It's been a week since a post, so I think I'm gonna try to keep up with updating this blog once a week. Though at first, I was thinking of writing at least one post per day but- that's just too ambitious of me!
The topic I want to write today is about putting a baby to sleep.
Since I was pregnant, my passion had shifted to anything related to childhood education. Now that I already have a baby, I'm getting even more passionate. What I'm gonna write is not even a parenting manual, it's just my two cents- hoping it would be beneficial for others, especially for my own self. Plus, I'm a new mom as well, still a baby-mom (if that'd a label :P), I don't think I'm good enough to write a parenting manual.
I know that people would have different thoughts and opinions about this, but anyway, this is my story and my opinion.
My baby sleeps through the night at 7 months old. I've been a sleep-deprived mom before that- God knows how long I've waited for my baby to grow till he's 6 months so that I can train him to sleep throughout the night. Of course, being a first time mom, it's been quite an emotional journey; I missed my baby being so tiny. I did my homework on how to take care of my baby, asked experienced moms, then only I chose to follow the Controlled Crying Technique- one of sleep programs.
For me, my baby is an easy baby, alhamdulillah Allah made him easy for us, to ease our difficult journey. For 6 months, my baby slept with me- well, not really. At 3 months old, he slept in the cot, but he would woke up for feeds - every 3 hours. Though I'm a stay-at-home mom, I do need my me-time- where I can sort my life, take a breather now and then, to have the optimism to start a new day.
This technique, is one of the sleep programs. so you might want to do some homework before starting on any of the programs. Malaysians may have different opinions regarding sleep and crying. Since becoming a mom, I have been receiving opinions from two school of thoughts- one, take the baby right after the baby cries and two, just leave the baby to cry he'd eventually stop crying after some time (read: even if the baby screams his lung out). Which school of thoughts am I?
I believe that leaving a baby to cry would eventually affecting his psychology. Have you ever read about a mom who went to a refugee camp (if I'm not mistaken), and found that not a single baby cried? It's actually because the babies know, even if they cry, no one would ever attend to their needs. That's how severe affected they are.
There are three types of stress - positive stress, tolerable stress and toxic stress. You can read more on these stress further, but the name has already explained what it really is. Positive stress is a stress where it provides healthy development, tolerable stress isn't good but it's tolerable, and toxic stress will develop mental health problem- which this may due to complete neglect, abuse, war victims etc.
Oh anyway, the sleep program that I adopt is not a complete neglect, where the parents leave the baby to cry, and plus, I believe it's a kind of a positive stress for my baby. My baby needs routines, and he needs a good 12 hours of undisturbed sleep for him to be able to enjoy his day.
So what I did, I set a bedtime routine- bathe him, read him a book, feed him and put him in his cot, while he's drowsy and still awake. If he cries, I would let him cry for 2 minutes, and then came into the room, pat him and then leave. I would then leave him for 4 minutes. I would double the time each time. But since it broke my heart listening to him cry, I would do 2 mins, 4 mins, 8 mins, 15 mins, and if he still cries after all the steps, I would just leave him for 15 mins, 15 mins, 15 mins ... until he learnt to self-soothe. It took perseverance, really. And it also took teamwork- a partner who would encourage and support you, and most importantly, both parents need to be on the same page on the sleep program.
How long it took me? A week. After that, if he were to wake up in the middle of the night, he would just go to sleep by himself, without crying and having me to feed him to sleep. Different baby would take different time, but perseverance is the key. Don't just give in to the babies' tricks and drama :P
That's why, it's important that, before starting the sleep program, the baby needs to start eating solid (so that we can be very sure he's not crying because he's hungry) which means 6 months and over, the baby needs to be healthy (he can't be unwell, if he is, he needs lots of hugs and cuddles.).
My baby sleeps from 7 pm to 6 am usually. From 7pm, I can do lots of things! Even usrah without having to worry that my baby would wake up. That's the advantages :D
Enough-sleep-baby --> Happy baby --> Happy mom --> Happy day inshaAllah.
Oh, hello optimism!
What questions/doubts do you have in mind after reading this post?
1. Oh, she's a stay-at-home mom, of course she has ample time to train her baby!
2. How do I train my baby? I work 9-5, reach home at 7pm, when can I actually spend time with my baby?
what else what else what else?
Btw this is just my two cents. Manusia kerdil, a baby-mom with shallow knowledge.