The Parents' Sleep Survival Guide


My oldest son is three and a half and was a terrible sleeper for about the first year and a half of his life. He still isn’t the best sleeper, but he’s definitely not the worst. However, that first year was trying. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to function every day without an IV drip of coffee directly into my veins.

Alas, somehow, just like every other parenting dilemma/phase, I made it.

And now, with a six month old, we’re back at it. My child is a terrible sleeper.

Apparently I just make children who don’t sleep. Or don’t sleep well.

So, what do I do? How do I function? What should you do if your child won’t sleep?

Well, today I’m here to offer a few survival tips. So here we go:

1) If you can, nap. If you can’t, take a few beats a day to just sit, breathe and close your eyes. Recharge if you will. Clearly, it’s hard if you’re like me and have a toddler running around and an infant demanding your attention, but that small break of time is a good way to rev up your energy.

2) Coffee. I’m going to be honest, coffee is a game-changer for me. I may not have an actual IV, but I do have at least two cups a day. And those two cups are delightful. Even if I end up drinking them cold, they’re a good way to boost my energy and get me going in the morning. And if you’re a tea person, try that? Or some other natural caffeine source, try that too. I support caffeine.

3) Cry. Seriously, you can totally cry if you’re tired. Your child isn’t sleeping and you’re exhausted, let it out. If you don’t you could break. Just do it.

4) Lavender oil. Something to actually try for your kid. Spritz lavender oil diffused water around where they sleep. Make their sleep area as calm and comforting as possible. Whether that be with a sound machine or a diffuser constantly, make sure your baby is comfortable. Bonus, you can also use lavender oil on yourself. Calm your nerves, ease your exhaustion.

5) Have a friend to commiserate with. You’ll hear of babies that sleep through the night way before yours (seriously, what witchcraft do they use?) or babies that can sleep on their own (but really, what witchcraft?) and it’ll be hard to hear. So find yourself a friend, or a family member or just a fellow mom on a Facebook page that can say “I get it. I’m with you.” When your baby isn’t sleeping, you need a friend.

Hopefully you have a child who sleeps. And hopefully you don’t need these tips. But if you do, I hope they helped. Or at least made you laugh a little bit.

Good luck out fellow parents, you got this.