If You Think You Have The Worst Sleeper…

…think again. Whenever I felt frustrated and sad that I had such a challenging sleeper, I would tell myself “It could be worse.” I wasn’t really sure how much worse it could get, but I knew it could. After all, he was 10 times a better sleeper at 4 months old, but far from perfect and we went through many months of up and down sleep. Of the countless parents I’ve helped, there have been very few that seem to have a more challenging baby than mine was…a few close contenders, unfortunately for those parents. I’m sure there are many out there, but NOW, here is a story of a far more challenging sleeper that proves it.

Imagine for a moment that your baby doesn’t sleep at all. No, I don’t mean wakes up ever 2 hours like mine did or yours might. I mean, for 3 years, your baby, then toddler, is up for nearly 24 hours per day.

The extremely rare condition called chiari malformation, is a condition that causes compression on the brain stem where the brain is literally squeezed into the spinal column. One of the symptoms of this condition is sleeplessness. Last year, The Lamb Family went on the news with their 3 year old who didn’t sleep and thankfully, doctors have now solved the problem and their son who wouldn’t sleep is now sleeping through the night! It’s an amazing story. Imagine. This mother barely could even hug her son and now 3 years later, he is now able to sleep all night, has caught up to his peers developmentally and runs in the door for a hug from mom. A very happy ending!

So, when you feel down about your family’s situation, always know that it can be worse. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try to improve your situation, but you might feel some comfort that you aren’t alone and there are probably even other parents worse off than you.

Share Your Worst Night to Co-Miserate


  1. says

    Hi Nick & everybody else! Our babe has been a good night time sleeper, but an irregular napper. Despite reading and hearing that young babies ‘tend to cat nap,’ I was still deflated by our daughter’s infrequent 20-minute bouts at 3-6 months (at the same time that she was vomiting and spitting up multiple-multiple times per day). Overwhelmed and virtually without a break, we were at a loss. The cure for us: time.
    Now she’s 8 months old, taking three, 1-hour naps a day. It was at the hardest times that I remembered what a friend had told me. “If your baby is having a hard time with some part of life, don’t worry. It’ll change. (And if something’s going good, well, it’ll change.)” So we’re trying to enjoy it all! (Wince!)

    Annes last blog post..Abundant Sunshine

  2. says

    @Anne Thank you for commenting! You are so right! Just when you think you have them figured out, they change something. Some babies do outgrow some sleep issues and some do not, so I’m glad that yours did improve just with time. It goes fast so do try to enjoy as much as you can. 😉

  3. Melissa says

    My worst night happened when my baby was very young. She picked up a cold at two weeks old and couldn’t sleep at all without me holding her upright (any attempts to prop up her crib mattress failed and she just sobbed with exhausted frustration for hours), which meant I couldn’t go to sleep but had to sit in bed or in a chair holding her against me, exhausted, forcing myself to stay awake, scared I’d fall asleep and drop her.

    Whenever I have a rough day I count out the hours until she goes to sleep and know that the day is done and I never have to do that day again. My favourite saying now is ‘No kid ever dropped out of school because he wasn’t sleeping through the night at seven months old’ or ‘I bet our doctor was only sleeping thirty minutes at a time for naps when he was six months old, didn’t stop him’ and know that whatever my problems are they will go away eventually and be very small in the grand scheme of things. I’m glad I got that horror night over and done with when she was just born, I can only just remember it now!

  4. says

    @Melissa Thank you for sharing your worst night! That sounds like it was really tough! I use those same sayings for other things like “No kid goes to college in diapers” or “No kid goes to college not knowing how to crawl” (when my 2nd wasn’t crawling yet). It does help! I do think sleep trouble can follow kids into adult years, but I do know what you mean. I’m glad that horror night is a distant memory now!