Motherhood // Let’s Talk About Sleep, Baby.

As moms, I think we find ourselves in the “are they a good sleeper?” conversation all too often. And if someone would have asked me how to get a baby to sleep back when we had our really good sleeper, I could have gone on all day with ideas & suggestions. But here we are, three kids later, and I still can’t get my nine month old to consistently sleep through the night. We’ve tried every trick in the book (and with that, have read every book), and ultimately what we have learned is that some babies are just not good sleepers. It takes time & patience. And naps & coffee.


I have emailed back and forth with so many of you with your sleep questions & advice, which I so appreciate, but I know I have yet to get back to many of you as well. So I thought I would do a little sleep comparison between all three of our kids, doing this all from memory (and my brain is mush) so hopefully I have this all right! 😉
Sleeping through the night
Baby #1: 5 weeks
Baby #2: 5 months
Baby #3: tbd.


Where they slept
Baby #1: Nap Nanny, Crib
Baby #2: Nap Nanny, Crib, Baby Swing, Crib
Baby #3: Co-slept (on my chest), Halo Bassinet, Baby Swing, Crib
What they needed to sleep
Baby #1: Swaddle, Sound Machine, Paci
Baby #2: Swaddle, Sound Machine, Paci
Baby #3: Swaddle, Sound Machine, Paci, Rocking, Singing, Perfect room temperature, lavender essential oil, socks, counting sheep, magical sleep fairy dust, for the love of God we still don’t know!

Sleep training methods
Baby #1: None. Has always been a good sleeper, which we totally attributed to us being good parents in the beginning (right!?) when really, she just got her dad’s love of sleeping.
Baby #2: For a long time, I would just rock or feed Eloise when she woke in the middle of the night, but eventually I learned about the “wake to sleep” method. She would wake at the exact same times each night, like down to the minute. So the idea is that you set your own alarm, and gently wake them just by softly rubbing their head or back, enough to interrupt their sleep pattern, and it should help them to not wake at the specific time. Eventually, pushing the time back further and further, they no longer wake up at night, and this actually did work for Eloise! She has always been a light sleeper though, and once she learned to sit up in her crib, she would still wake a few times in the night, but always soothed herself back to sleep on her own by rocking back and forth in her crib.
Baby #3: Claire laughs in the face of crying it out, we have tried it, and every other method known to mankind. She’s just one of those babies. But she makes up for it by being so laid back during the day. 😉

Biggest hurdles
Baby #1: Even though she was sleeping through the night, I was waking up once or twice to pump to keep my supply up. Also, four month sleep regression caught me by major surprise & I had no idea at the time how to deal with it.
Baby #2: Her night waking was difficult because nothing could get her back to sleep, she would wake for hours on end, whether I fed her or not. Brandon slept in the other room for months so he could get a good night’s sleep so he could wake up early and take Eloise off my hands so I could sleep for 2-3 hours before getting going with the day. I remember barging in once at 4:01 am screaming please take this baby or one of us is going to sleep in the garage! Not my proudest moment.
Baby #3: Waking up once or twice each night isn’t honestly so bad, since I know it can be so much worse, but I feel like I have trouble myself falling back asleep once I wake up for her. Her scream is SO loud, and if I try to give her a paci or attempt anything other than getting her out of her crib ASAP, it just gets louder.
Plus more kids = more exhaustion.

Current sleep situation
Baby #1 (now 4 years old): Falls asleep almost immediately after getting in bed, sleeps from 8pm-6:15/6:30 am with occasional bad dream or sneaking into our room before the sun comes up to snuggle.
Baby #2 (now almost 2 years old): Talks, sings & rocks in her crib for 30-45 minutes, eventually falls asleep from about 8:30/9pm-8am. Takes one 3-4 hour nap in the afternoon which is a total game changer.
Baby #3 (now 9 months old): Goes to bed awake at 7pm, falls asleep quickly, wakes up once (sometimes twice) each night anywhere between 1am-5am, sometimes I have to feed her to get her to go back to sleep but other times I just have to rock her. It’s pretty quick and painless as long as I don’t try any tomfoolery, she is on to me. No crying it out, no hush-pat-back-rubbing business. Typically sleeps until 7am and still takes two 1.5-2.5 hour naps during the day.

With all of that said, here is what I can recommend & my final thoughts on baby sleep. I firmly believe in noise machines, they are said to help get babies into their sleep cycle, and we have found this to be very true for all of our kids getting their first 4-5 hour stretches of sleep from the very beginning. These are also amazing once you have more babies because if your older children are used to sleeping with loud white noise, you won’t have to worry about new babies keeping them up. I recommend this First Years one, we have three, and never leave home without one if we are sleeping somewhere else.

We have also always put our babies to bed awake (after six weeks-ish), to get them in the habit of soothing themselves to sleep. It is soooo tempting when they are little to rock them to sleep before laying them down, but getting them in the habit of being awake in their crib and knowing it is time to go to sleep as early as possible can be a good thing. As far as swaddles, we have always swaddled our babies until 4 months or so when they started to roll over. My only tips for breaking the swaddle is to do one arm at a time (so strange, I know, but it works) and to introduce the small security blanket at this time. Now that they have their arms & hands free, it’s like they don’t quite know what to do with them? We always used these little breathable aden+anais ones with the satin trim, their little fingers seem to love to play with them, and I think this has also been a great help for self soothing.

With Claire, the best thing I could have done is just to give up on stressing out about it. Sure, it’s frustrating that she isn’t sleeping through the night yet, but staying up all night googling answers and trying different sleep methods got me even less sleep. To just say, ok, we will just go with the flow, and feed her or rock her if that’s what she needs, it makes it a lot less stressful for all of us, and sometimes that’s more important than figuring out a better answer.

This is just what has worked for us, It really does just take so much time & patience to learn what works best for you & your babies. I hope you have found something here helpful, and if nothing else, maybe a little comfort knowing that your baby isn’t the only one not sleeping through the night at nine months. I mean, I’m not the only one, right? 😉

Happy Monday, friends! XO


No Comments

  1. Ahhh, I so feel for you right now! My youngest just turned one and is finally sleeping through the night consistently, which I think happened around 10 months? Honestly, cannot remember. Such. a. blur. But I remember it happening on it's own, randomly. Like freakin' magic, she just turned a new leaf! I hope Claire finds that sleep magic soon, I will send you some good sleep vibes until then 🙂 Best to the Garvins, the Thompson fam loves reading your blog!

  2. Love this. I only have one kid (almost 2!) and he's a pretty great sleeper but is SUCH a morning person. Since November he's been up for the day at around 5:15. We've tried everything (earlier bedtime/later bedtime/shorter nap/earlier nap/earlier dinner/later dinner/lighter weight PJs/heavier PJs/anything else we could think of) and the best thing I've done is just accept it and go to bed earlier so I'm ready to get up when he wakes. We're planning on having a second within the next year or so and I'm sure I'll think back and realize I should have appreciated how easy it is now!

  3. Claire's sleep sounds a lot like my little one! The good news is around a year of wracking my brain for how to get her to sstn, it just happened! She went longer and longer stretches then just slept all night without any "extreme" sleep training, or really us doing anything at all!

  4. You are not the only one who's nine month old doesn't sleep through the night. My son (who is my first) will be 2 in May and didn't sleep through the night until after his 1st birthday. Sometimes it is just one of those things. I tried everything in the book just like you did with Claire, the only difference is I am doing it on my own because my husband left when my son was 3 months (whole different story)…BUT it will change and everything will work out! Trust me. Keep up the great work, your children are beautiful.

  5. Love this post! My baby girl, Ada, is the same age as Claire (July 11!) and we are still dealing with night wakings. She also isn't crawling yet either, and with all of our baby friends on the move it can be disheartening. But like you said, going with the flow is best! I'm going to soak up the last bit of immobility, and keep the strong coffee flowing. 😉

  6. Thank goodness! My 11 month old has never slept through the night and actually from birth till 8 months old woke every 2 hours to nurse! I finally surrendered and literally prayed on my knees for help. We tried a method I found that night, and it worked to change his cycle thank the good Lord! However, at 11 months he still gets up atleast twice a night and no messing around anymore for him either! Nurse or cryfest. Like you said, 2 times is not so bad but some nights I can't get myself back to sleep and I just wake at 330. but atleast this is my first born so I have no comparisons! Harper's sleep habits would be a challenge to live up too! (one I hope my next baby will be up for haha). Praying for a full nights sleep for us all!

  7. Is my Max your Claire's twin? 9 months last week and he is still getting up 2x a night most nights. I feel like I've hit the jackpot when he's only up once! He's only slept through the night one time in his 9 month life and I kinda think that only happened because we were too tired to hear him crying that night 😉 I've done the same as you and just accepted that I'll need extra coffee for the time being! We've got this 🙂

  8. 8 months here 🙁 My first was and still is a rockstar sleeper, so I feel you. We do everything you do and have tried every trick as well. I mean, they've got to sleep through at some point, right?

  9. Awesome post! My little one is 10 months old and still gets up once at night at exactly the same time (4:30am). I go in right away, knowing if I left her she would probably go back to sleep because I don't think I'm ready for her not needing me! A lot of moms get in their heads that their babies should be sleeping through the night by the time thier 6 months – I'm a firm believer that it will happen when thier ready! Until then, I'll take the baby snuggles!!

  10. Oh sleep, sleep, sleep. For me, it's just a memory way back before being a parent.
    My 15-months-old woke up every 2-3 h every.single.night for the first year. When she was 13 months, I weaned her from night nursing and then she started to sleep better. We used Gordon's method (
    She still wake up 1-2 times a night (around 4 – 6 am) but it's a lot better than before 😉 We co-sleep, it's the most natural way for us.

    There has always been alot of discussion about sleep training and I don't wanna get into it with great detail, but I have one wish for every parent struggling with baby's sleep – before trying the cry-it-out-method, pleasepleaseplease read about it's working mechanism. There is alot of scientific research about the psychology of that method. And it's not pretty.

    I'm positive everyone wants to be the best possible parent for their kids, but lack of information can be a bad bump in the road.

  11. Interesting to see how every baby really is different! You're definitely not alone! My first baby, Rocco, didn't consistently sleep through the night until 18 months. Now I'm five weeks away from baby number 2 and for the last month he has decided he is no longer sleeping through the night 🙁 There's not enough half caff coffee in the world for this mama right now! But at least you're not alone 😉

  12. Thanks for sharing! My husband and I were smug parents when our daughter started sleeping 5 – 6 hour stretches at just a few weeks and almost 12 hours at 2 1/2 months. Then the 4 month regression hit and we've never had her sleep through the night again. I stopped feeding her at night wakings at 4 months but even today, at 7 months, she will wake for HOURS in the middle of the night just talking and playing and then is so overtired she wakes up at 5 and can't settle herself. Then of course she wants to nap all day. We have worked with sleep consultants (I'm desperate…) read every book, tried everything and nothing works. I feel like I'll never sleep past 5am again. However, like you have done with Claire, I've decided I just can't worry about it anymore. I hope when she gets older she decides to sleep but for now if this is the worst we are dealing with, we will be okay. (with loooots and lots of coffee. )

  13. Thanks so much for sharing! Our first baby was always just an okay sleeper, but he started sleeping through the night at 5 months old and even at 3.5 years, he will still go through months (!!) where he's waking up once a night…. Our second baby was really easy from the start, like the kind of baby that you have to wake up to feed in the beginning. She would sleep through the night or wake up really early in the morning for 1 feeding…. However, we began our move across the country at 7 months and she was terrible from 7 – 11 months. Now she's 15 months and she's been a star sleeper for the last 4 months. It really is just how kids are- our first was okay, and probably will always be that way and our second is fairly easy and will (hopefully!) be a good sleeper long term. Hang in there with Claire! I hope she decides tonight is the night to start sleeping through 😉

  14. It so reassuring to read that someone else is going through similar problems! My daughter now two has only just in the last few months properly started sleeping through the night. I must have spent hours googling different sleep methods in the middle of the night. In the end we just went with it, she soon grew out of it! Good Luck Mama, you're doing great! xox

  15. This makes me feel so much better as I lay awake unable to get back to sleep after the second wake up tonight! I've been adopting the "go with the flow" attitude and while I'm not getting much sleep still it has helped me to stay calm and not get frustrated at 3 am!
    Thanks for sharing that not every baby is the same-it's hard to fall into the be comparison trap!

  16. My son is 5 months old and wakes up 3-4 times during the night. We put him down at 7 because he's screaming from exhaustion and he wakes up by 8 where we have to put his paci back in and shush him to sleep or he screams! Then he usually wakes up again around 11 then again at 2/3. We only feed him once during the night but he's still waking up as if he's going to get food. I wake up for work at 530 and am just exhausted!! He's swaddled still because he won't seem to sleep without it. And we use the sleep sheep. Any suggestions!?

  17. Literally reading this as my 8 month old is crying in her crib at 4:54 am. She's been awake for an hour and my patience is running low. Being a mom isn't fun at times! Thanks for your encouragement and here's to coffee in a few hours!

  18. Claire sounds EXACTLY like Caroline, my Baby #2! I eventually gave up trying to get her to sleep through the night, and just continued either nursing or rocking her once or twice a night between 1am and 5am. She's now 13 months old and just magically stopped night waking (without any change to her routine) about 2 weeks ago!!! So there is hope! 😉

  19. I've got an 11 month old son & given the fact that I'm posting at 2am, I think you can see that you are definitely not alone. He goes to sleep around 8/8:30, usually wakes around 1:30 and requires to be held and rocked for a few mins (rubbing his back- he says pssh, yeah right, mom!) wakes up around 4:30/5 to nurse, and then wakes for the day around 7:15. Sometimes I feel like I've created an uphill battle by not getting a handle on his sleep sooner, but other times I think it's actually not all that bad given where we've come from (he woke up every 3 hours like clockwork for the first 9-10 mos). Thanks for sharing and reminding me that I'm never in this alone. Bless you for finding the energy to keep up with your sweet family even with the lack of sleep you're getting!

  20. My first didn't sleep through the night until 13 months so I TOTALLY feel your pain! I'm sure it was entirely my fault…hindsight is a wonderful thing. Due my 2nd in a month or so, so praying really hard this one is a better sleeper/I don't create a sleep monster this time!

    Well done for surviving 3, I'm struggling with just being pregnant with a second…what a woose!

  21. Ha! This is so so true! I just had my third girl in February. First is 5 and second is almost 2. My newborn wakes me up once a night, eats and goes right back to bed. My second wakes me up 3-4 times. It makes me crazy but I repeat that this too shall pass! One day I'll be sad and well rested. Until then… All the coffee!!

  22. Jessica you are my favorite blogger! I can relate to so many things you say and as a mommy of two girls now, hearing your little stories and advice helps me so much. Thank you? keep posting!

  23. Mine will be 9 months on the fourteenth…she tricked us in the beginning and was a GREAT sleeper. 4 month sleep regression ruined it and we are up 2-3 times a night now ? First one was and is still a great sleeper at 2 years old…sigh. I just remind myself that one day they will be 18 or something and I will sleep. Until then, thank god I love the taste of coffee!

  24. This is really helpful, THANK YOU! I'm definitely going to try the "wake to sleep" thing with my 2nd kid (due this summer).

    My firstborn (a boy) woke up at 4 am – and was awake for the day – from I think 8 months until til after a year when he finally figured out how to turn the series of steps he'd been taking into full-blown, all-the-time walking. (He still did not "sleep in" til 6:30 am until much later than that, ugh, but at least he'd go past 5:30 am).

    Maybe Claire's just itching to catch up with her big sisters? Here's hoping you get more sleep sooner rather than later and that your morning coffee is always nice and strong!

  25. Oh my goodness, thank you for this post! My little girl just turned 2, but her first year was so stressful. She never slept.. ever. She woke up numerous times each night, and refused to nap in her crib until two weeks after her 1st birthday. Our pediatrician kept telling us that some babies just don't figure out sleep until around their 1st birthday, so who knows. This post made me feel better that I wasn't the only one with a little one who didn't sleep through the night, that spent time in the middle of the night googling for help, or that had their husband sleeping in another room at one point so one of you could be rested (we took turns). I hope you get to sleep through the night soon!

  26. I feel like this was almost written about my children. Except your baby#3 is my 2 year old. She still doesn't sleep through the night. It was frustrating at first, but we've gotten used to it now. And when you think about it… it makes sense that they don't always sleep through the night. I'm an adult and most nights I wake up once or twice. Not usually fully awake, but enough to be slightly aware. My baby #3, who is now 5 months, is actually a really good sleeper though. She only wakes up to nurse and since we co-sleep, it works out well. And allows me to rest before waking up with the toddler. Best of luck to you. 3 kids is hard work but you're doing an amazing job! You're my parenting idol!!

  27. I have TWO not so awesome sleepers. My 2.5 year old didn't sleep through the night until 18 months nor did she nap for nearly a year! My almost one year old wakes no less than 3 times a night EVERY night. I feel ya Mama! Thank God for caffeine!

    (It really stings that they get their sleep skills from me… ha!)

  28. I think you've got it…the going with the flow part. My first baby was a terrible sleeper (didn't sleep through the night until about 20 months). I stressed about this for most of her first year, reading about what I was "supposed to do", feeling like I didn't want to let her cry it out like everyone told me to, worrying about co-sleeping and how she might never transition to her own bed. Once I just listened to her needs, thought outside the box, we were fine. We got rid of the crib and gave her a floor bed, which changed things so dramatically! I was able to nurse or cuddle her to sleep (or back to sleep) and that was that. She's 2.5 now and has been sleeping in her own room and bed for at least a year, and through the night. Evidence that habits aren't always habits forever!
    So, with my 2nd baby, I feel so much more at ease, and my expectations are not very high. I am just going with the flow…and if I don't sleep for another year, well, so be it. She's my last baby.

    -Faithful reader and follower, Lindsey in CA

  29. My (now 11 month old) is finally sleeping through the night! The same thing that you are experiencing with Claire, my Harper did. Then all of a sudden, right after she turned 10 mos, she slept through the night. Occasional waking up, but we'll take it! Hang in there…the unpredictable one will eventually be the easiest. I can't guarantee you won't be up checking the monitor every few hours still 😉

  30. Your Claire seems to be in the same sleep pattern as my Elenore. 9 months next week and still up twice every. Single. night. Won the battle of crying it out and any other methods. She is our first and I hope to have an easier time with the next kid but for now we just go with the flow and know that she won't be waking up every night until she's 20… I hope. So we're not alone and doing what we gotta do. I've been following your blog since the beginning and love your writing. Thanks for giving other "normal" perfectly imperfect Mommas someone to relate to. Good luck!!

  31. My first little one sounds like Claire. She didn't sleep through the night until 15 months! She woke at least once, sometimes twice a night, but thankfully only required a little rocking ( and sometimes a feeding in the earlier months ) and she was back to bed quickly. I got used to her schedule and didn't mind it after awhile. She has never been a good napper either. I truly believe some babies are just not good sleepers. Thankfully I had friends and other moms help reassure me that sometimes babies are just like that and I wasn't crazy. She now sleeps a good 8pm-8am without hardly making a sound during the night. It does get better! Thanks for the great blog post!

  32. My now two year old was a rock star sleeper from birth until 6 months. When he turned 6 months and was mobile sleep became non-existent and he was up every two hours on the hour for A YEAR! Finally, he figured his sh** out and decided sleep would be good for everyone…just in time for his brother to be born. But At least I am only getting up with one baby 🙂

  33. I have been reading since you were pregnant with Harper and have never commented until now for some reason. I LOVE your blog and the candidness you share. You are so brave to be honest about the struggles of motherhood and you amazingly find a way to make me laugh about the hardest parts. Thank you!!! I have a 3.5 year old who didn't sleep more than 2 hours at a time until 8 months old and an almost 9 month old who still wakes twice a night to eat. Thank you for your refreshing thoughts on this and how every baby is different! And thank God for coffee!!! Lots of love to your beautiful family.

  34. My child is 3 and still doesn't sleep through the night. We have tried ever.y.thing. Everything. Apparently some kids just don't. ? So rest assured you're not the only one!

  35. My first didn't sleep through the night until after she was one, and my second was born 9 days after she turned one. I'm all too familiar with lack of sleep! They will be 2 and 3 in May. Coffee coffee coffee and a cocktail (or more) is how we have made it this far! 😉 Keep on keepin' on, mommy! This too shall pass!

  36. Such a good read! Thank you for sharing! My 8 month old still isn't sleeping through the night, but has always been "easy" at night and I am slowly learning to not let what others think get to me and just go with it.

  37. I am in the same boat as you but worse! My baby boy is 8.5 months and wakes up at least 3-4 times a night! And now since he is teething all he wants is for me to hold him or he wakes up every half hr 🙁 I have tried everything and he is the opposite of my first baby. My daughter would fall asleep by herself at 6 weeks. I think the hardest part for me is that my son does not take any kind of bottle or pacifier which I think would help. I do find giving a bath at night and doing playtime right before bed helps baby get tired and ready for bed.

  38. All good tips. We used the one arm swaddle trick too and called it the Cleopatra. It does work for weaning them off the swaddle really well. We'd alternate the arms each night.

  39. You are not the only one! My first didn't sleep through the night until about 16 months old when I became pregnant with #2. Now #2 is almost 11 month old and sleeps through the night about 50% of the time….and as I typed that, he woke up ready for a midnight snack.ha! Good luck!

  40. Loved your post. Totally what I'm going through with our 10 month old, while her older sister (3yrs. old) was and still is a great sleeper. Thought we were just great parents too when our first one slept through the night at 4 weeks. hahaha sigh.

  41. Love this post! We have two completely different sleepers too, I thought my daughter was easy… until my son came along and he is SO easy. We didn't use a sound machine with Scarlett but use it with Bodhi and you know what, maybe it is a game changer?! Hope your littlest starts sleeping better for you soon!

  42. My middle daughter (now 4) woke up every TWO HOURS for the first six months and was HUNGRY. I think she finally started sleeping through the night at one, so you definitely are not alone! Lots and lots of coffee and praying. haha!

  43. This post couldn't have come at a more perfect time! As I have spent more hours than I want to admit on researching the best sleep strategy over the last few weeks. Our little Eloise will be 10 months on the 16th, and in just the last month has given us more sleepless nights than in her entire first 9 months. She started sleeping 8+ hours a night at 8 weeks, then 12 hours straight by 3 months. She shook things up during the dreaded 4 month sleep regression, but thankfully it didn't last long. Now add rolling over and sitting/standing up at every waking and we have a whole new ball game! Like Claire, Eloise proved she could beat us in our attempt at crying it out. After getting less sleep with more hours of crying, we decided to just respond to her first cry and rock her back to sleep to minimize wake time. I am remaining hopeful that this "phase" is to be blamed on illness and teething, as we did get 1 week of sleeping through the night… until the next tooth and ear infection hit 🙁 For now, here's to strong coffee, large glasses of wine, and going with the flow! *cheers*

  44. This whole post made me laugh. My first was like your third, except he wasn't very easy going during the day either. We always joke that he just did not want to be a baby. I had a line dance I would do to get him to go to sleep, he would scream the whole time. I even taught it to my mom, it was ridiculous. I tried all kinds of things his first year but he would always wake up 2-3 times at night for bottles. He was hungry. Eventually around 1 I started watering them down until they were just water and he stopped waking up for them. I think we give babies less credit than they deserve, it's all about their personalities. No method was going to make that boy sleep, I tried them all.

  45. My daughter (my first) did not sleep through the night until 9 1/2 months! She was exactly like Claire and we did exactly as you are! We got to the point of its just easier to get up hold her/feed her for 2 minutes and she'll go back to bed. My Dr. Told me to try not picking her up but giving her a bottle with water in it and rubbing her head/belly whichever and then step away so she can't see you and she should eventually realize it's just water in the bottle and throw it down and go back to sleep. I didn't think it would work because like Claire she would scream until I picked her up. But within one week she was sleeping through the night and if she did wake I could just giver her a paci and walk right back out and she would be asleep again! I was amazed! Good Luck!

  46. Oh man I have definitely come to realize every single baby is either a good sleeper or not. Unfortunately, you are not alone and my 2 year old twins (yes TWO) well next month still DO NOT sleep through the night. We have literally tried everything and just keep praying they will figure it out soon. Until then…coffee!!

  47. My first was an amazing sleeper my second sounds pretty much identical to Claire. He just needed me more. Every single thing that could mess up his nights did, regression, developmental leaps, teeth, sickness, full moons! Finally a little after he turned 1 he just started to finally get it. There was very little crying and it seemed so much less painful and torturous getting him to stay in bed asleep. I truly believe that we add so much more stress to ourselves and the babies and in time they will all figure it out…in their own way 🙂

  48. OH, how I should have listened when people told me that EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT. Truth for sure. And insert copious amounts of praise hands for the invention of the white noise machine. We have three as well….. one in each of the boy's rooms and one in ours too (I'm the lightest sleeper ever – ugh!). I'm sure lots of mommas and mommas-to-be around the world will benefit from reading this post. I know firsthand that it can be disheartening when your nearest and dearest friends seem to have magical babies that all slept through the night at 4 weeks (like Jackson did)… and my only point of reference was my own magical baby. I could not for the life of me figure out what I was doing "wrong"!! He was just different and took more time. Fast forward to 3-4 months and all is well now…. minus the fact that our life looks nothing like it did when it was me at home with just one kiddo to take care of. LOTS more to juggle these days. Joy in the journey, right?!? You are doing good work, friend…. the very, very best work! Thanks for sharing this…. reminds me that I'm not crazy. Ha!

  49. I WISH i had a baby like any 3 of yours!!! I only have one so I can't attest to how different each baby can be…but I'm going guess that my son would be THE WORST sleeper of all time. He is currently 2.5 years old and has only ever slept through the night 3 times…EVER!!!!! He goes to bed at 8pm and wakes every hour and half screaming, angry, happy, sad, thirsty, hungry…just depending on the night. he is on a schedule to try and keep things as consistent and normal as possible. We have tried naps, short and long, as well as no naps. NOTHING WORKS!!!! I can honestly say I will absolutely not miss these days.

  50. My son didn't start sleeping through the night until he was 15 months old! I was beginning to think he would never sleep all night and I was so. very. tired. He is my only child and it was exhausting so I can only imagine how it is for you. On the bright side, my son is now almost 2 and he sleeps like a champ – 12 hours straight every night unless he is sick.

  51. I love this! My first wasn't a great sleeper – but got down to one night waking at 3 months and slept 11/12 hours at 7 months. Our two month old is NOT a good sleeper and my friends with a good sleeper have all been giving me advice – with the undertone that I am clearly not doing it right if she isn't sleeping. (Is it awful to wish that their next is a bad sleeper?) We have found that this one can't digest dairy or soy, so my diet was killing her GI system and she was crying in pain. Since going on this crazy elimination, she is slowly starting to sleep better. But there is so much more to sleep than the typical 'dark room, noise maker, swaddle' – some babies still don't sleep 12 hours even when you've done all three 😉 But this post really makes me not feel alone!

  52. Not that it solves your problem, buy my toddler has been a horrible sleeper since the start. He was somewhere around 11 months old when he started sleeping through the night and then teething completely set us back to the beginning. He is three now but still about once or twice a week has a rough night. We've just adapted to it and worked our hardest to keep him in his own bed. I finally gave up and told myself it would happen eventually.

  53. Oh how I can relate! My first 2 were amazing sleepers, and I also have a 9 month old who still wakes up at least once through the night, and we too have tried every trick in the book with no such luck! Thanks for your honesty, I love your blog and always look forward to your new posts!!!

  54. Jessica – I read this at 3:30 this morning when my #3 was up wanting to have play time. Thank you for getting me through! Have you tried putting Claire on her belly? Worked for all mine. Just a thought.

  55. Our 2YO has slept through the night only a handful of times and naps about 30 minutes a day, hahaha. It's insane, actually. I honestly say I 100% agree with you that some babies just don't like sleep nor need it because ours is still the energizer bunny the rest of the hours of the day. He will be an only child and his sleep is 50% of the reason! 🙂

  56. Oh man, this post speaks to me!!!
    I'm a first time mommy and I have a 9 month old baby girl Avery that won't sleep through the night. I thought most babies slept through the night by this point and have been googling like crazy. Avery is very cleaver, knows what she wants and won't adjust to changes in the middle of the night routine. She wakes up 10:30 and 3:00 on the is just easier to go in, nurse her and she's happy and sleeping for 3 hours…I also get some sleep that way…well…besides my noisy cat at night (eyeroll) Thanks for the post!

  57. Nope, you're not alone. I've had those moments where I was like "please! take the baby or I'm going to die!" But here I am with baby #1 who slept through the night at 6 weeks and now baby #2 who is 18 months and just started sleeping through the night about a month ago. He still takes 30 minutes – 1 hour to get to sleep. We do bath, milk, snack, reading, singing, rocking & he goes into his bed awake but he just fusses and fusses and squirms around FOREVER!! Our first was getting moved to a big girl bed at 18 months but this kid would be awake all night if he wasn't confined to the crib. Good luck mommas! Every single one is different and difficult in their own ways.

  58. Oh how your post gave me some much needed comfort at 5am this morning! (after the 12:30am initial wake up) It is so wonderful knowing we aren't alone in all of this. I think I will be trying the "wake to sleep" method as my 5 month old (2nd child) is almost consistently waking at 12:30am and then again at 5am. My first son, who is 3 now, slept through the night from the get go. It was absolute heaven! Now I'm just so desperate to get a solid 5 – 6 hours of sleep at night for my own sanity. My first son was breastmilk and formula fed. The second is getting exclusively breastfed. I'm wondering if this is making a difference too? Hang in there all you sleep deprived mamas! It will get better and one day they will be teenagers and we will have to drag them out of bed! Haha!

  59. Yup, you just described my second child. breastfed exclusively until around 9 months when he self weaned and we went to formula so I thought FOR SURE he would start sleeping through the night..NOPE! every once in a while & I would think…THIS IS IT! but he would go through a week of bad sleeping then a couple good days then back to bad. finally when he started sleeping through the night consistently..he was 12 months or so …and he would wake up at 5:30 EVERY morning. we finally just got him to 7 wake up time! hes 15 months old! YOU GOT THIS!!!!!

  60. I have a very similar story! My first was and still is pretty great. She started sleeping through the night at 5 weeks and never really looked back. Baby number 2…not so much. I nursed her until she was 15 months old and she did not stop waking in the night until we stopped nursing. She never really liked her crib, either. Both girls sleep together in a full size bed and most nights go really well. I am due with baby number 3 in July and we will see which way she goes. Praying for a "good" sleeper, but most nights I don't mind that middle of the night snuggle session where its just me and her. 🙂 Cheers to strong coffee and a tall glass of wine!

  61. Mine is nearly 8 months and *just* started sleeping through the night. I had to let her cry it out…. And she laughed in the face of crying it out for a long time. I feel your pain. But I only have one baby! Crazy how different each baby is!

  62. I have to admit this post kind of terrified me. Our firstborn is like Harper: awesome sleeper. He didn't sleep through the night until 6 months but only woke once a night and we very consistent overall. I'm due with baby #2 (actually due today) and reading about Eloise and Claire makes me shiver in fear. But glad to have this a reference point. 🙂

  63. Mine was just like your littlest. And then one night (at 10 months) – bam! He slept through the night and never looked back. Here's to hoping Claire will do the same!

  64. My son is three and also doesn't sleep through the night and it's driving me to the brink of insanity!!! Glad to know I'm not the only one. He's up probably 3-4 times a night.

  65. Going with the flow is sooo true! And not only in sleeping (hello there, night terrors and potty training madness!) 😛
    I've heard really good things about pediatric ostheopathy for sleep issues on babies. I personally went in ostheopathy during both of my pregnancies and it helped me with my sciatic and the constant pain in my hips and back.
    I also went for my first baby to get her head corrected when she was 3 months old. According to my doctor, it was a helmet case, so she suggested me to go in osth. for an evaluation. It only took 3 appointments and some tips we did at home, and her head was back to normal!
    A friend of mine went for her daughter who wasn't sleeping through the night and was often grumpy during the day. She saw a difference after one appointment only!
    Good luck! 🙂

  66. My third turned two at the end of January and still does not sleep through the night (she is up anywhere from 1-4x a night!) She has slept through the night only 3 times total…like EVER! ? My first slept through the night by 8 weeks. My second was up twice a night until 6 months then once a night until 10 months when he started sleeping through the night. We have steadily declined in good sleepers. I, like you, have decided some kids are awesome sleepers, some are okay and some totally suck…my Ella totally sucks at sleeping but is a dream orherwise?

  67. I think you hit the nail on the head. All babies are SO different! And I want to add that I think a nine month old waking only once or twice a night is great and very age appropriate. Glad you aren't stressing about it!!

  68. Thank you for posting this! I feel like you never really talked much (in detail) about how your girls slept, so I assumed they did well! I only have one child, and he is not a good sleeper. It's so easy to blame yourself for that, but seeing how differently each of your daughters slept/sleep makes me feel a bit better! Do you nurse Claire back to sleep or use a bottle? I'm just curious. My son is almost 18 months old, and gets upset if I don't nurse him back to sleep at night. He'll outgrow it eventually, right?? 🙂

  69. My almost 2 year old was like your Claire. She woke up once or twice a night for the first year. She never stayed awake more than a few minutes but I would have to rock or feed her. She would not even consider letting me shush her or cry it out or pat her back. But she always went to sleep very easily and was always awake when I put her down. I am a serious believer in white noise machines and swaddling too!! Anyway she started sleeping through the night most nights around 1 year basically in her own without any crazy sleep training methods so there is a light at the end of the tunnel!! And then you'll miss those wakings oddly enough!

  70. My 6 1/2 month old sounds just like your Claire! He's my second and I thought I had this down as well. My first started sleeping through the night as soon as he could put the pacifier back in himself. I just assumed that would be the case with my second! But here we are…he's been able to seamlessly put the pacifier back in for over a month now and he still consistently wakes up once or twice per night. And, like you, I have to typically nurse him to get him back to sleep. I waffle back and forth between being frustrated that he is still waking and not caring at all because…really not a huge deal at the end of the day. Plus they grow so fast we might miss these days!

  71. Ours is almost 14 months and still doesn't sleep consistently through the night. We had been doing really good and working on sleeping through the night for about 2 weeks, but now it's hit or miss. Glad to know each babe is different and hopefully all future babies will be rockstar sleepers! (ha, I'm sure they'll keep me up, too.)

  72. You're totally right about some babies just not being good sleepers! Our girl (3 years old now) didn't sleep through the night until she was 15 months old! Til then, she was up AT LEAST twice each night. I seriously thought we would never sleep again! She's still a light sleeper, but since giving up her nap completely a few weeks ago (Lord, help me…), she now falls asleep much faster at night and gives me about an extra hour of rest in the morning, which I am very appreciative of! Good luck, Momma! One morning you'll wake up and realize you didn't wake up throughout the night and immediately freak out to make sure she's okay! And then hopefully it will all be sweet and sound Zzz's from then on! 🙂

  73. Both my boys 1.5 & 2.5 don't sleep through the night still.
    I'm always jealous of everyone who's children sleep through the night from early on.
    I've tried everything and finally am just riding it out, it can't last forever…. Right?

  74. just how great is this! being that sleep with our children is nearly the number one thing we as mamas stew over so so much. so great and encouraging to see that even the same parents can have babies who have completely different sleep patterns! it's just who they are! I guess we can't change/train them as much as we may always think we can 🙂 thank you for this!!

  75. I LOVE this post. My first was a terrible sleeper- for the first eight months. Then, she figured out how to sleep through the night and now she is a sleeping champ! She sleeps all night, sleeps in, and takes a super long nap in the afternoon. She is the kid who ASKS for naps throughout the day!
    Then, we became foster parents and I realized that I had absolutely nothing to complain about. After receiving a newborn placement, she cried 24/7 for the first 3 months. I'm not even exaggerating. We NEVER slept. Now, she is almost 8 months old and wakes up 2-3 times in the night. But the kicker? She also will not nap during the day. She takes two 20 minute naps. That is it. I've tried everything and read every book. This child does not sleep.
    I'm now pregnant with our second pregnancy and I'm hoping I'll finally have a baby who sleeps through the night right off the bat. That happens, right? Ha!
    All that to say- it's so refreshing to hear that I'm not alone and that I'm not the only one who has tried every trick in the book- and without success! Here's to you (and me!), Mama!


  76. My 3 year old doesn't and has never slept through the night. My frustration has seriously seen it all! But I think "going with the flow" should carry more weight in the mothering world. We'd all be a lot less stressed! Excellent post, you're nailing it!!

  77. I also have a three year old in my bed at some point about every other night. since my other 3 kids are teenagers (and some on the way out of the house) I decided to embrace this. I will miss it I already know but some nights when I am being woke up it is a little agitating

  78. I have the opposite. My first was terrible and would cry for hours in the middle of the night and then sometimes only sleep 30 to 45 min at a time once we calmed him. He did this for 4 months until I was at my breaking point and decided sleep training had to happen for our family's survival. He's slept through the night ever since. Now with #2 I have a sleeper like Claire. He puts himself to sleep without crying, but still wakes 2 to 3 times a night at almost 7 months old. But when he wakes at night he's so easy to put back to sleep. I consider him an amazing sleeper compared to my first! Haha! And I'm just going with the flow! I whole heartedly agree with you. Each baby will do their own thing and will need something different, and we just need to adapt and do what's best for our family at the time! We're all just doing our best!;) Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability. I've been following since you were pregnant with Harper and still love your blog. I'm amazed at how much you get done with 3 kids! Chin up, you're doing awesome!

  79. The sleep battle is going strong at our house right now. I wish I had done things differently with this little nugget, but I didn't and now we're working on getting him to fall asleep in his crib for naps and bedtime. I hate the 'cry it out' method and hate hearing him cry for extended amounts of time. Also, people have said things like, "the first night my baby only cried for 20 minutes and then fell asleep. The next night, just 15, and then the third night, was out right away." Um. You do not have my child. My baby will cry for as long as I leave him in there – an hour or more. Even if I go in and pat/soothe him. The crying starts up again when I leave the room. It's terrible. My daily prayer is for him to learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep! One day these babies will figure it out, right?!

  80. I read this thinking someone was writing about my own life! my first two girls were amazing sleepers and still are (6 and 3). My 4 month old wakes up anywhere from 2-5 times between the hours of 8pm-6:30 a.m. We have tried it all, except cry it out but mama just might break and go there! its reassuring to hear that i am not alone! and my kid isn't broken! lol

  81. Hi Jessica – do you keep the sound machine on all night? We have one but it turns off after 45 minutes and I feel like it almost makes it worse when it shuts off!
    My two year old still doesn't sleep so I'll say a prayer for you that Claire doesn't take after my Nora there. However I was blessed with a good sleeper – 8 months old. So like you say, it all balances out. Thanks!

  82. My 4 year old slept in my bed until he was 3. That was the only way he wouldn't wake up. My almost 3 year old didn't sleep through the night until he was 20 months, 2 months before baby #3 showed up. I thought I was going to have to wake up with a newborn and a two year old, thankfully that didn't happen. My 1 year old woke up a lot but finally I did the cry it out at 9 months and after 3-4 nights she was sleeping through! She still wakes maybe 1-2 nights a week but it's only for 30 secs. I don't think there is any method that works for everyone. I agree every baby is different and every parent is different. My husband and I didn't agree on the cry it out but thankfully it didn't take long to work so he wasn't mad at me for letting her cry.

  83. Well, I have two words for you that will make you feel better about y'all's sleep situation: NIGHT TERRORS. I have a 2.5 year old who still wakes up, usually just once, but sometimes more, times a night with screaming, crying, incoherent babbling. Add to this a (almost) 5 month old who's still going through the 4 month sleep regression, I'm basically a zombie. Oh yeah, and my 2.5 year old doesn't nap anymore. I've heard that bad sleeping is linked with higher intelligence, so I'm just banking on my kids making this up to me later on in life with cold, hard cash.


  84. Thank you so much for this post! Sometimes you just need to hear "it's not your fault and you can't fix it" when it comes to sleeping babies. I feel like a new mom with baby number two because she is TOTALLY different!

  85. My pediatrician said it best "people who have babies that sleep have done nothing right and people who have babies that don't sleep have done nothing but wrong. They are born that way."

    We will all sleep one day, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

Share on pinterest
Share on facebook