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!