Sleep thieves & exit strategies

Sun 29 Jan 17 | Just for Fun, Mummy Stuff | 16 comments

Small humans are strange. When they’re exhausted, like us bigger versions they need to sleep. But if you miss that teeny tiny window (of about 45 seconds) where they’re good and sleepy, they kick off and fight the zeds because they’re overtired. Possibly the single most annoying part of parenting in my opinion. ‘Overtired’?! What the hell even is that?! Just shut your eyes and GO. TO. SLEEP. Jennifer Garner puts it beautifully in this not very sensitive bedtime story (**contains gratuitous but expertly placed swearing – enjoy).

Finding their ‘off’ button, or helping our little angels find it themselves, has been one of the trickiest parts of parenting for me. So, come on then, how do you get yours to sleep?


Do you:

  1. Dump and run – literally place them gently in bed, kiss on the head, run away without looking back. Lucky you, if you can get away with this.
  2. Leave your aura – lay them down, stay a few seconds, then back away stealthily ready to rush back at the first sign of a fidget. “What? I never left! My aura was still there!” (an Eddie Izzard supermarket queue reference for any fans). Oh how well you get to know every single creak in the floor boards that could scupper your chances of a smooth exit.
  3. Do the Commando Crawl – this is an extreme version of leaving your aura, which involves exiting the nursery below baby’s eyeline on your stomach, military commando through the mud stylee. The plan being to avoid the little bugger deploying their X-ray vision and spotting you leaving the room despite BEING COMPLETELY ASLEEP. Ex-military Husband aced this.
  4. Stay and shush – nice long ‘shhhhhhhhs’ that seem to work, but each time you stop the eyes flutter open… so you keep going until you’re scared you can’t say a straight ‘s’ any more like you’ve developed some strange Sean Connery-esque speech impediment.
  5. The botty tap – this is a favourite of ours at the mo. Normally means we don’t have to pick her up, as she feels strangely comforted by a regular bottom pat as she drifts off. Imagine if anyone tried to do that to you as you fell asleep. Proper weird.
  6. Dance til your arm falls off – they feel so light at first don’t they? Ahhh, how nice – baby cuddles and waltzes on the spot in that teeny tiny box room nursery (unless they’re the first child of course)… until it’s 45 minutes later, you’re still swaying and singing, now with leaden arms, pins and needles somewhere uncomfortable and massive hunger pangs from the cooking smells coming from downstairs.
  7. Sit and cuddle – the comfy armchair snooze. Normally for both of you.
  8. Strange bespoke rocking technique – only your baby knows if you’re doing it right. Ours was an odd squatty type bounce with a big jolt at the top of each rep… funny creature, was our first.
  9. In and out – this can be dangerous. You go in to offer comfort from the crying – some babies feel more reassured and settle back down, others (like ours) ramp up the guilt and scream louder expecting to be picked up and cuddled. If you do, you’re buggered and end up back at option 4, 6 or 9…
  10. Whatever it takes – your technique changes on a nightly basis for the easiest ride. Perhaps it’s lying down with baby and closing eyes to get them to sleep, feeding to sleep, singing one song over and over like a stuck record, taking them out in the car…

What random techniques work(ed) for you?


The ultimate goal. Aww. All is forgiven!

My Petit Canard
You Baby Me Mummy


  1. franbackwithabump

    So hard at times to get them to settle isn’t it! At night Pops goes down well, but in the day she can be a bugger and keeps standing up in her cot and so we’ve taken to giving her a cuddle until she drops off. I just don’t want to make a habit of it!! Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays x

    • kimberly

      Argh I know, I beat myself up over bad habits but sometimes… needs must x

  2. justsayingmum

    Oh very entertaining! The commando crawl – oh my word I remember those days! Oh and the shhhhhhhh and then just as you think they are soundo the eyes are wide open! The day will come when you go to bed before them – that’s where I’m at and my shhhhhhhh are more SHUSH!! #MarvMondays

  3. RawMum

    Brilliantly written. Totally not at this stage yet but it brought a smile to my face ? Will let the hubby know about the commando crawl. (And try get a photo if I can!)

    • kimberly

      Haha thank you! Get him practising now, it’s an art form… ?

      • RawMum

        I feel a blog post coming on! A group collaboration perhaps: Hubby commando escape and evasion

        • kimberly

          Yes!! Maybe we should pitch to the actual Commando Dad ?

  4. nowmynameismummy

    Haha! I enjoyed this! My little one likes the bottom pat too! He now does everything he can to
    Make me laugh while
    I’m trying to put him to sleep! It’s so hard to stop myself laughing at him! #marvmondays

    • kimberly

      That is very cute but very annoying!! X

  5. mommyandmadness

    So funny, the commando crawl – we got good at that one! The bottom pat cracks me up (scuse the horrible pun!) my daughter is 2.5 and I still pat her bum! She has always been a bit of a horror to get to sleep, thankfully she stays asleep once she’s there! I remember a phase where we had to sit next to the cot and hold her hand, but COULD NOT make eye contact, else it meant play time! Crazy babies!

    • kimberly

      I know – what’s with the bottom thing? Comforting somehow but wtf?! Thanks for reading! Babies are nuts x

  6. mommyandrory

    I’m s fan of the dump and run. Not to everyone’s liking but it works for us. The odd occasion he doesn’t settle himself then a good old bottom pat does the trick! #marvmondays

  7. MurderOfGoths (@MurderOfGoths)

    I used to cuddle them in bed, and read softly until they both fell asleep. Which was lovely at first when they were tiny babies, now they are 3 and 5 and I am trapped every evening.

    We’ve managed to wean them off being in bed with me, they are in their own beds now.

    Then we got them to accept that I would only read a chapter (or two) rather than keep reading until they dozed off – after I managed to read half of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in one sitting.

    Now I just need to find a way to not spend 2 hours sat in their bedroom waiting for them to give up and sleep after I’ve finished reading.

    • kimberly

      It’s so hard isn’t it. All the best with it. Relentless x

    • kimberly

      Oh blimey it’s so hard isn’t it? Can you take it in turns? That is very full on. Thanks for reading and commenting x



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