I’m sure you can relate to the yoyo of sleep that you have when you are a mother.   Or should I say lack of sleep…   If this is a big problem at your house, then you may need to skip right ahead to your own copy of Hacking  Sleep!   I have been  on a sleep preservation quest since day one of motherhood. when sleep when the baby sleeps   I am a big fan of sleep.   Sleep is good.   I am good when I sleep.   It was actually one of those things I worried about BEFORE becoming a mother… when would I sleep? Because I read approximately 432 parenting books while pregnant (amidst the 983 pregnancy books), I had that answer when the BABY arrived. You sleep when the baby sleeps! This seemed to be the ONLY statement that all 1,415 books agreed on – go ahead and check my math.  Every guru, doctor,   or nanny who has ever written a pregnancy or parenting book promotes the catchy sleep while the baby sleeps slogan. Made sense to me.  Made sense to me PRIOR to childbirth.  Made sense to me AFTER childbirth except for the small detail that my firstborn appeared to prefer SCREAMING to SLEEPING.  You sleep when the baby screams! Is less catchy, hard to do without earplugs and not in the books. sleep when the baby screams - Kids Activities Blog Obviously I needed another BOOK or another baby… That is when I found the Sleep Bible aka Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, MD  (affiliate links used throughout that support Kids Activities Blog). Dr. Weissbluth has fancy graphs and schedules to tell you EXACTLY when to lay your child down for a nap, when to wake or not wake him and then when to put the child to bed – for every stage, age and temperament. Hallelujah!  I followed the book EXACTLY.  My baby actually did what the book said!* *I should mention that I now call my oldest my textbook baby because he was a baby by the book.   He responded the way books suggested.   He hit milestones ON TARGET to perfection.   He even started walking on his first birthday – just like the book predicted.   In a cosmic let’s-all-watch-and-laugh-at-Holly-as-she-tries-to-figure-it-out my subsequent children did not respond in any book-related manner. The good news was I got some sleep as Dr. Weissbluth’s pie graph suggested. One of the things mentioned in the Bible of child sleep is that in some cases children will awaken at the same time in the morning no matter what time you put them to bed. I have found that I parent three such cases. If I put them to bed at 6 pm, they awake at 6:12 am. If I put them to bed at 8 pm, they awake at 6:12 am. If I put them to bed at 11 pm, they awake at 6:12 am. It is a freaky phenomenon and so I try to error on the early side…really, is 4 pm too early? I do try to get them in bed by 8 so that they get their sleep and I get some quiet time.  *angel choir softly singing in the background* All summer I have gotten the boys to bed at a regular time so the theory went untested.  And then there was the fourth of July and last Saturday night.   Both nights had boy’s bedtimes exceeding the 11 pm hour.  Both nights had the following morning waking time at…6:12 am. Both following days contained fireworks of tantrums, whining, fighting and general discontent…  and I am talking about MY behavior.  Because while the boys can pop out of bed at 6:12 am with vigor for the day, I cannot. Which brings me back full circle to the parenting dilemma – when do I sleep? In the meantime, here are the best sleep tips…   best sleep for your child And, if you need help with sleep TODAY, then check out Sleep Hacks written by one of the Kids Activities Blog editors who has personal experience with sleep deprivation!  Download & read it right now to get your whole family back to sleeping well. Hacking Sleep Now that my kids are older, I can more clearly see how lack of sleep in my house caused problems that should have never been there.  Everyone needs their sleep… …especially me.

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  1. Loved the put them to bed X time and they wake 6:12am. Too funny and so true.

    Personally I don’t think 4pm is too early…but you know I have three kids so I’m all about early bedtimes.

    Good blog! I’m a newbie!

  2. That picture is uber cute!

    My kid sleeps through the night, and it is all because of Dr. W. If it was not for Dr. W, what little sleep my husband and I did those first few months, would have not existed. We lead a sad existence for a very long time. If Madaline went to bed at 7, we were in bed by 7:30, if she went to bed at 8, we were in bed by 8:30, and so on and so forth. I think when she was about 10 months old, we were able to put her to bed, and stay up longer than 30 minutes. But, even then, we would always be waiting for the other shoe to drop, and we were always in bed no later than 2 hours after her.

  3. I believe the prevailing rationale is: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Personally, I’m not sure I can wait that long.

  4. You put them to bed at 6, you go to bed at 6. You put them to bed at 8, you go to bed at 8. Don’t choose stay-up-quiet-time instead of sleeping time. So what if you are snoring at 7 while other people are having adult conversations with their spouses? Go to sleep!

  5. Welcome to my life, at least sleep wise. Or perhaps, I joined you, since your oldest is older. Whatever, sleep deprivation makes it hard to focus. 🙂

  6. My children are the same way, and it is amazing to me how the only perceptible difference between enough sleep and not enough sleep for them is temperament. They either play nicely together or bicker and goad all day long. Of course, I respond worse if I’m more tired too. I haven’t figured out when I get to sleep yet, but it’s obvious that I deserve a lot of time to make up for the last five years. So do you. We should perhaps start a sleep commune.

  7. I have 2 of those child-type. My sister always says (after a sleep-over with cousins)it’s not about what time they went to sleep, it’s what time they woke-up. I institute “quiet rest time” daily so they can read, or play in their rooms while I rest.

  8. My kids do that, too. Only my kids get up at around 7:15am. I don’t think I could stand 6:12am. Gah. I don’t really do pre-7am. I am not a morning person.

    Sleep? When they’ve moved out and have families of their own who keep them up at night. Then you’ll sleep the sleep of the just.

  9. Nicholas was a screamer and never slept. Although I didn’t read the 483 books that you did, the 341 books that I DID read all said the same mantra, “Sleep when the baby sleeps”. Ha! I found that awesome book Healthy Sleep, Happy Child (or whatever it was called) and it did help. Now, to find a solution to Em’s point of what to do with Baby #1 (5 years old!) while Baby #2 and I sleep. I have tried the candy bowl in front of the TV but he wandered into the kitchen to heat up his own meal in the microwave (we’ve NEVER taught him to do that and I had no idea he knew how!!!). Surely a single slice of pizza does NOT need 10 minutes in the microwave to get warm! No more sleep for this Mama!