8 reasons why I’m glad my kid doesn’t sleep through the night


“Always look on the bright side of life,” sang the Monty Python crew and for once I’m going to take the British comedians up on their offer. I know, I know. It’s incredible, but it’s true. Instead of using this week’s Midweek List as a platform to moan about some element of parenting or other, I’m going to harness its power to inform the world about everything that’s good about your baby waking up two or three times a night*.

Uh uh uh. Don’t look at your screen like that. I’m not joking. When you get past the tears, tantrums and formal warnings after being caught snoozing at your desk, there are actually loads of benefits to being the parent of sleep thief. What’s that? You still don’t believe me? If I’m honest, I expected this cynicism, which is why I’ve decided to play my emergency Fresh Prince song lyrics card.

Well yo are y’all ready for me yet
(pump it up prince)
Well yo are y’all ready for me yet
(pump it up prince)
Well yo are y’all ready for me yet
(pump it up prince)
Well here I go, here I go, here I here I go

What on earth was that? It was a verse from DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s era-defining song Boom! Shake the Room and it was designed to make even the nayiest of naysayers do a little jig, smile and read this post with open mind.

Did it work? I’ve no idea. All I know is you’ve made it this far in the article and it’s time for the 8 reasons why I’m glad that my 16-month-old son is still steadfastly refusing to sleep through the night.

1. It makes me drink less alcohol

If getting up at 2am, 3.15am and 5am when you’ve eaten well and gone to bed at a decent hour is unpleasant. Then getting up at 2am, 3.15am and 5am when you’ve imbibed half-a-dozen adult beverages, annihilated a takeaway and collapsed into bed at 1am is akin to stumbling into the seventh realm of hell. As a result, I rarely drink anymore. It’s a lifestyle choice that I was somewhat forced into, but it’s one with three noticeable benefits. Namely: less heartburn, less headaches and less waking up with £53 worth of direct debit receipts in my pocket.

2. It sparks my creativity

Maybe it’s the amount of time I spend in a dark room with nothing but a crying child and my innermost thought for company? Perhaps it’s the tiredness sending me a little doolally? Or possibly I’m just some kind of freak. But whatever the reason the proof of my free-flowing 3am creativity is in the pudding. Well, not actually in the pudding. In these modern nursery rhymes that I’ve come up with while rocking, tapping and humming. Rocking, tapping and humming. Rocking, tapping and humming. Rocking, tapping and humming. Rocking, tapping and humming…

3. It has helped me bond with him

As all parents know; nothing improves your relationship with your kid faster than iPads and sugary sweets. Sorry, that’s incorrect. I meant to say one-on-one time. And since no-one is beating down the door to do the 4am-6am shift, this time period has become my opportunity to sing with, play with and chat to the bubster.

Is this how I imagined every morning of my life would begin at the age of 36? Absolutely not. Am I happy about this? Between 4am and 4.30am, not so much. But after I’ve woken up a bit, yes, yes, yes. I mean, he calls me daddy, asks me to lift him “up, up, up” and stops turning the oven on and off when I tell him to. Which might not sound like much, but when you’re a dad who is used to perennially being shunned for mummy or the grandparents it ranks somewhere between a fairly joyous experience and the best moment of your week.

4. It keeps me fit

Do I have a dad bod? At present, the answer is no. Which is pretty remarkable given I rarely make it to the gym and eat so much rubbish that type 2 diabetes is almost definitely in the post. So what’s my secret? It’s this funky, belly-blasting green tea and you too could make £20,000 a week by selling it from home! I’m taking the Mickey out of all those comments you see on social media feeds. My actual key is doing squats and lunges with a living, breathing 12kg weight for 45-60 minutes every day. It might not be pleasant, but boy has it slayed my moobs and tummy. And my butt and thighs? Two words: rock solid.

5. No.2 can’t possibly be as bad

Well, he or she can’t, can they? Can they? CAN THEY? That’s it. I’m getting the snip.

6. He doesn’t sleep anywhere

You know how parents boast about their little one “sleeping through the night wherever they are”? Well, now I am going to do the complete opposite. Really? Yes, really. I’m going to brag about the fact my child won’t sleep through the night in any bed on any continent, and I’m going to do it because it’s strangely freeing. I’m serious. Unlike couples with obedient little sleep machines, my wife and I never have to worry about a wedding “upsetting our son’s routine”, or jet lag “ruining his sleeping pattern”, so we never have to miss out on anything. We just book, go and deal with the wake ups as and when they happen.

7. I’m the world’s foremost expert at finding kids’ songs on the Amazon Echo

Need your little one to expend some energy? “Alexa play Action Songs For Kids.” Want them calm the heck down? “Alexa play Vicki Arlidge.” Want to get the beat dropping and baby, mummy and daddy bopping? “Alexa play Justin Fletcher.” Want to pretend to sleep? “Alexa play Dingle Dangle Scarecrow by Tumble Tots.” Want to be extremely surprised by the depth of the lyrics in a song about an oversized pink and yellow Saturday night TV character who you only remember saying one word”? “Alexa play Mr Blobby.”

8. It means he’s going to be a genius

I truly believe this. Partly because there are loads of articles on the internet about gifted children needing less sleep. Partly because he can count to 10. Partly because the nursery manager told us “that he seems to pick things up really quickly”. And partly because my sister never slept as a child and went on to become the A grade-securing, medical degree-acing golden sibling to end all golden siblings. Not that I’m bitter. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I’m bitter.

*If you’re lucky. And baby’s in a good mood. And the weather isn’t too hot. And he ate all of his dinner. And he doesn’t poop at the wrong moment. And you don’t make any mistakes when trying to put him back in his cot. And you’ve not lost his favourite teddy bear.





  1. This is quite a list, and I agree with it. The waking up in the middle of the night definitely changes your lifestyle in the evenings, and I wouldn’t change if for anything. Special moments in the middle of the night, because they pass by quickly. Great blog.

    • Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I have to say it’s taken me a while to come to terms with the whole sleep deprivation thing, but now I have I’m beginning to see the good bits. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ll probably miss the moments you mention when he does eventually sleep through.

  2. My sleep deprived ended at month 4. Persevering sleep training /feeding schedule and nap times made my little one tired at 6pm and wide awake by 6am. I don’t tell parents in my play group as l feel they all share your same view lol and might gang up on me in the car park :p

  3. I really like the way you write 🙂 But I don’t buy it.
    The week after finally sleep training my son was the best week ever! I couldn’t even remember when I was so rested!
    I wasn’t sure about sleep training at first but I got recommended this very gently no crying method called HWL and I gave it a try. I was not desperate, more like curious. And it was the best decision ever, seriosly. So google Susan Ubran (method’s author) and discover the new way of life! Of re-newed should I call it!

    • Thanks for the praise and the comment. That sleep training method sounds really interesting, I’ll check it out.

      P.S. I’ve no idea why you don’t buy it – always look on the bright side of life and all that ;-).

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