Remember when your baby used to wake up in the night? And remember when everyone reassured you they’d start sleeping through soon? Yep, that never happened …
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Instead, if your toddler or child still has disrupted sleep you are officially a member of the knackered parents club.
And, if it’s any comfort, there’s quite a few of you in there.
According to The Children’s Sleep Charity,around 40% of children have issues with their sleep at some point.
There is a sliver of good news though – it might feel like it but those night wakings won’t last forever.
And while they do, here’s a lighthearted look at 13 things all parents know if their child is a sleep thief.
Being sleep deprived in the summer is easy thanks to the mahoosive sunglasses you wear to cover your eye bags.
But it’s not so easy on a dreary autumn morning. And with no sunnies, be prepared for lots of well-meaning friends asking if you’re okay.
Mention the fact your child is a bad sleeper and, hey presto, the person you’re talking to will always have their own tried-and-tested sleep tip.
From giving your child a sleep-inducing banana before bed to changing their routine, there’s nothing you haven’t tried.
But at least you can have a little shut eye as they share their advice in great detail.
No matter that it’s you who gets up in the night when your child wakes up, your partner will stillcomplain about how tired they are.
Controlled crying, gradual retreat … there are so many sleep training techniques recommended by the experts. And for some, there's some seriously divided opinions out there.
If only you weren’t so knackered, you might have the energy to try them.
Monday? Saturday? Who the hell knows.
After endless nights of disrupted sleep, you feel in a constant state of brain fog. You even got more sleep pregnant.
Which also explains why you’ve lost the car keys (again) and only shaved one armpit.
Aah, remember when bedtime was a simple matter of slipping your PJs on and merrily snoring away until the morning?
Not any more.
If your child wakes up in the night, you spend a big part of your day worrying about how much sleep you’ll lose that night.
We’ve got lots of tips here for helping your child sleep.
You've done the sleep maths and it totally doesn't add up ...
You + no sleep = extremely irritated all day.
Your child + no sleep = full of beans, running around without a care in the world.
Honestly, you wish you knew their secret.
It’s a given that, on the rare nights your child does sleep through, you still wake up anyway. Repeatedly. And then you just have to pop in and check they're still breathing.
You’re sure that’s because your child has reset your body clock to all the times they normally wake.
Circadian rhythms, REM, waking cycles … if it’s anything to do with sleep, you’ve Googled it.
You’re actually impressed with your knowledge about those elusive Zzz’s.
Just a shame none of your know-how is actually working.
Your child has woken up, you’ve had a cuddle and they are now happily sleeping again. You, on the other hand, are wide awake.
May as well catch up on your WhatsApp messages and Facebook feed.
Fingers crossed your mates have their notifications turned off.
You’re not the only one who has a child with sleep issues.
Instead, you find yourself getting smiles of solidarity from parents with eye bags even bigger than yours (yep, they do exist and that does include us)!
If only you weren’t all so shattered, you’d love to have a chat. In the meantime, why not talk to other mums in our Netmums forum.
What is it about no sleep making you more emotional.
You know it's bad when even Homes Under The Hammer sets you off!
As hard as it is when your child continually wakes up in the night – and it really is – one day soon they WILL sleep.
And until that day comes, grab all the help (and the weekend lie-ins) you can.
How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7 is a must-read for parents. See more details here at Amazon.
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