Honestly Though: Good Night, and Good Luck

The following post is part of a series I'll be writing over the next few months, sponsored by The Honest Company. First up? Sleep. As in... lack of. Because, yeah.
When I was first chatting with my friend, Sarah, about what I wanted to write about for this little collaboration of ours and I mentioned sleep, it was more about "how we managed with no sleep at the beginning, because, you know, we're mostly sleeping through the night these days and it's awesome but there was once a time when I was sleeping three hours a night on a good night and it sucked and I'm sure there are many folks out there dealing with the same sleeplessness and we should form a support group where we offer each other honest feedback, support and, just... camaraderie."

And Sarah was like, "YES!" Because Sarah gets it as a soon-to-be mama of two. (Babies, woohoo!)

And then (of course) a week later, our sleep-through-the-night house erupted in spontaneous sleeplessness. Fable with night terrors... (She often wakes up and is actually not awake at all and yells for me even though I'm right here, Fable. I'm here. I'm right next to you you are looking at me right now.) And Bo and Revi with the sudden need to party... separately though. They NEVER wake each other up. Instead they go back and forth, scheduling turns for wake-up nights.

"Here, you take Tuesdays this week and I'll do Wednesdays, cool?" 

Bo actually slept in our bed for the first time since she was a baby because after two hours of on and off crying/me trying to sing to her while rocking her/laying on my back with her on my chest on the carpet in her and Revi's bedroom, I gave up and brought her into bed with Hal and me where she spent the rest of the night putting her fingers in our eyes and saying, "eyes. EYES. Eyes eyes eyes. Bo ha eyes. Mama ha eyes. Daddy ha eyes. EYES EYES EYES."
And then it was light outside and NO NO NO WHAT THE... NOOOOOOO!

I've decided that they are doing this because about a month ago, I went crazy and said the words "maybe we'll have another one someday" which SHUT UP, I KNOW. WE'RE NOT BUT... Bo and Revi are about to be two and when Archer was two the same thing happened. And when Fable was two, too.

My friend Polly tells me it's normal. Something to do with the body being, like, "I'm healed and sleeping through the night and everyone is acclimated to life and YEEHAW, LET'S JUST KEEP POPPIN' EM OUT!

Maybe this sleepless situation is my answer to "please, voice, LEAVE ME ALONE! GO AWAY AND STOP KEEPING ME UP AT NIGHT WITH YOUR CRAZINESS!"

And it has.

So, word. 


Sleep is one of those answerless questions that has nothing to do with the parent and everything to do with the child. And, yes, maybe there are specialists out there who would disagree with me (I'm sure there are) but the fact of the matter is, we're all different. Some of us sleep on our sides with pillows propped everywhere and some of us sleep on our backs and some of us need to listen to sound machines and some of us need the window open and etc., etc., a million variables. Well, the same goes for babies because they're people and just because they're small, doesn't mean they don't have preferences. The problem is that they don't reaaaalllly know what those preferences are. And neither do we. 

For example, Archer could only sleep alone. He is what I call an "independent sleeper" who is happy to have his space. (Only in his old age has he become increasingly fall-asleep-next-to-parents-y in the wee hours of the morning when he's up and Hal and I are like, NOT YET PLEASE NOT YET!)

Fable was quite the opposite. She slept with us in our room for thirteen months and that was the only way she would fall asleep. And then, she spent her entire second year (not even kidding) sleeping in her stroller. As a bed. Which is weird but it's what worked for her and us so there you have it. 

Bo and Revi shared a crib for three months before clawing each other's eyes accidentally, forcing us to separate them. 

I spent their first two months of life on the night shift and when my mom left, slept an average of two-four hours a night for almost an entire year.  Which was not fun, and if you were reading my blog then, you may recall a few thousand posts about said subject. I could not stop writing about it and spontaneously crying. 

I honestly don't even remember most of those nights because my brain has mashed them into a sort of Blur Jam but I do have posts about sleeplessness and how much it sucked. And more than likely, you experienced the same hell. Which is what bonds us all together, right?

Anyway. I wanted this post to be a sort of invitation to those of you who want to share your sleep stories. For example, every night for the past eight plus years I've sung Moon River to allllll the kids, which is probably more for me than it is for them, come to think of it. I feel like lullabies (and prayers, too, if that's important to you) create rituals. We bathe the kids (two at a time), brush teeth, read stories (two at a time), close our eyes and sing a song together. It's our "let's take it down a notch" time. (Lights out for Bo and Revi is typically 7:30-8. Fable and Archer usually go to bed between 8:30 and 9.) 

Archer and Fable still fall asleep listening to light music of some kind. Hal and I cuddle with the big kids every night before bed, do back scratches and then swap so that we each get one-on-one time with each kid. 

As for Bo and Revi, we have our nightly "everyone kiss each other and say goodnight to all the items" moment before we sing our song and I turn on the sound machine. Sometimes Bo and Revi go down with a board book and (of course) their blankies. (They usually chat with each other for half an hour or so before finally falling asleep. This morning I woke up to them singing ring-around-the-rosy in their English/Baby fusion language - the greatest wake-up call of all time.)

Which I guess brings me to the accidental point of my post. The experience of "beddy-bye time" (as we call it) is different for all of us but also exactly the same. We sleep, we don't sleep, we don't sleep, we sleep, we wake up to faces that we really like A LOT.
What about you guys? Are your kids great sleepers? Not so much? What's your nightly routine? What sleep arrangements work for you? What songs do you guys sing? Is there a special book you read? Dance you do? Tell me your bedtime stories, friends.


I'll choose one commenter at random next Thursday, August 1st to win Honest's Pampering Collection ($45.95) which includes the conditioning mist, which I spray in my hair every day and it's my favorite. 

In the meantime, you can go here to sign up for a free "bundle" trial of your choice. ED: The diapers + wipes bundle is our go-to. We've been subscribers since Bo and Revi were teensy and are still going strong. And... for first-time customers looking to do a little shopping, receive $10 off a minimum $40 order by using code GGCSleepEasy. (One coupon per customer!)

Thanks, Honest, and good luck with that sleeping business, all. 



Anonymous | 9:42 AM

At 9 1/2 months old, we're just now getting rest. Levi goes to sleep at about 7pm and wakes up @ 6am. He takes a bottle and we rock to sleep. I love it.

Rebecca | 5:06 AM

Sleep! Huh? With my first I was clueless. The only way I could get him to nap without a two hour crying ordeal first was to strap him into his stroller and walk him around our back patio. When my second son came along, I put him in a wrap and continued to walk the first around - in Florida. In 95 degree weather which I am sure was not good for any of us. My second son nursed every two hours until he was 15 months old. When he finally slept more than 2 hours he still would wake up 4-5 times a night asking to be covered up or for water. Then we had fun as he escaped from his crib and then bed. My strategy now is to run him around and not nap him and he basically begs to go to bed at 6 pm. This is helpful because, drumroll please, I have a 3 month old. Once I figured out she likes the little light next to my bed on when she falls asleep in her bassinet, we were good to go. I learned that she might fuss for a few minutes before she falls asleep and I am not a bad mom if I don't pick her up. She falls asleep on her own and we are all better for it. However, I am totally lying to my husband. He takes up residency in our guest room during the first few newborn months so he can sleep and run our company the next day. I am letting him believe she wakes up a lot throughout the night so that he will take pity on me and get up with our two year old who wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and yells "I hungy!".
I never understood when women claimed they had "mommy brain". But with my 3rd pregnancy I noticed a definite decline in brain activity. I have found a direct correlation between sleeping and memories. My ability to make new memories is altered if I am not sleeping enough. I hardly remember my second son's first year at all. I also feel my brain having a harder time to come up with words or facts not directly related to childcare. During my last pregnancy ( my 3rd in four years) my oldest finished my sentences. "Can you hand me that..."
"Plate?" he offers sweetly.
"Yes, and a ..."
"Fork?" he suggests.
When I watch Jeopardy I know answers are hidden, buried beneath time, sleep loss, and a plethora of knowledge pertaining to intricate details of what is missing from my pantry, how many g diapers I have left and where my son left his scooter. Lit crit theory and specific names of chemical compounds may escape me but I can tell you every name of the children in my son's preschool class.
I picture myself old and with grown children, waking up to phantom cries and laughing as I snuggle in for a full eight hours. But for now? I soldier through just as the rest of us do and try to remember the names of common household objects.