Sshhh……She’s Sleeping

You know my fairy don’t you? The curly haired one with wings. A very sweet little girl full of the joys, full of good natured mischief and full of beans!


This little girl has never been a one for sleep. In her 3 1/2 years she has slept a total of 10 nights running, at that time we thought we’d cracked it, until night 11 when she wandered into our room and hopped into our bed again, taking it over, leaving us balancing on the edge.

Now I know what you’re thinking, why on earth didn’t you just put her back? Oh believe me, many a night we tried only for her to throw a wobbly, often waking her little brother; who dislikes been woken even more than we do!

People often say, ‘How do cope with so little sleep?’ ‘How do you function?’ How, how, how indeed; my response has always been the same, we have to, Mr. Simply Homemade & I, we haven’t any choice. We keep going and live in hope.

Then the inevitable happens, one or both of us hits a wall, feeling just utterly exhausted, so we have a lazy day (well, as lazy as we can with 5 children!) and resume normal duties the following, looking like shite but thinking we’re grand again.

I hit that wall again last week, only this time it didn’t pass after a lazy day. I don’t know if it was the lack of sleep combined with back to school and a few other added stresses, but I wasn’t ok. I felt like I was finally broken, completely and utterly worn out, 3 1/2 years of getting 2-4 hours of sleep per night had finally caught up with me.

I had a tearful rant bordering on meltdown little moan to the lovely and very understanding members of the Irish Parenting Bloggers and following on from that my very lovely blogging friend Niamh got in touch to offer some advice.

Niamh O’Reilly is the owner of The Nursery. She is a fully qualified and highly experienced Nursery Nurse. With 15 years experience in various sectors of the childcare industry, Niamh is ideally placed, and completely dedicated, to meeting the needs of parents and children/infants.

You and your child will be in safe hands with Niamh who has attained numerous accreditations and certificates in Early Years Care and Education, Child Protection and Paediatric First Aid. 

Image Credit: Niamh O’Reilly, The Nursery

Sleep is Niamh’s specialty, in fact she has written a hugely successful book on the subject. I had listen to one of Niamh’s many radio interviews previous to receiving advice from her and I was instantly struck by her empathy for tired, sleep deprived parents, I knew that her approach would be gentle yet firm, kind and hopefully get results.

Listen to Niamh speaking with Ray D’Arcy

I went through Abbie’s current routine with her; from bedtime to the times she woke and what would happen. Niamh isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ person so her suggestions were tailor made for us and Abbie.

Exhausted and eager to start, the following day we started our new bedtime routine, sticking exactly to what Niamh suggested. Abbie slept all night that night! The cynic in me did think this was most likely a fluke, sheer coincidence; we couldn’t be that lucky surely.

Well here I am on morning 6, after another full night’s sleep from my fairy. Every night for the last 5 she has been in bed at 7.30 and we haven’t seen her until 7-7.30 the next morning. We are absolutely thrilled and astounded at how quickly things have progressed. We are and will continue to stick with our new routine.

If you are in need of some help getting a little one to sleep I cannot recommend Niamh enough. You can contact her via her website here. She also contributes regularly to

Her book, No Fuss Baby and Toddler Sleep is available to buy from Mercier Press here and from Amazon here.

Please note I was not asked by Niamh to provide any sort of a review in return for her help, I am simply a super grateful Mama.



36 thoughts on “Sshhh……She’s Sleeping

  1. She’s so cute though she nearly gets away with it!! So glad that things are working out for you. Fingers crossed it continues xxx

  2. My mum always says I used to be like this. You could never keep me in bed. Now I’m older, you can’t get me out of it!

    Sounds like you’ve cracked it though and Niamh really knows what she’s talking about!

  3. I am going to have to check out her website as I too am feeling totally broken lately due to lack of sleep. I have not had a full nights sleep in over three years either, as I have two children really close in age and my youngest who is one is a terrible sleeper. He goes to bed fine but wakes up to 6 times per night then wide awake between 5-6 am every morning. I miss sleep xx

  4. That’s great that you’re getting some well-needed sleep again! I can’t imagine how exhausting it must be – I’m cranky if I don’t sleep and I don’t have children to look after! I have heard great things about Niamh Kelly – she has given a talk or two where I work so it’s awesome to hear she’s helping so many people. 🙂

  5. I love reading these kind of success stories and so delighted sleep is now happening for you all! It can be so hard to get through the day with little to know sleep and even harder knowing that the night that’s coming probably isn’t going to bring sleep either.

  6. Sleep deprivation is torture. I have a 4 year old (good sleeper), almost 3 year old (terrible sleeper) and 10month old (ok sleeper). The middle one woke every two hours for a feed even up to almost two, and I was heavily pregnant at the same time. I thought it was going to be the end of me! I’ll be checking Naimh out. Glad you’re getting sleep now

    1. Isn’t there a (very) small comfort in knowing were not alone going through this torture? Because it can feel so very lonely, exhaustion leaves you feeling so vulnerable and alone. I hope things get better for you soon xx

  7. Oh gosh I feel your painxx Neither of my little men have ever been great sleepers Conor in particular can stay up for nights on end. I know it is to do with SN but would love a way to get him to sleepxx I am going to get a copy of this book as it always great to here positive experiences and recommendationsxx Hope your little lady stays sleeping for youxx

  8. Wow what a success story! I can’t say I feel your pain as luckily Sienna has been a great sleeper since she was born almost! However, she has a cold at the moment and last night woke twice crying because she couldn’t breath and her nose was running.. It’s a very rare occurrence but I’m so tired today so I can try to understand! I hope it works long term 🙂 x

  9. Nicola your relief oozes off the page, I can only imagine!! Fantastic, delighted it’s working for you. I had a similar moan to the group recently, and after that, things changed so much and I suddenly got this huge surge of confidence in my baby and her sleeping patterns. Bedtime is so calm now and even though she still wakens at unpredictable hours, I don’t feel so scared of her almost and her patterns. They really do hold us over a sleep barrel!

  10. Wow, that’s a really quick transition. Bet you’re loving having sleep again.

    My son loves his bed and sleep, but he’s always an early riser – I blame him being woken up when his dad goes out to work at 5am. I think he gets woken into a lighter sleep, and then gets up around 6.15. Kills me, but most of the time he gets himself downstairs while I still sleep. I also don’t hear him if he gets into bed with me. It’s a bit hard to put him back if he wanders in the middle of the night and I don’t hear him.

  11. Oh bless you Nicola, I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been dealing with so little sleep. I was blessed with a lazy bean who loves to sleep but I’m still intrigued by Niamh’s book, I’d love to have a read. I’m so glad it’s worked for you and your little fairy too 🙂 x

  12. Oh I’m so glad you found something that has worked for you. I believe you can deal with anything during the day, if you get a good nights sleep. Bet you’re relieved!

  13. My Sister and her husband are really suffering from lack of sleep since my nephew was born nearly 2 years ago. He manages to sleep for about 2 hours per night and even then he is restless like he is having nightmares. I will show my sister this post, thanks

  14. This sounds like I could have written it! My little girl whos now 3 1/2 slept in our bed for the first 2 1/2 years if i tried putting her in her own bed she would end up back in ours and i would always give in. Finally now she is sleeping in her own bed but does occasionally come through still. I don’t mind so much and make the most of the cuddles whilst they’re small 🙂 xx

  15. Thats amazing! My 2.5 year old son is very similar, he sleeps pretty well now but only in our bed…he refuses to go to his own and if he does end up there he sleeps badly. I dont mind on the whole but as more children come along it gets more difficult! This Niamh sounds like someone I’d like to meet!

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