|Photo from UNSPLASH|
One thing I dislike about motherhood is being sleep deprived (I’m trying, to be honest here). As much as I would like to stare at my angel until they melt, I just couldn’t stop my eyes from closing! If you know me, you’d know how much I respect the 8-hour sleep rule even during exam days in college. And believe you me, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere near me if I didn’t get enough sleep. I spell more than TEMPER. That goes to say that I find it hardest to adjust my sleeping habits once I became a mom, and that doesn’t change the second time around.
The solution I’ve come to think of is – no, it’s not to pass the duty with the nanny or the hubby, it’s to SLEEP-TRAIN my baby as early as possible. And here I share the things I’ve learned about sleep-training my baby through reading and pedia and mom consultations.
First, I would like to list down the common reasons or scenarios on how parents become deprived of the basic human need of sleep. (Trivia: It has even been said that one could survive for three times as long without food as one could without sleep.)
Scene no. 1: Babies like to sleep in a warm cradle and arms are perfect with a matching sway.
Scene no. 2: Feeding time, newborns are to be fed with their heads slightly elevated every 2 to 3 hours until such time they could store in their tummy enough food for an entire sleep.
Scene no. 3: After feeding, it’s burp time. And more often than not, they don’t come easy. Same goes with the poo-poo time.
Scene no. 4: Diaper change. Especially newborns, they are always wet and they have more sensitive skin.
Scene no. 5: All the checkings in-between. Is the room temperature ok? How about his/her breathing? His sleeping position? His hands? Countless.
That’s why I find SLEEP-TRAINING a necessary skill for every parent. Upon doing a little research which includes consultations with pedia, life coaches and moms all over, I found several methods on how to sleep-train your babies as suggested by experts.
1) The Do-it-All method, meaning a mom is to figure out what the baby likes and give in to her wishes. Cradle her in your arms until she sleeps. Lull her away. Tap her. Sing to her. Whatever the baby wants.
The logic behind this as the experts say is that at this stage babies are trying to figure out themselves, trying to adjust to their new environment and is trying to build a relationship and trust with the people around her which could be difficult to happen if you always make/let her cry.
2) The controversial Cry-it-Out method. As the title suggests, this method is not for faint-hearted because in here you let your baby cry – but no, not endlessly and not until she’s purple. There is quite a strict procedure to follow. You let your baby cry for a specified period of time, then you go comfort her. Put her back in her crib as soon as she’s pacified. If she cries again, let her cry for a longer period of time before you tend to her. Then put her back again. Repeat the cycle until you see results.
Some vow to its effectiveness and its promise of at least 6-hour sleep within the week. This is just helping your baby realize that their crankiness is because they are sleepy and should sleep everytime they feel it. However, some experts disagree pointing out that this could be a traumatic experience for the baby. In doing this method, train first your baby on a scheduled feeding and know when she’s ready to be trained.
3) Then, the Neutral or Balanced method. Parents may persist on sleep-training their babies while being patient. Experts say that this is better than letting babies cry for 10 minutes non-stop. When your baby cries, you should go comfort her for a while and put her down once she’s pacified and just repeat the process as long as needed. One mom said that she had to do it 126 times the first night, 54 on the second and 20 in the third and became even lesser on succeeding days.
Personally, I find co-sleeping with my baby the best way for all of us to sleep. By the way, I’m breastfeeding her. On lucky nights she gives me 6 hours of straight sleep. I just make sure that I have plenty of milk supply when we go to bed or else I will have to bottle-feed in the middle of the night. We go to bed at 9 pm. By 11 pm or 12 midnight, she must be in deep sleep. If she’s fully-fed, she’ll be up by 6 or 7 am. If not, she’ll be up by 3 am. Wakes up around 7 am.
Whatever method you choose or however you want to sleep-train your baby – or not at all, the most effective way to battle sleep deprivation is to enjoy each moment with your babies and REST/SLEEP whenever you can! Time flies so fast. It’ll soon be over right before you know it. As the scripture said, this too shall pass.
Some useful random reminders mommies:
– Establish a routine. This works amazingly for my firstborn! I will share in my next post. I just don’t know when that would be.
– Always put in mind that babies are manipulative creatures! (that came from my pedia)
– A well-fed baby sleeps well.
– There are new burping positions which your pedia could teach you. Go ask them if you get trouble trying to burp your baby.
Have a good night sleep!