Word of the Week – Challenging

Feeling quite sleep-deprived this week and so my word of the week is:


For me, sleep (or the lack of it!) is one of the most challenging things about motherhood. Sophie, beautiful wonderful baby though she is, is a bit of a pickle when it comes to bedtime. Getting her to sleep has been a battle from when she was a tiny baby. I have a vivid memory of walking up and down the street outside my house at 4am, in my pyjamas, carrying Sophie in a sling, both of us crying and trying desperately to get her to go to sleep. That particular night will be etched on my memory forever – she was just a few weeks old and we’d started trying the process of trying to get her to sleep at 11.30pm after she’d woken for a feed and she finally fell asleep at 7.20am, 10 minutes before her sister woke for the day.

According to books about baby sleep, Sophie should be getting about 14 hours sleep in a 24 hour period (cue slightly manic laughter). At the moment there seems to be a few days where she doesn’t hit double figures in terms of total hours of sleep. She might manage one nap of around an hour, and one or two very brief cat-naps of around 10 minutes each. Bedtime usually involves trying to get her off to bed at the same time as her sister (7pm). Jessica goes off to sleep in her cot, I sit in the rocking chair next to it and feed Sophie. Sometimes she might doze off only to waken the instant I put her down, other times she will pull off after feeding and be wide awake. A myriad of attempts to settle her for the night follow and often it is not until around 11pm that she is finally asleep in her cot. Admittedly she is often then good at sleeping through until at least 6.30 but the evenings can be a bit of a battle!

I don’t remember Jessica being so much of a pickle about sleep but she must have been because I bought ‘The No-Cry Sleep Solution‘ and ‘The No-Cry Nap Solution‘ at around this age with her. I found the techniques in these books very helpful when I had only one child to focus on but spending time patting, rocking and gently encouraging sleep is not quite so easy with another child needing attention! I’m not a fan of crying it out and in Sophie’s case I doubt it would be effective – I know from car journeys that she can cry for rather a long time and not fall asleep (being stuck in traffic whilst trying to get to a service station is not fun!)

No doubt this is just a phase which will pass – particularly as she has had a busy week with regards to learning new skills (pulling herself up to standing) and tooth number seven has made its appearance. The heat may also be having an impact – Jessica has certainly been much more restless over the past few days and has not been sleeping very well either. Hopefully the current phase of sleep-deprivation all round won’t last too long! If anyone does have any fabulous tips for getting second babies to sleep though please do feel free to let me know – otherwise will just continue to ride it out until things settle down again!

Linking in with Jocelyn at the Reading Residence for Word of the Week and with Sara at mumturnedmom for this week’s Prompt – challenging:


The Reading Residence

24 thoughts on “Word of the Week – Challenging

  1. Oh no! We have had moments like this but generally the kids have all been good sleepers. The heat and teething is not a good combo! I really hope it settles for you soon x

  2. Oh I do feel for you! Sleep deprivation is just awful and for me I find it makes every aspect of parenting – and life in general – more challenging! Every child is different as well so just as you think you’ve cracked it with your first, along comes baby no. 2 with a whole new way of doing things! I’ve ended up reciting the mantra ‘this too shall pass’ with all three of mine. It does get better (as you know) and it will. I always tell myself that tonight might be the night of perfect sleep – it gives me hope! You’ll get there. Xx

  3. I remember this…
    Damien, despite his autism, has never had a problem sleeping. He was sleeping through from a very early age but I have had problems with one of my other sons who just would not sleep!
    I was always walking around like a zombie. Sleep deprivation is no joke. Sleep is vital to our well being and you have my sympathy.
    That said, I’m sure it is just a phase and things will improve. Just keep hanging on in there and take naps while you can. X

  4. It will pass, believe me! I’ve had some very challenging phases with my son regarding sleep, but I just let him get over it. Maybe try making her more comfortable. Or she could be overtired. Try adding another nap during the day. I love the No Cry Sleep Solution book too! Hope she’s over this phase soon x

    1. Thank you. I think she is overtired but so far despite trying to catch her as soon as she shows sleepy signs and get her down for a nap, we still struggle to get much napping in the day. We will get there and as you say it will pass.

  5. Bless you – sleep deprivation is awful. My youngest brother was a terrible sleeper. He was born when I was 13 so while I wasn’t his mother I am very aware of how disruptive a little one not sleeping can be. He had so much energy he seemed to be like a Duracell bunny – while the rest of us were flagging. I am relieved to tell you he did grow out of it. Sending hugs xx #ThePrompt

  6. It seems unending, this sleep deprivation thing! And then when they are teens, we will be struggling to get them out of their beds 🙂 #wotw #theprompt

  7. Ah yes, good old sleep! My daughter wasn’t great when she was little, but is usually in bed by 7 now and sleeps til around 6. My son goes to sleep well enough, but then randomly wakes most nights at random times for a bit, and then wakes between 5 and 6 each day. I’d like more sleep, too. As you say, though, teething and new skills learned will definitely disrupt them, so yes, perhaps ride it out, hard though I know it is! My son’s definitely worse at night if he hasn’t had enough daytime sleep, if that’s of any use at all to you! Best of luck and hope you get some sleep soon x Thanks for sharing with ‘WotW

  8. You have my full sympathy, neither of my two were particularly good sleepers so I completely appreciate the feeling of sleep deprivation. The one good thing though is that it honestly doesn’t last forever even though it feels like it at the time. #ThePrompt

  9. I really feel for you! My daughter was not the best sleeper as a baby ever! We used to call her ‘arfur’ as in half an hour sleep, it took longer to get her to sleep than would actually stay asleep for. At 8 she still isn’t a fan of sleeping. I’m sorry I don’t have any useful tips for you but I really hope it is just a phase and you all get some decent sleep soon #wotw

    1. Thank you – I definitely know what you mean about spending more time trying to get them to sleep than they spend sleeping! Keep reminding myself that it will pass!

  10. Oh, there is nothing worse than sleep deprivation! I really feel for you. It will pass, but it’s so tough at the time. I loved The Baby Whisperer as it was more than just getting them to sleep, it was whole approach to your day, and it was workable with older children as it was flexible. The tips for ‘sleep training’ really worked, hard though it was for a few days, but you have to be quite strong to see it through. We had problems with our oldest, so we started our routines from day one with the other two! Teaching them to sleep was tough with all of them though… But they all sleep really well now. Good luck! Thank you so much for linking to #ThePrompt and huge apologies for taking so long to comment, it’s been a very busy couple of days!

    1. Thank you – haven’t tried the Baby Whisperer so maybe I will check it out if things don’t improve soon. Tooth no. 8 came through today so fingers crossed for a better night tonight 🙂

  11. I hope that everything will work out fine and that this phase will really go away soon. Sleeping is still a struggle in our household. We had a routine during school times but now my sons sleeping pattern went bonkers when the heat started creeping in. #wotw #theprompt

  12. What a challenge! Teeth, heat and tired parents. You’re doing brilliantly. She’ll get there. We’ve only just got all three going to bed nicely after regular visits from a community nurse. I think parents are programmed to function on bare minimum sleep when children are little, thankfully. x

    1. Thank you – keep reminding myself that we’ll get there eventually! Have had lots of family help this week which has made it a little easier x

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