Confessions from the mother of a night owl

I’ve mouthed off about sleeping before and now I am going to confess something. Please don’t judge me, but my baby doesn’t usually ‘go to bed’ until 11pm…at the earliest. I know, I know, I’m a terrible mother and you might want to bombard me with information about routines and things to aid sleep or maybe even suggest sleep training. But none of the gentle techniques seem to work! I think the main problem is that my husband works evenings as he runs a pub, so we don’t both go to bed until he is home – usually some time between 11.30 and 1.30, depending on the night.

A typical evening will be me reading to TM in a quiet, dark room and feeding or cuddling him to sleep. Usually as soon as I try and put him to bed he is suddenly wide awake and ready to play! He dozes during the evening but as soon as I put him in the cot he’s awake. I used to start the ‘bedtime routine’ nice and early, but after four hours of reading story after story in a darkened room I felt like my soul was being systematically destroyed, so I have to confess I’ve given up a little bit. I don’t usually start attempting bedtime until 9.30 or 10pm. And, almost every night, until Daddy is home he just won’t settle properly. It doesn’t seem to make any difference how many naps he has had or how long for, or whether we’ve had a busy day or not. Waking him up earlier in the morning doesn’t really work either, he tends to just fall back asleep downstairs. He’s not a child you can keep awake against his will! And honestly, who wants to get up at 7am unless you have to? You know people always say their kids wake up at 6am regardless of when they go to bed? Yeah, he’s like that but the other way around!

Obviously I’ve never muttered this under my breath… As an aside, this book is hilarious!

I think his favourite trick is to fall asleep around 9, stay asleep when I put him in his cot and then half an hour later, just when I start to feel smug and run myself a bath, wake up. And stay awake, giggling at my attempts to get him back to sleep.

Here’s my typical thought process at various times:
9pm – He looks sleepy. This would be a great bedtime!
10pm – He’s definitely tired. 10pm is good.
10.30pm – Why have you woken up as soon as I place you in your cot?!
11pm – He’s almost asleep again. 11 is fine.
12am – Please. Please sleep now.

The thing is, I know I should be trying to get him to bed earlier but it actually really suits me…it means I can go to bed at the same time as him, and he usually sleeps for a good 5 or 6 hours, then after a feed and change goes back to sleep until 9ish, so I get a decent nights sleep. Recently he will even sleep for 7 or 8 hours straight sometimes, it’s incredible! I think it would be much harder if he went down at 7 or 8pm but then woke every two or three hours. He recently did this when he was ill and I felt so much worse the next day than usual!

When I’m at baby groups and people ask about his bedtime or routine I sheepishly say ‘Oh, it’s always changing’…because I feel like I would be judged if I told the truth! To be fair, occasionally he will sleep from about 9pm but those nights are very rare. So, there we go. Anybody else have a bedtime they are ashamed of?!

He finally went to sleep one night and I took a victory photo!


Pink Pear Bear
My Petit Canard
Cuddle Fairy

24 thoughts on “Confessions from the mother of a night owl

  1. I am currently living in a studio flat so even though I try to put my baby to bed about 8.30pm, when we decide to stay up and watch The People vs OJ Simpson and such like, the TV wakes her up and I end up nursing her on my lap in front of unsuitable shows until we are all ready for bed. I feel your shame.

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  2. oh i could tell you a million things now, like “all children are different”, or “this is just a phase”, or “maybe you need to change your bedtime routine”, but I won’t because you know whats best for him. You are his mum. I have 4 kids and they were all different when it came to bed time. We have done whatever necessary to get them to sleep. so no judgement. My baby is one and i still cuddle him until he falls asleep. I bring him into the bed when he wakes. We will do whatever needs to be done. SO well done for doing what works for you.

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  3. As the saying goes “if it ain’t brok, don’t fix it!” If it works for you and your family then amazing! We always get comments on our bedtime routine, Aria goes to bed anywhere between 5.30pm-6pm and sleeps until around 6-7am in the morning, she has always done this since around 9 weeks old. People constantly say that it is far too early but it works for us. She does not sleep for more than 10 minutes during the day so by 5.30pm she is exhausted, as am I! #bigpinklink

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  4. You will certainly receive no judgment here! In fact, I’m a little envious, because I think that would work perfectly for me…! I have quite bad insomnia, and don’t usually fall into a good sleep until 4am. If left, I would probably go about 3-4 hours without waking from that time, but my children get up soooooooo early! (between 4.45-5.30, it’s flipping ridiculous!) so to be able to sleep till 9, would be amazing for me! My eldest was a real evening owl for the first 3 months, and we would just taking it in turns to hold him on the sofa while we watched our tv shows, and he would usually fall asleep in our arms just as we were going to bed. Nowadays, both of them are in bed by 6.30, because they will scream the house down in frantic states of tiredness if I try and make them stay up later! Always go with what works, I don’t believe that children are robots that will be moulded into doing what we want them to do!
    Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink!

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  5. Though we have a good routine with A now, we just did whatever worked for us when he was a baby! I think as parents, we have to do whatever we can, it usually makes life that little bit easier! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays! Kaye xo

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  6. You do what you need to do to fit in with your routine. We have tried not to let our bubs take over our lives in the routine sense and he fits with us! Keep doing what you are doing if it works for you!

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  7. We had the exact same thing as you until our little one was 3ish months old, she would go to bed with us and then would take hours and hours to settle – I remember the nights being very lonely. But if it works for you, then that’s brilliant. Also it’s great to have some degree of flexibility rather than having them stuck to a tight schedule. But I do think that babies will naturally bring their bed time forward eventually. Claire x #BloggerClubUK

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  8. I really think you should do what suits you. I mean every child is different as is every family and this works for you then i wouldnt worry. There will be people that judge but just ignore them. Its your decision as his mother. It took me quite a while to get Monkey into a ‘routine’ but he’s a good sleeper in general and I think thats because we didn’t fight it. Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUk hope to see you again next week x

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