To the parent who's baby does not sleep.
I bet if you are reading this you are exhausted from yet another sleepless night, I bet you have bags under your eyes and are surviving on caffeine to get you through the day. I bet you are wondering when you will ever get a full nights sleep again and are busy counting down the hours until bedtime and keeping your fingers and toes tightly crossed that tonight might be the night that your baby actually sleeps all night.
I bet you have tried everything to get your child to sleep, bedtime routines, stories, snuggles, milk and kisses goodnight. I bet you have have tried cutting down day time naps, playing with them and taken them out for fresh air to try and tire them out. I bet you have filled their little tummies with food or milk (depending on their age), checked the temperature of the room and made sure it is just right. I bet you have made the room dark, or made the room light, tried musical toys, white noise devices and sung countless lullabies.
I bet you have searched online for advice and tried everything going from cuddling baby to sleep, staying in the room with them or leaving them alone to cry, yeah I didn't like that one either. I bet you have tried putting baby in your bed, rocking them in the pram and pacing up and down trying to get them to sleep. I bet you have cried with exhaustion and willed your baby to just go to sleep, just the once so you can sleep.
I also bet that you have been bombarded with advice from strangers and loved ones saying to do this and to do that to get baby to sleep, even though you have already tried everything they suggest multiple times. I bet you are sick of people saying "oh they should be sleeping through by now" or "you look tired". You might even feel like you are doing something wrong as everyone else's baby seems to sleep except yours, when you hear of babies younger then your own sleeping all night you think it is unfair.
I know all of this because I have been there too very recently, my son is seventeen months and has only just started sleeping all night. I tried everything to get him to sleep and nothing at all worked, I was tired and grumpy and would weep with exhaustion thinking that he would never sleep. Then one day he slept all night, I had done nothing different and thought it was a fluke. The next night he slept all night again and the next and the next. It has taken a while but he has finally got the memo that night time is for sleeping.
You know what ? Now that he sleeps I actually miss those nights he did not sleep when it was just me and him awake whilst the rest of the world slept, I must admit I do enjoy my sleep more though. So if your little one is keeping you awake all night rest assured that it won't last forever and someday they will sleep. So ignore all the comments and advice and just keep doing what you are doing, forget fancy gizmo's and changing routines as one day they will sleep and take you by surprise. Until that day remember that caffeine and cake are aloud when your sleep deprived and most important of all remember that you are doing a great job.
Lots of love and a virtual coffee from one sleep deprived parent to another x