Category Archives: sleep


Last night when I was up with Bridget, I thought to myself…I love this. I absolutely love just holding her and laying on the couch until she calms down and falls back asleep. I love that she can sense when I lay her back into her bed. I love that she is so small and petite (okay short) that carrying her isn’t a problem.

I know I should not enable her. I know I should just let her cry it out. And most times I do. But last night I just didn’t want to. And of course I feel some guilt. I hate when Abby wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to sleep in our bed. It’s not that I dislike Abby, but the fact that sleeping with Abby is like sleeping with a boxer. She is all knees and elbows.

Bridget though, Bridget hugs you with her entire body. She wants to nestle her head right under your neck. She knows the difference between my standing with her and sitting. Without a word she knows how to tell me what she needs to be comforted. 

For almost the first 2 years of Bridget’s life I would put her to bed and she would fall asleep. Then anytime between midnight and 4 am, when I was in the deepest sleep possible, she would awaken. Screaming. All I could do to comfort her was to lay on the couch in a way to make sure she was safe and we would doze. It got to be that I just left the pillows and comforters behind the couch so they would be in easy reach in the morning.

Then shortly after she turned 2 and a half, one night I got tough. She was going to comfort herself back to sleep. It was a month of torture.  The “experts” totally lie when they say a child will cry themselves to sleep after 10 minutes. But the month was worth it. Gradually Breidget began to sleep through the night, most of the time. And now when she wakes up she will coo herself (and sometimes cry) back to sleep. I have learned her signals. If she fusses for more than 5 minutes there is no way she is falling back to sleep. She will stress herself so that her reflux acts up. Then she is in pain, something I will not withhold comfort from.

But those nights are becoming fewer and fewer. Thank goodness, Boo is sleeping better. Although I still wake up in the night sure that I have heard something. And on the nights now when I know she cannot comfort herself, I rush into the room and will forgo any thoughts of sleep.

I may never know why Boo wakes up screaming in the night. Sure I can guess. It might be bowel issues, she might be in pain, she might be scared. But sometimes, like last night, I think she just needs her mom’s arms around her.

And I am more than okay with that.

She’s smarter than her father

The other night I had a PTA meeting (yes, I still haven’t quite escaped). I pulled into the driveway at 9:15 pm. As I walked up the house steps I noticed David was asleep on the love seat. 

Abby was awake laying on the couch.

Me: Um…dear? Your bedtime is 8pm. 
Abby: Well Daddy didn’t put me to bed.

Me: What were you watching?
Abby: Buying Hawaii, it’s actually pretty interesting.

Me: …….
Abby: I knew if I changed the station Daddy would wake up

I wasn’t quite sure if I should punish her (or her father) for staying up past her bedtime or admire that she was smart enough how to accomplish it.

My Challenge: Kara

This is my friend, Kara. She is the best teacher in the whole wide world according to Abby and her friends. Kara is also the mom to Robbie, the best dressed almost 2 year old I have ever seen. Seriously, he is gorgeous. Except when facing a challenge all parents face.

My Challenge: Getting my child to sleep

My challenge is getting my toddler to sleep! My degrees in psychology and education couldn’t prepare me to transition my son out of his crib. Nightly, we would hear the loud THUMP and pterodactyl like scream as he escaped his crib, yet again. I know what you’re thinking, how much of a challenge can sleep training really be? Well, after weeks of sleep deprived nights for the whole family, we realized what a luxury sleep really is. Although this is a bump in the toddlerhood road, we won’t let this challenge define us. Extra cuddles, bedtime stories, and special attention will get us through this challenging time…Oh, and loads of coffee!

I really wish I had the magic answer for Kara and all other moms out there. Abby was that first child that just went to bed. Boo? Holy crap that child would scream for two hours, dose for 30 minutes and then start screaming again. We tried the Karp method, we read the Parenting advice, the cry it out method, the sleep with your child even though you are not supposed to method. Finally she just slept. Yet each time we go away, she returns to screaming herself to sleep for three nights. 

I am sure Kara would appreciate any advice you can offer in the comments!

What's your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby's school. I am amazed at how honest and hopeful the challenges have been. Thank you to all who have contributed. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at