The first thing to go missing in your life, right after having a baby, other than normal lady sized panties, car keys and insanity, would be sleep.

Yes, that’s right, folks. SLEEP.

For those who cannot remember what that means, the dictionary defines it as “the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored.” (Merriam Webster)

In lay-mum terms, it means a state when you actually get to close your eyes and dream sweetly of drinking hot tea, eating chocolate biscuits without gaining any weight and dancing the hot salsa with Tom Hardy or Ian Somerhandler as they fight over you.

After baby arrives, those dreams are now nightmarish ones of cold tea actually tasting good, soggy half chewed biscuits that have been in your car for god knows how long and dried up raisins in your wine glasses.

Sleep is now the word you would be most afraid to utter out loud, for fear of jinxing it. The word, you now say with utmost respect and full body salutations of fear of offending the Sleep God. The word that’s often bandied around in playgroup, as mothers cry into their cold tea and reminisce of a much happier time of “Do you remember the time we actually slept for 12 hours straight?”

You also ring your mother up and apologise to her for disrespecting her advice ten years ago when she asked you to go to sleep.

“Sleep? But I’m….not TIRED!” you used to spit out venomously at her as you would corn bits stuck in your teeth, “I AM NOT TIRED, MOTHER!”.

You utter “MOTHER” mockingly as you huddled under the sheets, you’re your torchlight, reading Mad Magazine or Jane Eyre, because you did not have any Wi-Fi back in those days and you knew you would always be the Energizer Bunny.

You have now found out that the Energizer Bunny is a hoax and 8-hour sleep is but a faded distant memory upgraded now to the status of a hot fantasy.

In a relentless pursuit of a 12 hour dream sleep, I spoke to 8 parents who have all survived at least a weeks’ worth of sleepless hell, with children at least aged a year and have 10,000 followers across all media platforms for their surefire tips to get a Toddler to sleep.


  1. Make an appointment, any appointment for Toddler

Just make any appointment and you can be assured that your Toddler will fall asleep the 30 minute pre departure prep, when he is meant to be scrubbed, put in fresh digs, fed his lunch, and all other important Toddler happiness related activities.

The more important, the more un-missable the appointment is, the more likely the Toddler will fall asleep.

Louise Fenworthy, 28, mother of two – “One of my sure fire tips is to make an eye appointment, a wellness check, a medical check for my kid and she will fall asleep. There’s nothing like a nurse checking developmental milestones that will put your child to sleep.”


  1. School Pick up Time

This is one of mum’s all time favourite. All toddlers love falling asleep to their mum’s frenzied cries of “Not now! We have to leave in 5 minutes to pick up your older brother and sister!”

Jessica White, 35, mother of 5 – “The minute you have to leave the house to pick up the other kids, he will magically fall asleep. It works ALL THE TIME!”


  1. The last five minutes of any travel plan

The last five minutes of any car, plane, and train ride works like a charm all the time. There’s nothing like lugging a sleeping toddler, your hand luggage, his hand luggage, the stroller because of course the toddler does not want to sleep in the stroller, as you make your way to Immigration.

Corinne Lee, 22, mother of one – “The last five minutes of a 5-10 hour car/plane/train ride from hell is another great way to get your Toddler to sleep. He’ll be screaming, crying and fussing for all those hours but magically just when you have to disembark, like a referee blowing his whistle, he will just drop dead asleep.”


  1. The Dirty Diaper Deed

Another tried and tested method is the dump taking. All toddlers love falling asleep right after a Poona.

Catherine Dust 32, mother of 8 – “What? What? Sorry, I’m on…Max, put that down…Sorry…My sure bet is when you have to clean a Poonami while he’s having it….Jason, we do not throttle our brother just because he sat on your head…sorry, sorry, where was I? Yeah, the minute he does a massive shit, he’ll fall asleep and then…sorry … CRASH… Oh my god, I got to go….


For those of you extra special parents, some toddlers would even poor while sleeping, while changing and those extra special parents, you may even get to change the dirty diapers two or three times, while they sleep.


  1. Not asking for Sex

A lot of Dads swear by this golden rule – if you don’t ask for sex, the toddler will go straight to sleep.

Philip Arthur Jackson, father of three – “This always works for me. When I don’t ask for sex, yeah, well, the little bugger will go straight to sleep. That’s what my wife says anyway.”


  1. Pop in the Cot

In the spirit of inclusiveness, we also asked hypothetical parents for their tips and they all responded with a resounding “Just pop them in the cot, what’s the problem?”

Felicity Goodwin, 39, hypothetical mother of none – “When will my children sleep? Why, you just pop it in the cot, don’t you? The child will sleep every two-three hours, for an hour and will sleep from 7am-7pm. That’s what I do. I’ll invite him to my Calendar of Events and he’ll just accept it. Or I’ll ask my Virtual Assistant to schedule it in.”


  1. Grandparents

Just ask your parents for help because they raised 30 children without Google and therefore, know more than any of us.

Dorothy David, Grandmother of 24 – “I don’t know what these young people go on and on and on about. I have 10 children and I never had any issues with sleeping babies. You just bundle them up, give them a good smack and then leave them in their beds. That’s all. Now I have 24 grandchildren and I have no problems at all. Every time, one gets dropped off, he just goes to sleep. Then after a long respectable 5 hour nap, I give him his tea, you know, his favourite chocolate biscuits, milk and a couple of lollies, and then my daughter complains that the child is up all blooming night.”


  1. Just forget that you have kids.

Some folks just plain forget that they even have kids for that time, just like temporary amnesia, it works best with Netflix binge watching, Xbox or Facebook Meme laughing episodes.

Kevin Whiting, 28, father of one – “I have no problems at all, I don’t know what the missus goes on about. Yesterday, I was watching the Telly and I just put Thomas down….huh (interrupted by Missus), oh, sorry, yeah, the missus said I watched Jeffrey yesterday…oh, it’s not Jeffrey yesterday? That was last week? I watched Casey last week? Who is Casey? Dear God, how many kids are you saying we have? We have two, don’t we? What? Four? We have FOUR now? Four? When did that happen? What? Excuse me, I am sorry, but I have FOUR now…. but I just cannot continue with this interview…”

© ELT 2017. All rights reserved.


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