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My 5-year-old daughter has slept through the night in her own bed exactly twice in her life. Yes, you read that right. After five years of nighttime woes and countless lost hours of sleep, I think I can safely say:

Hi, my name is Lindsay, and my daughter is a bad sleeper.

There is an inexplicable cloak of shame surrounding that statement. As if it's me who has done something wrong, as if I am somehow to blame for the fact that my child just doesn't seem to want or need sleep the way other children do.

I've done plenty of the self-blame, kicking myself for not sleep training, even though at the time when "everyone else" was doing it, I knew in my heart I couldn't and didn't want to.

My mom swears I was an amazing sleeper as a baby and child, and that I was sleeping through the night from a very young age. During my pregnancy, I felt certain the Parenting Karma Fairy would pay me a visit and ensure my little one slept well, too.

But then I was plagued with insomnia through the last half of my pregnancy (at least), and I began to feel certain I was being somehow prepared for a bad sleeper. I wasn't wrong.

When other parents start talking or bragging about their children's sleep, I either tune out or say nothing at all, aching somewhere deep inside with a sadness reserved only for these occasions.

I've been doing it from the very beginning. I've always feared judgment, somehow, as if it's my fault my kid came out squalling, pink, adorable, and...hating sleep.

It's not easy having a child who doesn't sleep well. I'm perpetually exhausted and, in fact, am used to living in that state now. Even still, the human mind is quite an amazing thing, and I am constantly teetering on the edge of hope that she'll eventually be a good sleeper.

Here's a tiny glimpse into what it's like:

  • When your child is a newborn and stays wide awake in her sling/baby carrier/stroller/swing while your best friend's child naps for five hours in a row, you tell yourself your friend's baby is an anomaly, and, It's no big deal, she's a newborn and none of them are good sleepers….
  • When everyone else's children are going through the four month sleep regression and you're all, "Sleep regression? Welcome to my life." 🤷
  • When your child starts taking 15-minute naps (as opposed to her usual 40-minute naps) and you start lovingly referring to them as "ant naps" (as opposed to the cat nap) because if you can't laugh about it, you'll cry. A lot. And laughing is more enjoyable.
  • When your child just turned one, and you remain convinced that now that her infancy is over, she will start sleeping. Because that's what children do at this age...right?! And when you're wrong, you silently doubt yourself and wonder if you should have done some sort of sleep training even if you didn't feel like it was right for you.
  • When your child wakes up at 5:30 am and you celebrate this treasured "sleep in."
  • When your child is 2 years old and still won't take a full nap on her own (except at daycare!) and the longest stretch she gives you at night is three hours (four on a good night), and you beg the Universe to please, please, please send that Parenting Karma Fairy any night now.
  • At each stage, you comfort yourself by saying, "She'll sleep better when she's XX months old." When it doesn't happen, you say, "Next month...we've got this."
  • When you accept your reality: you have a child who doesn't love sleep, and she may always be like this. But you hear kids like this start sleeping through the night at 4 years old, so you think to yourself, Two more years. I've already done two. I can do this...Two. More. Years and sleep will come!
  • When your child is 5 years old and you really truly begin to embrace that your child just doesn't sleep, and no longer feel guilty letting her watch the iPad so you can grab a few more minutes of sleep every morning.

What I've learned is, some children just don't sleep well. It's not my fault. It's not even my daughter's fault. It just is.

I've even googled "Aquarius child bad sleeper." And guess what?! Apparently, Aquarians can have sleep issues. I'm sure other Zodiac signs can too, but you can't imagine the relief I felt when my Google search turned up results from other parents who struggle, bleary-eyed and desperate for rest.

There's still a large part of me that worries about being judged for this. But I decided to go public with it anyway. Because I can't be the only mom out there with a bad sleeper, who desperately clings on to the hope that someday, we too shall get a full night's sleep. Someday. I hope. 🤞

Hi, my name is Lindsay, and I'm really tired, but also really hopeful.

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Our babies come out as beautiful, soft and natural as can be—shouldn't their clothes follow suit?

Here are nine of our favorite organic kids clothing brands that prove safe fabrics + stylish designs are a natural fit.

Estella

A brick and mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2002, Estella is NYC's go-to shop for luxury baby gifts—from sweet-as-pie organic clothing to eco-friendly toys.

L'ovedbaby

@lovedbaby

We l'oved this collection from the moment we laid eyes on it. (See what we did there 🤣) Free of things harsh added chemicals, dangerous flame retardants, and harmful dyes, this collection is 100% organic and 100% gorgeous. We especially adore their soft, footed rompers, comfy cotton joggers, and newborn-friendly kimono bodysuits.

Looking to stock up? Don't miss Big-Find Thursday every week on their site—a 24-hour flash sale that happens Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST and features a different body style, collection, and discount every week!

Hanna Andersson

@happyhannas

One of our all-time favorite brands for durability, style, + customer service, Hanna Andersson doesn't disappoint in the organic department, either. From an aww-inducing organic baby layette collection all the way to their iconic pajamas, there are so many organic styles to swoon over from this beloved brand. And we swear their pajamas are magic—they seem to grow with your little one, fitting season after season!

Monica + Andy

@monicaandandy

The fabric you first snuggle your baby in matters. Monica + Andy's (gorgeous) collection is designed for moms and babies by moms with babies, and we love it all because it's made of super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton that's free of chemicals, lead, and phthalates. Newborn pieces feature thoughtful details like fold-over mittens and feet.

Finn + Emma

@finnandemma

"Here boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints and heirloom quality construction are abundant." We couldn't agree more. Made from 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and in fair trade settings, we love this modern collection's mix of style + sustainability.

We especially love the Basics Collection, an assortment of incredibly soft, beautiful apparel + accessories including bodysuits, zip footies, pants, hats, and bibs, all available in a gender-neutral color palette that can work together to create multiple outfit combinations. The pieces are perfect for monochrome looks or for mixing with prints for a more modern style.

SoftBaby

@littleaddigrey for @softbaby_clothes

You'll come for SoftBaby's organic fabrics, but you'll stay for their adorable assortment of prints. From woodland foxes to urban pugs, there's no limit to their assortment (meaning you'll even be able to find something for the new mama who's hard to shop for). Plus, the name says it all--these suckers are soft. Get ready for some serious cuddle time.

Gap Baby

@gapkids

Organic may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Gap, but this popular brand actually carries a wide variety of organic (and adorable) baby + toddler clothes. From newborn layette basics to toddler sleepwear—and more—there's something for everyone in this collection. Everything is 100% cotton, super soft + cozy, and perfect for eco-conscious mamas.

Winter Water Factory

@winterwaterfactory

Certified organic cotton with Brooklyn-based swagger? Be still our hearts. Winter Water Factory features screen-printed textiles in bold designs you'll want to show off (get ready for some major Instagram likes). And the husband-and-wife co-founders keep sustainability at the forefront of their brand, meaning you can feel good about your purchase--and what you're putting on your baby.

The company makes everything from kids' clothes to crib sheets (all made in the USA). For even more cuteness, pair their signature rompers with a hat or bonnet.

Under the Nile

@underthenile

Under the Nile has been making organic baby clothes since before it was cool. Seriously, they were the first baby clothing company in the USA to be certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. They've kept up that legacy of high standards by growing their Egyptian cotton on a biodynamic farm without the use of pesticides or insecticides, and all of their prints are made with metal-free colors and no chemical finishes.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Whether I live next to you or across the country, social media makes it easy for us to stay updated on each other's lives and that's a wonderful thing. I love seeing pictures of your kids and I think it's great that you choose to share videos of your child singing, giggling and taking his or her first steps.

I simply choose not to share pregnant pictures, or even a family photo from the hospital once our daughter arrived because my pregnancy, birth and growing family are parts of my life I wanted to protect from the outside world.

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