26 October 2010, by Jaime Teo

The Half Year Mark (Part 2)

Sleep (and poo) is a topic every parent discusses to bits about. Online forums can attest to that. Dan and I bumped into a couple we haven’t seen for awhile, and in that short ‘catchup’ time, spoke mainly about sleep. About how their 2 and a half year old hasn’t yet slept through the night (I listened to that number in horror). We agreed to hate other parents whose babies slept through the night from 2 months old (Kidding!). But you get my point about how sleep is a popular topic with parents.

When I asked my sister about my nephews, she also said they didn’t sleep through the night til past 2 years old.

It all didn’t sound very encouraging, but waking up to feed seem ok in comparison to staying up at all hours in the night (or so I say now =p). Anyway, I looked through my options:

“Try to keep her up in the day as much as possible.”

“Let her sleep whenever she wants and never wake a sleeping baby. It’s very bad and cruel.”

 “Try to keep her up especially after 4pm no matter how sleepy she is.”

“Give her more food in the day and she won’t wake up to feed at night.”

 “Tire her out in the day.”

“Leave her alone when she wakes up at night. Let her cry it out.” *gulp*

“Bear with it… It will pass…”

My game plan to help me her sleep more at night was this: a combination of tiring her out and keeping her up after 4pm.

The best way so far for me to ‘tire her’, is to bring her out. Being in a new environment, with new sights, new sounds and new people is mentally very tiring stimulating for her. When she gets really tired, she will fall asleep in my (or my helper’s) arms. These naps are usually only for half an hour because she is quite a light sleeper.

We pick Dan up from work (7ish), get home, clean her up and she’s in bed and asleep by 8pm.

Going out is really fun for me too – the day passes very quickly and I frankly didn’t realize how much I needed ‘fresh air’. It’s fun to be able to meet up with friends for coffee or a meal — a semblance of a social life plus adult conversation! The bonus is I also didn’t realize how many things I wanted needed until I saw them ‘On Sale’ in shops Yes. Retail therapy makes me happy.

On days when it isn’t possible for us to be out, I make sure she gets a lot of time on her play mat at home. Tummy time and sitting time is an excellent way to help her expend energy. We put her in her walker to help her strengthen her legs, and I also bring her to the park for walks in the evening. (Not these few days tho — babies and hazy evenings aren’t the best of friends)

And what do you know? She stopped staying up at night! The interesting thing is, she also doesn’t wake up as much to drink. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s started on porridge in the day or because she’s too tired to eat at night. I’m not even sure if this whole thing is working because of what I’m doing, or because the phase is done with its run.

In any event, with so much to look forward to everyday — new places to go, new foods for Renee, new activities, new skills she picks up…. I have more energy for every fun and fulfilling day =)

The half year mark of Renee’s arrival is truly a big pick me up period – Happiness!

So to all mommies going through THE phase, it is true that it will pass. (Some intervention makes the days go by faster =p).

PS: And I finally get to enjoy the new bed we bought — no more couch for a bed!


Jaime Teo

Jaime Teo

November 8th, 2010 at 2:23 am    

marianne: wow I sure hope Renee becomes like your 8mth old, sleeping wise!! She’s still breastfed so needs to drink more often than a formula fed baby I suppose. I give her porridge only as a supplement to her main meal ie: milk, but thanks for your reminder! =)

mary: My helper is from indonesia but to be honest, I dont think it’s about where they are from. There are good and bad helpers from every country… Good luck to you finding a good one!!


October 28th, 2010 at 2:19 am    

Hi Jamie , which helper did u engage? indonesia or filipino? I am now having my confinement and hope to get a hlper before my maternity leave finish but not sure which country helper better. Can you give some advise? Thanks 🙂

Marianne Kwa

October 26th, 2010 at 6:13 am    

Here’s a mommy of a too active 8month old gir 🙂
Don’t be disheartened that she doesnt sleep through the night. How often do you still wake up for her needs? Most of the time such cases are due to breastfeeding, it stores in the baby’s mind that she would need to feed at certain intervals.

My 8 month can generally sleep a straight of 8-10hours at night and 3-4hrs in the day without waking up. Sure there are exceptions on days when she dont.

Its very disheartening to see when a baby looks tired and is trying to fall asleep yet an adult is depriving her of her sleep. If you co-sleep, things might get easier cos u’re easily n readily available to cater.

Porridge also doesnt neccessarily mean “will last longer” as, a baby’s digestive tract is still weak and vulnerable, they dont digest just as well and most of the time, what goes in quickly comes out too! They probably dont absorb too much of the nutirents that we think they do from all that ngoh he, spinach, carrots..etc tt we feed her.
In fact, my baby gets a whole lot hungrier after a porridge meal and gobbles her milk just slightly after 2hrs fr her porridge feed as compared to 4hrs on formula.


October 26th, 2010 at 5:56 am    

very helpful tips.I will always remember this when I had a child later.haha… 🙂

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