Experts Don't Know-Bleep- About Sleep

Picture it. A new mother sweetly smiling at the content, sleeping baby in her arms. Wearing a freshly pressed white nightgown and not a hair out of place against her perfectly glowing skin, she is a vision of motherhood. In a magazine quality nursery she lovingly cups her baby’s pink cherub like cheek with her perfectly manicured hand. Insert some new no fuss baby sleeping technique conjured up by the latest baby professional. End Scene. (This is where the gentle lullaby plays on).

Awwwwe. Wasn’t that pretty and so relaxing to watch? Now, let me show you how this scene really plays out. It’s a scene from my own life. 

Picture it. It’s the middle of the night. I have a frazzled look of self doubt on my face as I (the new mother) wearily scan my screaming baby for answers. There are none to be found and I wonder why the hour-long crying session continues. I am dressed only in my thinned and stretched out maternity granny panties because the weight I gained is holding on to my midsection and my bum like two drowning sewer rats. My formula slash puke covered ratty t-shirt lays in a crumpled mess in the middle of the nursery floor. A fresh coating of formula is now covering the front of me and my tear streaked red-faced infant. I press my hands, complete with jagged chipped nails, against the back of a sweaty little head on my shoulder hoping to avoid another eardrum shattering scream.

The nursery looks like the leftovers of a frat party weekend. The crib is half torn apart and half put together with new bedding. The changing table is covered with diarrhea-filled diapers that could not take all that my poor baby was giving. The bottle of fever reducer medicine is stuck to the rug and the cap is nowhere to be found among the chaos.

Enter the cautious daddy who scans the room and knows it is best to slowly back away while gently closing the door behind him. He decides he will do clean up duty later. End Scene.

Now I wonder why this scene has not ended eight months later? I will tell you why….because the pompous baby professionals don’t know how to get my baby to {bleeping} sleep!

I have read numerous popular parenting websites, some not so popular websites and several books by big name professionals. All of them claim to know the secret to get my baby to sleep easily and stay a sleep. My reply to them is an eight-month sleep deprived unladylike raised middle finger. (Notice the un-manicured nail?!).

I have tried sleep training, sleep weaning, co sleeping, crib sleeping, swing sleeping, motion to sleep and propped sleeping. I have even heart achingly struggled through sleep deprived scream sessions hoping she would tire out and sleep longer. No matter how much I try my daughter sleeps when she wants, where she wants and only for two hours at a time. That’s during a good night.

The conclusion I have come to is that no matter which sleep technique I find (and try for weeks), my daughter is going to decide when and how she sleeps. So my warning to everyone is this: if you come to my house and ignore the cute “Sssshh Baby Sleeping” sign on my door expect to get throat punched by a very pissy and sleep deprived mommy.


deb editDebra is a first time mom to her beautiful rainbow baby Skyler, a wife, a blogger and an ordained minister. She enjoys crafting and creating educational fun for her step sons and decorating her home. Find Debra at Crossing New Bridges on Facebook and on Twitter.

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48 Comments on Experts Don’t Know *Bleep* About Sleep

  1. I feel like this is true for everyone. Sometimes I could be so tired but just can’t sleep. You learn as you get older what sleep schedule works for you.

  2. Sleep is a highly individual thing. I have to be sitting up before I can sleep! When I am flat, I cannot get comfortable. Sitting up, my head rolls to the right and I am out!

  3. The bit at the end made me chuckle! I remember even before I had a baby reading about Gina ford’s routines and thinking how bloody ridiculous it was. I am lucky my son sleeps for long stretches but he doesn’t ‘go to bed’ until 11pm or later! They are all different.

  4. What works for one may not work for another. It’s always important to keep that in mind when listening to “experts”.

  5. I remember those late nights. I has such a hard time dealing with no sleep. It does end at some point that is what I kept trying to remind myself that it was not going to be forever.

  6. Oh man! I have to admit, this post made me LOL. My husband and I don’t have kids, but I’ve always heard everyone say — don’t believe what you see on TV—it’s NOTHING like that! haha

  7. Such a realistic view on motherhood. My youngest had issues with his sinuses so he could never breathe properly at night. He was up ever hour or two for FOUR years. Sometimes, you just gotta hang in there.

  8. Experts often forget that babies don’t read their books! Anyone telling you there’s a one size fits all solution is probably selling something!


  9. So very true – every baby is different and whilst the techniques might work for some babies – others will just sleep when they want. Definitely agree that anyone who ignores a “ssh baby sleeping sign” deserves the response they get!

  10. LOL – this is great. Sometimes it’s just best to let people go off telling you how something should be knowing in your head that you will do it your way anyway. No one knows what’s best except you. 😉

  11. Lol, I think my son is the same way. He sleeps when he wants and wakes when he wants. And we’re all just exhausted.

  12. This is hilariously tearjerkingly accurate! I’ve had so many people tell me so many ways to get my baby to sleep and the truth is she just won’t unless she’s snuggled up next to me. You do you mama and sleep when you can!

    • Aww I wish my daughter would snuggle to sleep with me. She is a scream till you give her a bottle, blanket and her daddy to sleep girl.

  13. Love your writing style for this. I”m sure you’re not alone in your sleep deprived existence. I was fortunate with both of my kids and sleep and I still felt sleep deprived the first month or 2.

  14. Haha love this!!!! Swear sleep is different for everyone. I have no excuse for being sleep deprived yet here I am! I can’t turn my mind off at night where as my daughter and hubby snooze right off…

  15. This article made me laugh. I can remember threatening to send my husband to spend the night at his mothers if he had to turn the television on or talk out loud. It had taken me over an hour to get my daughter to sleep and nothing was going to wake her…or else.

  16. why should experts be any different in this subject than others…. I always laugh when I read how things are supposed to be in how to books. Its like, seriously people? Real life does NOT work that way! I can so relate to this article….. 🙂

  17. I love this! We started with the bassinet with my oldest and tried the crib, and ended up co-sleeping. I get a lot of packages in the mail, and my mailman has started banging on the door to let me know the package is there…loudly…right after my youngest goes down for her ONE nap of the day. I keep putting up signs, which works for about 2 days, and then back to the banging…with the mailman taking the sign down!

  18. I barely remember those days… I must still be a little sleep deprived! We have 4 and those early years we had a baby in the bassinet beside me so I could nurse in the middle of the night. We were never a quiet house so my kids can sleep through darn near anything now. Thankfully!!

  19. I’ve often wondered where and how the term “sleeping like a baby” came to be associated with sleeping well. The fact that most people aren’t talking about the horrible level of sleep deprivation that happens in the first year (and sometimes beyond) is very confusing.

    • I think the saying should be sleep like a cat. They sleep through anything: storms, loud noise, kids pulling on them and I have even seen some sleep through being sat on by other animals.

  20. I know this feeling! There is so much incorrect, unscientific info, out there from so called experts it can get a little confusing when our life with our real life baby seems so different to how things are supposed to be.
    However there is some sleep ‘gold’ out there that I found when my daughter wasn’t sleeping through the night, from an organisation called Hand in Hand parenting. I loved their approach so much that I became an instructor! #fortheloveofBLOG

  21. I don’t have kids of my own yet but I would imagine they are just like the rest of us – which means everyone is different. While I love reading tips from others, I’ve learned that experts don’t always know everything about how each of us operate rest. Keep pushing through and eventually you’ll figure out what works best for her.

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