now. It won’t happen forever and whilst co-sleeping at this age really isn’t my ideal, it’s what is happening. I’m hoping one day I won’t wake up exhausted and people will realise that getting your kid to sleep just isn’t always that easy! I know I may moan and you probably think I’m doing it all wrong.

All I seem to do is moan; the past four years moan moan moan and I am sick of hearing myself do it. I know people don’t have much sympathy for parents of a three year old who doesn’t sleep – just give me an extra wide berth in a morning! I have come to the conclusion however that no one really give a sh*t if your three year old isn’t sleeping probably because they have a kid that doesn’t sleep either or have had one that hasn’t. It’s hard, but parenting is hard. Time for me to pull my socks on, grab some serious tinted moisturiser and crack on with it, because before I know it they’ll be teenagers going out all hours giving me no sleep for a very different reason!!

B xx

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26 Comments

  1. 20th January 2017 / 7:41 am

    My pair were terrible sleepers as well. The eldest is 8 and struggles to get to sleep, she’s up and down sometimes until 10/11pm, and then is often through to me in the night. The youngest is 5 and he nods off like a pro, but again we often see him in the night. I would say 5 out of 7 nights I am woken at least once by them!

  2. 20th January 2017 / 7:51 am

    Aww I give a sh@t. I reckon the tiredness from school in September might help. It worked here. Lots of love (and sleep
    Vibes)

  3. 20th January 2017 / 10:28 am

    Hopefully they’ll get into a great sleeping pattern soon x

  4. Helen Moulden
    20th January 2017 / 11:59 am

    Oh no! Fingers crossed they get into a normal sleeping pattern this year. You have my sympathy at least!

  5. 20th January 2017 / 2:46 pm

    My 6 year old was such a rubbish sleeper, right till he started school. Then I think he was just so tired that he started sleeping mostly good nights. Then we had a baby, who’s now 1, and he doesn’t sleep either. Le sigh. I’m hoping he’ll sleep by 4. *twitch twitch*

  6. A S,Edinburgh
    20th January 2017 / 6:19 pm

    This is a really important subject, I think. There’s so much unfair judgement out there. Thanks for talking about it, I’m sure that’ll help other people in similar situations a lot.

  7. Emma Walton
    20th January 2017 / 8:25 pm

    I love the title of this post because it’s sooo true!

  8. Margaret
    20th January 2017 / 9:33 pm

    Dont put yourself down -many people are in the same boat but not as open as you
    My friend had a child who slept 4 hours at night and half an hour during the day -shes 17 now and spending all day in bed
    It will work itself out -xxx

  9. 21st January 2017 / 4:09 am

    When mine were small I actually used to say to myself, ‘I’m sure teenager’s don’t do this’ in a desperate attempt to reassure myself it couldn’t last forever. And sure enough by the time they are teenagers you have switched to a battle to try to get them OUT of bed lol…. Such is parenthood x

  10. William Gould
    21st January 2017 / 8:31 am

    Yes, school will help. Is there anything you can do to tire them out more? Something involving a lot of running around at about tea time?
    I find a big difference in my sleep when I spend all day sat at a computer (restless) and when I spend all day digging in the garden (deep sleep)!

  11. Carly Belsey
    21st January 2017 / 4:20 pm

    I feel your pain, my daughter is 2 and is the same! Some people have 6 month olds who sleep through, they do not realise how lucky they are

  12. Sarah Corbett
    22nd January 2017 / 9:19 am

    I have a similar problem. My 3 (soon to be 4 year old) gets up several times in the night, and likes to waken around 5.30am!

  13. 22nd January 2017 / 9:20 am

    I totally share your pain. My four year old doesn’t sleep and never has done. She now wakes the 9 month old with her night time antics, bloody nightmare! But like you say, it won’t be forever and one day I’ll miss the days she needed me to cuddle her. We really must upgrade to a bigger bed though!

  14. Kelly leigh
    22nd January 2017 / 11:17 am

    Try getting someone to listen when your 4 year old autistic son sleeps 3 hours a night if your lucky. No one listens no one cares it’s not their child. Nothing to do with routine either he just doesn’t sleep even with melatonin.

  15. 22nd January 2017 / 12:54 pm

    Ha ha – are you me? You’ve summed my life up in one blog post there. At work now they know to let me have my coffee and then I’ll start to function (kind of) normally. We just have to keep going and it’s lovely to know we’re not on our own xx

  16. 22nd January 2017 / 12:57 pm

    Totally feel for you, I’ve about had enough of rubbish sleep 19 months in! I won’t offer any advice as I too have tried everything and I think it’s sort of up to them now and doing it when they’re ready! Fingers crossed they’ll turn the corner soon. x

  17. Bev
    22nd January 2017 / 1:32 pm

    I know it’s serious but you made me laugh so hard!

  18. joanne casey
    24th January 2017 / 8:52 am

    You poor thing, I remember when I just never had a full nights sleep for years, I used to really resent it but my two are teenagers now and its a distant memory…it does get better in the end!!

  19. 24th January 2017 / 7:35 pm

    Bless you, I so hope it gets easier! My 23 month old doesn’t sleep, never has done really but the past couple of months have been hell on earth!
    I keep on hoping it will get better, I am SO tired but just expected to carry on because I should be ‘used to it by now’. I guess I am but my word, I’m exhausted in every sense of the word.

  20. Deborah Mackenzie
    24th January 2017 / 8:07 pm

    I totally understand. It is not easy to through and I can never understand those who titter and look down at someone that is having a hard time.
    You ARE doing it right, and if they come to you bed, so what, if they keep you awake go to their bed – I did many nights just to sleep through.
    It will happen and it will be when you least expect it.

  21. 24th January 2017 / 10:10 pm

    I hope it becomes easier for you … as one poster did say that once they start school it will be fine 🙂

  22. 25th January 2017 / 3:06 pm

    I too have a nearly four year old who wakes more times than a newborn. Every hour or less. It’s exhausting. Yet my two year very rarely wakes! Nobody cares or sympathises. It’s like you’re expected to have just got used to very little sleep each night/week/month/year. I’m hoping one day, she’ll just sleep!

  23. maria hackett
    26th January 2017 / 7:46 pm

    oh no!! hope they get into a normal sleeping pattern soon. My twines are 14 month old and so far they sleep through the nigh, fingers crossed

  24. 6th February 2017 / 3:53 pm

    This is so true! I am not going to say I hope they sleep soon, because they may not do, and I’m definitely not going to give any advice, as I can’t get mine to sleep either!
    So, all I am going to say is, you are rocking the eye bags all with the rest of us with kids who don’t sleep!

  25. 11th February 2017 / 10:05 pm

    I could have written this. Mine don’t sleep either and you are right, people make exceptions when you have a newborn but my 2 year old sleeps no better than when she was a newborn, she probably sleeps worse and I’m just expected to be back to normal. So tired.

  26. alice lightning
    5th March 2017 / 11:17 pm

    I,ve had 4 children apart from 3 of them one didn’t hardly sleep throughtout the night and was always full of beans in the day sometimes I was really worn out ,but now I look back it was memories you keep and maybe not now but you will later on in years smile and think about all the adventures you had bringing them up from babies toddlers to adulthood