29 January 2016, by Lim Peifen
One of the most amazing and wonderful things about a baby is how he grows and learns. Luke is now able to sit with minimal support, roll over and around like a pro, and is constantly on all fours trying hard to crawl. Not a moment in his time awake is he willing to stay still and idle. He even attempts to crawl in his sleep, which can lead to trying times, both day and night.
I’m so happy to see him full of energy and raring to go, and other than play time on the activity mat, I want to give him something fun to do with all that energy. Since he always enjoys bath time, I thought he may like paddling around in one of those bath pods at a baby spa. It’s also a great reason for a family outing!
Luke’s first trip to the spa was a good one. He was curious upon entering the water, a little unsure of what to do. Within minutes, though, he starting kicking and spinning, obviously enjoying himself. The lady attending to him praised him for being adventurous. I felt, for the first time, like a proud mother watching her son perform. I was close to tears, but managed to hold them back by reminding myself how silly I would’ve looked crying at a baby spa.
Other than having a great time, Luke used up quite a bit of energy swimming, and easily fell asleep when we got home. He napped for a record breaking two-and-a-half hours that afternoon. Cue triumphant music and crowd cheers.
While it is challenging to lull Luke to sleep in the day, in the evenings it is usually a little easier. We begin the winding down routine at around 6.45pm to 7pm, starting with keeping his play mat and toys, resting for a while, followed by a warm body wipe and changing into pyjamas, and finally rocking him gently while singing softly. (I describe the sequence of events in the simplest manner, knowing that you understand at each stage he will attempt to roll over/get on all fours/put up a fight when held down.) On a good day, he falls asleep within 20 minutes, and when I put him down in his cot, he remains sound asleep. (YES!) On a really good day, he sleeps for 10 to 11 hours until morning. (WOOHOO!)
Of course, not every day is a good day. There are days when he struggles and cries in protest of being made to sleep; recently he has even began to punch my face and pull my hair. I used to get really frustrated when he refused to shut those tired eyes, but I know how unconstructive frustration is, so I’ve devised a way to counter it: practise singing. Well, to be exact, humming. I constantly come up with new songs to hum to him while he tries to sleep, and sometimes I get creative with mash-ups and remixes, or singing songs according to themes. I actually do have a lot of fun! The hubby is pretty impressed with how I can make Luke sleep every night without fail, no matter how difficult he may be. His admiration is great motivation. 😀
The two to three hours after Luke falls asleep everyday is a break that hubby and I very much welcome and treasure. We have our dinner, talk about our day, and discuss family matters. Some nights we head out for some fresh air and couple time (usually at the supermarket), knowing our helper will be able to coax Luke back to sleep if he wakes up. We also make use of this precious time to catch up with news, correspondences and updates on social media, including writing this post. And then it’s bedtime, which is just as precious and important. So, goodnight!