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WIBU to tell family and friends to stop asking about sleep?

(20 Posts)
HazyShadeOfWinter Wed 28-Jan-15 09:33:26

I know they are trying to be helpful (maybe) or to feign polite interest. But please, stop asking me about how my toddler and baby are sleeping. The toddler sleeps terribly, like he always has. There is no news there. And if I couldn't get him to sleep well, what makes you think the baby will be any different?

I don't want to hear about all the children in my family circle who sleep so beautifully and lie in until 8. I don;t want to hear about your child who has to be woken to go to nursery; or who asks to nap in her bed. I don't want to discuss things I could do differently, it makes me feel judged and useless and angry because I have tried them all and nothing works.

So WIBU to send a polite text/fb message telling people not to mention it unless I do?

QuestionsaboutDS Wed 28-Jan-15 09:39:25

It would be a bit strange to send a message out unprompted, but YWNBU to reply to anyone in future "It's still a long slow process, but it's very dull and a bit depressing so I'd really rather not discuss it in future".

However there is absolutely no reason to be defeatist about your baby. Loads of people have one good sleeper and one crap one, and the standard techniques that have failed on your toddler may work perfectly well with your baby.

Nocturne123 Wed 28-Jan-15 09:39:56

It's hard isn't it ? I get lots of not so useful advice from my dm too. What I tend to do is keep my answers short like "oh fine" because I can't be bothered explaining how my two still do not sleep well .

Maybe not worth texting over though ? I do feel your pain I have 2 bad sleepers . One day it will change .... I hope .

DoJo Wed 28-Jan-15 09:45:04

I think a text might be a good way to indicate to everyone that sleep deprivation is getting to you! Honestly, I'm sure it doesn't feel like it, but I can near enough guarantee that nobody is judging you - I have had nearly three years of questions about my son's sleep and the answers have ranged from 'awful' to 'so awful I would give him away to you if I hadn't just told you that he doesn't sleep'. Most people are sympathetic, and anyone who has children knows that willingness to sleep is not down to parenting, so they won't be judging you.
When I ask people about sleep (and I think everyone does at some point), it's to open up an opportunity to sympathise, show some solidarity or just commiserate. Tales of good sleepers aren't always meant as a 'see - they're doing it right' so much as examples of how it's a 'luck of the draw' thing. I can completely understand how frustrating it is, and YANBU to not want to talk about it, but YABU to allow yourself to feel like a bad parent or useless just because yours don't happen to sleep.
(Also, if it makes you feel any better, apparently poor sleepers are supposed to be 'rewarding friends' when they grow up, so hopefully you will be able to send them both off to plenty of sleepovers when they are older!).

AlwaysDancing1234 Wed 28-Jan-15 09:45:23

I wouldn't text or FB them unprompted, just next time it comes up say "we are getting there but id rather not spend ages talking it through thanks" or something. Or just fib and say everything's fine (like I do with my DM and MIL otherwise they'd never shut up!!)

CharleyFarleyy Wed 28-Jan-15 09:52:51


please dont think its your fault! like you said, you've tried it all!

Dont be so hard on yourself, you sound incredible looking after a baby and a toddler and battling sleep deprivation, I struggle with my DD.

Sarsparilla Wed 28-Jan-15 09:54:59

Whenever anyone asks you about sleep, just say something a bit more non-committal like, "Yeah, it's going fine", or "Yeah, it's completely normal for his/their age."
And then change the subject.

Mine woke up frequently when they were babies. (In fact <whispers> DD is nearly 4 and still wakes up most nights). But if you act like it is completely developmentally normal - which it is! - and as though you are completely fine with it, people don't tend to bring it up much in my experience - a few "Yeah, fine"s and they find something else to ask about. And they sometimes even start to speak as though your child is actually a good sleeper grin.

HazyShadeOfWinter Wed 28-Jan-15 09:55:02

thanks good responses for me to use next time it is mentioned. Will practice them.

Trying not to tell myself that its my fault but so hard to be rational when exhausted. DC1 is with DM today so just waiting for DC2 to nap and I might lie down or manically clean and cook to feel in control

Nocturne123 Wed 28-Jan-15 09:57:29

It is NOT your fault hazy . If it's your fault then that means it's my fault I have bad sleeping children and I refuse to believe that grin

Some children just don't need much sleep hmm

HazyShadeOfWinter Wed 28-Jan-15 10:16:07

That's the thing Nocturne I feel like he does need more sleep and am not sure how to arrange things so he gets it. Currently telling myself that the problem is the tricky 'not quite ready to drop nap but nap needs to be at exact right time or buggers night sleep' phase. He's nearly 3 so hopefully will drop nap soon and things will be better

<Hazy feels better after third piece of peanut butter toast>

Nocturne123 Wed 28-Jan-15 10:21:03

That's the same as my dd she is 20 months and has been trying to drop her nap .Somedays she is so grumpy and needs 30mins but if she gets this at the wrong time she'll be up to 10/11pm . When she doesn't sleep she goes to bed at around 7 and will be in with us around 3am usually but does go back to sleep .sefinitely better with no nap.

Ds is his own little sleep depriver who will not sleep during the day and wakes a lot of mornings at 4-6.

If you find anything that helps please let me know . I'm just trying to ride it out and hope they settle , good luck op thanksthanks and lots of brewbrew

TestingTestingWonTooFree Wed 28-Jan-15 10:26:07

"Could be better, could be worse, but it's boring, tell me about...instead".

CeartGoLeor Wed 28-Jan-15 10:28:37

I would do it face to face, as others have said. I have total sympathy - our son could easily take two hours to go to sleep at night, with one of us next to him. It was hell. The breakthrough was dropping his nap (at 2.5). Like you, I didn't think he was ready to drop it at all, and it still seemed as if he really needed it, but it happened accidentally when we were away visiting my parents, and the improvement to his night sleep was a revaluation.

Could you experiment with replacing the nap with some other form of downtime (cartoons, stories) and see whether it helps? You can always reinstate it if it doesn't make a difference.

HazyShadeOfWinter Wed 28-Jan-15 14:08:30

Yes CeartGoLeor I think thats our next step.

Thanks all, feeling much more stable and ready forhe next sleep conversation.

DoJo Wed 28-Jan-15 14:22:56

And you don't have to drop the nap altogether either - my son started by dropping every other day and will still occasionally have one when he is really shattered. I do sympathise, but I found that people were generally kinder to me and quicker to get the biscuits out if they thought I was tired, so it can have its upsides!

geekymommy Wed 28-Jan-15 15:20:23

Did you or the other parent sleep badly as kids? My DD doesn't sleep well, really fights going to sleep. Well, I had a terrible time getting to sleep as a kid, and DH still does. I think there's some evidence that something genetic may be going on there.

Don't engage them if they ask about your kids' sleep. Give some noncommittal answer and change the subject.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Wed 28-Jan-15 15:24:33

My IL's ask how DD is sleeping every single time we speak to them. That's approx 4 times a week for 14 months (they live abroad). When I say she's still up once or twice a night they purse their lips disapprovingly (on FaceTime wink) and say things like 'have you tried putting her to bed later' or 'does she still have that nap during the day' as if I haven't thought of trying different things to help her sleep. I feel your pain. I think a text message out of the blue might be a bit odd though!

PurpleCrazyHorse Wed 28-Jan-15 15:32:56

"fine thanks" was my stock answer to most things. I didn't want anyone else's advice on DD's sleeping (or lack thereof) so just cut off the conversation with a curt answer and changed the subject.

YABU to send a message out, often people ask about sleep because they don't know what else to ask (especially if they don't have their own children) but you can easily not engage with the topic and talk about something else. They'll soon get the hint that there's nothing to know.

worldgonecrazy Wed 28-Jan-15 15:34:30

I was told there is only one answer to "How are they sleeping?"

"Like a baby." <grin>

HazyShadeOfWinter Thu 29-Jan-15 13:19:57

geekymommy I slept badly as child but as a toddler lived in a tropical country where I napped for 4 hours in day and went to bed at 10pm... not sure that would work for us with nursery etc but yes there's probably genetics involved.

SAW MIL this morning. Gave vague answers to sleep questions and changed subject to a pet peeve of hers - job done. Also was my turn to lie in today while DH got up with DC1, so feeling altogether more human. The 9 hours I spent in bed may have been interrupted many times but at least I got out of bed at the civilised hour of 7am

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