12 signs you’re a sleep-deprived parent

March 29, 2015

Are you a sleep-deprived parent? Here’s 12 signs your child is no friend of sleep…

12 signs you're a sleep-deprived parent - what to do when your baby or toddler doesn't sleep...make sure you read this post to see if you recognise the signs!

You can always tell when the clocks change due to the higher-than-normal volume of tweets from parents. Extra hour in bed? Not likely! Lighter evenings? Thanks so much for the 9pm bedtime. Blackout blinds? Ha! – are some of the things you’re highly likely to read from the deluge of disgruntled – and sleep deprived – mums and dads on social media. In the parenting marketplace, sleep, it seems, would have a higher value than diamonds.

Everyone seems to have one parenting issue that affects them more than anything, be it weaning, milestones or fussy eating. And ours?

We seem to make early childhood nap refusers. Nightly sleep thieves. Babies who are definitely not best mates with blissful slumber.

Having been through it once, I was more prepared this time round to be sleep-deprived at this early stage. I know that breastfed babies are meant to wake more, it’s natural and healthy. There are biological reasons for the wakings. I love the closeness and comfort of the night feed, and greet the baby’s little face with absolute joy when I scoop her out of her SnuzPod and plug her on to the boob, however many times a night.

But seriously? Oh man, I am SO tired.

So I’m just going to indulge myself, again, with more siesta talk. Here are 12 signs your – my – child is no fan of sleep and oyu’re a sleep-deprived parent…

  1. You wake up every morning on the edge of a bed filled with all members of your family
  2. You blink when you leave the house in a manner previously only reserved for leaving clubs at 4am
  3. The thought of running out of concealer makes you panic. Make-up should totally be allowed as a tax-deductible business expense, right?
  4. People actually tell you that you look tired (thanks)
  5. People you secretly resent: people who tell you that you look tired, people who humblebrag about their children sleeping through, people who complain about being tired because they went out last night
  6. You think up loads of amazing, world-changing ideas at 3am that make an amusing lack of sense in daylight. Your phone browser is full of lots of open tabs you only vaguely remember looking at, including online shopping baskets you never check out (probably a good thing for your maternity leave bank balance)
  7. You see the red mist of rage with your partner over the most ridiculous of things (*cough* bedsheets). When really it’s all about the fact that last night he got five hours of sleep in one go and you can’t even dream of that
  8. 90% of your diet consists of sugar, the rest comforting carbs
  9. Children’s TV begins to make sense. And you develop strange crushes on most of the presenters
  10. You fantasise about when your next block of sleep will be. Sleep over spare time, every time
  11. But you get a second wind at about 9pm and despite everything, you still don’t go to bed early because the evening is your only time. Also; I’ll just take one last look at Instagram…
  12. You’re so obsessed with sleep you write yet another blog post about it. Sorry, everyone who’s just dropped off x



  • Potty Mouthed Mummy

    March 30, 2015 at 8:14 am

    this made me chuckle lots, precisely how I felt everyday on maternity leave with my non sleeping baby ha ha. Fab xxx

  • Emily

    March 30, 2015 at 8:42 am

    So true for me right now. Get so annoyed when people say “I didn’t sleep very well Last night, I woke up at 3”, my response “I haven’t slept well for the past 8 months, plus the last few months of pregnancy.” And 5 hours in a row is something I can only dream of. Until that point caffeine is my friend!

  • Carie

    March 30, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Oh that made me giggle! I can say yes, yes, and yes again it to every single one of those 12, especially the bit about getting a second wind at 9 PM are not going to bed when you really should – when will I ever learn!

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry

    March 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Sleep deprivation is the hardest part of parenting! There were some days I was too shattered to move and second time round that’s not an option like it is with your first! Then when they start sleeping you forget and want to do it all again! x

  • Alice

    March 30, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Yes yes yes yes yes to all these things!

  • Fiona

    March 30, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Yes to the edge of the bed, and yes to the ridiculous number of tabs I have no recollection of looking at in the early hours, love this post! x

  • Alison Perry

    March 30, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I came up with SO MANY genius ideas at 3am that I could either not remember, come morning, or seemed insanely bad! ha! Hope you start getting more sleep soon….

  • Adele @ Circus Queen

    March 30, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Yup, yup, yup! Especially about the second wind. I must get better at going to bed earlier! Like now!

  • Claire

    March 31, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Being a zombie is almost a right of passage for new parents. I was reading an article where someone was suggesting that you should not feed your baby in the middle of the night every time they cry – the theory being that they will adjust themselves to the routine you set them. I’m not sure I’d be able to do that but if there was an easier way to get a couple of hours of sleep, I’d love to try it out.

  • Slummy single mummy

    March 31, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I STILL woke up with my whole family in my bed and my daughter is 12. (Sorry, that’s probably not reassuring…)

  • Lottie :: Oyster & Pearl

    March 31, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Oh god, I remember this well. Neither of mine slept either. Took me to the brink. Courage mon brave x

  • laura redburn

    April 1, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    i can’t identify with this but it still made me laugh and i can definitely see all of these things being true for a lot of parents!

  • Lori

    April 2, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I swear sleep deprivation is a form of torture! and yes number 3 runs very true to me, I couldn’t step out of the house without concealer. x

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  • Laura

    April 5, 2015 at 12:10 am

    Literally all of these things represent how I look and feel at the moment – living on 90% sugar, looking beyond tired and even though I really need sleep that second wind comes and I take the evening for all it’s worth and then immediately regret that in the morning after only having 1 hours sleep

    Laura x

  • Rachel

    April 6, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    waking up in a bed full of all your family – so true!

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