26 October 2010, by Jaime Teo
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!