My daughter has always slept about as well as somebody who decides it’s a good idea to snort ten pounds of cocaine before bedtime. I’ve never really cared and it’s never particularly bothered me because I’m pretty sure this is how 90% of babies sleep (or don’t sleep). If your baby sleeps like a corpse than GOOD ON YOU AND YOUR UNICORN CHILD. You will probably learn NOTHING from this blog. But for the other eleventy-thousand parents out there with children who think sleep is for the dead, this is for you.
Now I am CLEARLY not an expert on getting my child to sleep. CLEARLY. Because she’s only just started sleeping (mostly) through the night and she’s nearing two. So if anything I would disregard this entire blog, give me the finger and continue about your day. BUT if you’re a pussy bitch like I am, can’t stand the sound of your child crying, is in no rush to get your kid out of your bed, can survive on 20 minutes of sleep in a week and you also only have one child (so you can indulge in these luxuries) than I MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE SOME TIPS FOR YOU.
Please don’t take anything I say as Bible, because what works for one person and one family most likely does not work for ANYBODY ELSE. Yes! That’s the beauty of living in a world full of individuals. You may think you know how you’re going to parent BUT you may not (probably won’t) end up with the Shirley Temple you had envisioned in your head. There’s a really bloody good chance you’ll end up with the Miley Cyrus who cut all of her hair off and dry-humped Robin Thicke at the MTV Awards. I’m pretty sure that’s what has happened to me anyway. I never imagined myself parenting a daughter with more attitude than a cornered possum. Yet here I am! And full disclosure, I LOVE IT. Every time she sasses me (every five minutes or so) I just yell YAS QUEEN YOU RUN THAT COMPANY. I’ve spent most of my life being a push-over so I’m all about Maddie being a fucking boss bitch.
ANYWAY, enough about how much of a fucking legend my daughter is. And instead let’s talk about how I got her off my boob, into her own bed (for the first 20 minutes of the night) and sleeping through the night. I’d like to begin by saying I NEVER thought this day would come. Less than a month ago I never thought I would be writing a success story blog. I honestly am pinging off my fucking head right now because I’m high on sleep! I forgot how important it is for our bodies to actually reach a deep sleep. As it turns out- it is VERY important. But you can survive without it if you’re a Mother, because we’re basically X-Men.
Now if you’re having a shit time, I just want you to know that it’s not your fault. BUT also that it is your fault. I know that sounds contradicting, because it is. What I mean is that of course it’s your fault that you don’t want to hire out Save Our Sleep and let your baby cry for forty hours at a time. That doesn’t feel right for you. That makes you upset. That is not how you want to do it. And THAT is not your fault. There is nothing wrong with you, there is nothing wrong with your parenting and your child is not broken. You just want to do it differently. And girl, I bloody hear you. (Also side note: if this method worked for you and you have bigger balls than the rest of us than that is ABSOLUTLEY also not wrong. GO YOU GOOD THING!)
I remember bumping into another Mother that I knew when Maddie was Fresh AF. Her son was about 6 months old and was apparently an excellent sleeper. And APPARENTLY it came down to your parenting. APPARENTLY it has nothing to do with whether your child’s spirit animal is a sloth or whether it’s a fake-tanned, stringlet-wearing guy at a festival who has eaten 30 pingas. So that was some good parenting advice that I unfortunately took on board.
I’ve beaten myself up mercilessly for being a shitty parent. For having a kid who has hated sleeping since the moment she kissed my womb goodbye. I never thought there was anything wrong with her (or anything wrong with my parenting for that matter) until people took it upon themselves (bless, the Mum Cunts) to tell me that Maddie was broken. How nice of them!?
So this is me telling you, that you are doing a wonderful fucking job. Whatever you are doing is working for you. You will get your child to sleep EVENTUALLY. It will happen! They won’t be coked-up pyschos their whole life (maybe later in life, but not for a while). So just give yourself a damn break, take a step back, do what works for the moment and when you’re ready maybe you can give these tips a crack.
FIVE THINGS THAT REALLY BLOODY HELPED ME A LOT
1. BEING PATIENT AND CUTTING MYSELF SOME DAMN SLACK
It may not seem like it right now, but this stage of your life will be over in a blink. I know I’m going to sound like a right cunt when I say this BUT I’m going to anyway because it’s bloody true! Those late night moments, the ones when it’s just you and your baby/toddler/ten year old- they are the moments that you are going to remember and treasure one day when those assholes are slamming doors in your face calling you an Old Hairy Slut.
One day you are going to be pouring buckets of water on their head, yelling at them to wake the fuck up. They will sleep so much that you will worry everyday that they are comatose. They will probably be mean as heck and never want to spend time with you because you are lame and embarrassing and share cat pictures on your Facebook timeline with inspirational quotes underneath. And you WILL be embarrassing. Of course you will be! But right now, they are fucking obsessed with you. They are not embarrassed of you at all. Instead they are a Stage-10-Clinger (ugh, get off my body you LEECH).
And it is ANNOYING. And it is FRUSTRATING. And it sure as hell is EXHAUSTING! And you are absolutely allowed to break down and cry and call your newborn a wanker if that is what you need to do. We’ve all done it (and felt really damn bad about it) BUT we’ve done it! Because when you’re sleep deprived and dying you want to swear at the thing that is making you feel this way. But be patient with yourself. Do what works at the time. Have them in your bed and sling your tit at their face if it means you get three hours of sleep. Eventually, once you admit defeat and catch up on some sleep- you will be ready to slug it out for a few nights and train them to sleep without a nipple in their mouth.
So please, be patient and cut yourself some damn slack girl! Because you are doing so well!!
2. GETTING HER OFF MY TITTIES
Damn, this was HARD. BC (Before Child) I attended an antenatal class that was taken by a wonderful midwife. She was genuinely hilarious and informative BUT she also told me a piece of information that sort of, kind-a haunted me for fucking ages. And that was “When it comes to breastfeeding, if you don’t know what’s wrong with your baby just give it boob. Basically if it makes a noise- feed it.” Which is kind of good information. But sort of ended me in this pickle where my daughter was OBSESSED with my fucking tits.
And when I say obsessed, I mean OBSESSED. She was such a mole when she was on the boob! She would scream at me, pull my top down, help herself, scream some more, get cranky as fuck and just be a straight up toad if I didn’t give her the boob she demanded. And she demanded it A LOT. Like, all of the damn time. My body was absolutely not my own! And I would often get to a point where I would just cry because I needed some personal fucking space. The thought of people touching me made me stabby.
And nobody should be describing themselves as stabby at any point in their life.
But because the boob was her comfort, it was a hard journey getting her off it. I tried going cold turkey. I tried running away from her for two nights in the hope that I would return and she would have forgotten what boobs were. I tried letting Chris take over. I tried putting lemon on my nipples. I tried putting band-aids on my nipples. I tried putting chloroform on my nipples (KIDDING). I tried hiding in the car at night. I tried a lot of things that included me running away/hiding/covering my nipples with things. But nothing worked.
Because I’m sensitive and a sucker and a bit pathetic. And I really did love breastfeeding (despite not loving it sometimes). I loved that time with my baby girl and I really wasn’t ready yet to give it up yet. So I knew this had to be a slow process, for both Maddie and I.
I cut the feeds down to twice a day and twice at night. This carried on for a few months and gradually I dropped it some more. I eventually cut out day feeds all together! AND THEN one night as Maddie came into our bed for some boob and a snuggle I realised I was ready to say no. I had cut myself enough slack that I had started to catch up on sleep, I knew that saying ‘No’ to her wasn’t the end of the world and I just knew- that we were both ready.
And as it turns out- we absolutely were. She got upset, but not for long. She knew that it was time. This wasn’t a surprise to her, because I’d got her used to the fact that Mummy was saying no. It was really damn easy. I mean, it was hard as fuck and took ten fucking years BUT because I just pumped the breaks and was nice to myself- it ended up being easy.
And PHEW, what a relief! She was sleeping SO much better. Once we added a couple more factors to her sleep routine (that you will learn if you keep reading, sorry this blog is actually 500000000000 words long) we got her sleeping THROUGH THE ACTUAL NIGHT.
We bloody got there.
3. A BIG GIRL BED
Maddie HATED the cot. Oh, she hated it hard! She literally acted as though we had thrown her in jail and she had to spend her nights fending off rapists with a bar of soap. She felt the same about being swaddled/sleep suits/those little cocoon straightjackets that turn babies into burritos. She can’t deal with anything that clips her wings. She is like a wild bird! She will probably one day announce to us that she is running away to Amsterdam to join the circus. She will probably be five when she announces this. SHE JUST CANNOT BE RESTRAINED.
(Send me some fucking wine please).
So as you could imagine, she just ended up in our bed. I’ve co-slept with her since she was a newborn and LOVED it. I’m so pro co-sleeping. Only because I felt comfortable doing it! I’m the lightest sleeper on the planet and I couldn’t sleep/breathe/live without my baby touching me. So, it worked out well for us both. We tried MANY times to get her in her cot, but it was just traumatic for everyone involved. SO when she turned one, we made her a Big Girl Bed.
This CHANGED OUR DAMN LIVES. My friend suggested doing this because it worked for her daughter and HOT DAMN did it work for us! At this stage Maddie was still falling asleep on my boob, so we would transfer her to the big girl bed and when she woke up (usually around 1-3am) she would just walk down the hall to our bed and hop in for some nipple and a cuddle and sleep there until 7am.
I barely even had to wake up! PLUS our little cock-block was out of the bed for a few hours (YASSS SEXY TIME). And Maddie didn’t feel like she was trapped and couldn’t get to us! She never got upset when she woke up because she knew she was able to walk into our bedroom.
BEST. IDEA. EVER
4. NIGHT LIGHT
I’ve always been VERY pro-nightlight. It helped me out HEAPS when Maddie was a newborn and locating my nipples at stupid hours of the night was harder than a stiffy. And it has absolutely helped me out as she’s gotten older and realised how fucking terrifying the dark is. We actually forget just how terrifying nighttime is for children! Imagine waking up and not knowing what fucking planet you’re on! It’s scary shit. This world is still very new to them and adjusting to being alone (in pitch blackness) can be really hard! So you can imagine how much of a difference our light has made to my (well, Maddie’s but mostly my) life.
She kisses it good night and everything (ugh, I’m crying).
We got an Aloka light from My Night Light (as it’s recommended by sleep specialists). It comes with a little remote control so your toddler can choose the colour of light he/she wants! BUT sleep specialists recommend keeping it on a red, pink or orange light, as it doesn’t interfere with your child’s melatonin levels (the sleep hormone).
Full disclosure: I hid the remote so it ALWAYS is red. And we haven’t turned it off in over 9 months.
And she’s still going strong.
What a bloody good light!
5. (ABSO-FUCKING-LOUTLY) ESSENTIAL OILS
The keyword here is- essential. Holy actual balls, I don’t know what I did before essential oils. They really are essential. And I’m not some DoTerra lady trying to sell you financial freedom. I’m just a bloody fan! My Mum was all about essential oils growing up (hippy life) so they’re not a new concept to me. BUT I have learnt how to actually use them to CHANGE MY WHOLE DAMN LIFE.
And speaking of using essential oils to change lives, let’s talk about how they got Maddie sleeping through the night (YASSS QUEEN)!
By simply dabbing a drop of Lavender AND Vetiver oil on Maddie’s pyjamas she went from pest to comatose in a matter of minutes. PLUS it kept her sleeping ALL NIGHT LONG.
And when it comes to doing things all night long, sleeping wins.
Sometimes slut-dropping wins.
But not as regularly these days.
If you want to order oils/learn about them/have financial freedom etc etc…I recommend hitting up The Conscious Coven. She is my GO-TO OILS GIRL!
She is TRULY the best.
Tell her I sent you so she says “You heard about me from Mikki? Aw she’s the best/greatest/funniest/most beautiful/hilarious/humble/loveliest human I know”.
Also the link to her ‘Gram is here.
I can’t believe how long this blog has ended up being. I CAN believe how much I have waffled on (a talent of mine) but far out, GOD BLESS YOU FOR REACHING THE END.
I wish I had a prize for you. But the only prize you really need is for me to stop writing.
So here I am.
NOW I WILL.
(PS: Let me know if ANY of these tips help you by emailing, Instagram DM-ing, telepathically connecting or sky writing to me. I REALLY want to know).
Okay, now I’m done.