Baby Sleeping Guide

Every time I saw parents posting and asking about baby not sleeping throughout the night blah blah.. I always don’t wish to give any information unless is a known friend asking. Because it’s really tricky and not as easy as it seems.
Before I counsel my patients this is the step I do > understand, process and lastly expectations. Only 3 right, but is not easy, for that 3 I can spend 45 mins to an hr to counsel patient.
Anyway back to topic… Please read it with an open mind, every parenting style is different.
Long post ahead…

Understand what is sleep

Sleep need to understand meh? YES. Understand the most basic then u can know the curing process.

“Sleeping is associated with a state of muscle relaxation and limited perception of environmental stimuli.”

Above sentence easy to understand yeah. So since is a state of muscle relaxation, personally I don’t recommend CRY IT OUT method. But doesn’t mean once baby start crying, immediately carrying her, wait for awhile, observe and then carrying. Crying cause muscle to tense up, introduce air, causing gas. Crying in baby send signal to their brain causing more stimulation.

One more word to understand before we start the process.

REM aka rapid eye movement aka one of the 5 stages in sleep.

“Rapid eye movement sleep, or REM, is one of the five stages of sleep that most people experience nightly. It is characterized by quick, random movements of the eyes and paralysis of the muscles.”

“The amount of time spent in REM sleep varies significantly with age; it normally makes up around 20-25% of an adult humans total time spent asleep (on average about 90-120 minutes), and about more than half of an infant’s.”

Baby spend more time in REM sleep than adults. So please don’t expect baby to fall into deep sleep in 30 mins… be realistic.

After this part should understand what is sleep. So now prepare the following stuff
> human pacifier / pacifier
> bean bag or swaddle cloth which ever your baby like it.
> some soft toys or cloth to hug to sleep

If you notice the stuff that you needed to prepare needs a lot on sense of security.
> sucking is baby natural reflux for sense of comfort and security
> bean bag, swaddle, soft toys or cloth to hold is also makes them to have of security. U can try to test when you see your baby had a shock or going to, try putting your finger on their hand to let them grab or apply pressure to their chest,  place your face close to them, do some soft “shhhh” or “hmmm” sound. See if it really works.

Process of making baby sleep

I always said I do sleep training on my babies, a lot of people will think that I let baby cry, feed them water etc.. NO..
No crying out method and no feeding water.
If my child is hungry, crying for milk, I give.

My sleep train is just basically a routine. What a normal, healthy adult (or human) routine is. I don’t read books on training baby to sleep etc. I’m thankful that my parents is a good role model for me to follow. When we were young, we don’t understand why our parents will chase us to bed at 7:30pm, limit activities before bed time etc..  After becoming a parent myself, we know the reason behind.

OK back to topic again. Here’s my routine, please adjust the routine according to you and your baby needs. But most importantly keep the routine like a strict timetable without enforcing strict time, basically is asking you to work like a Robert, without programming like a computer, but think and operate like a human.

Morning
Wake up > bath her > feed her.
Playing session for the morning will be either before bathing or after feeding her depending on her cues. After that put her on rocker or my bed to nap. Always keep the room bright and don’t keep it too silent.
Day sleeping area and night sleeping area > different.

*Is important to let them have their day nap because if they miss sleep, they will get over stimulated and thus make it tough for them to sleep at night. You will get a cranky baby. You can slowly adjust the nap timing or avoiding the evening nap by 6 months old onwards, again depending on baby cues.

Afternoon
Depends on what time she wake up, play with her and feed her.
After the morning session, subsequently is feed milk, nap, play, feed milk. Unless she sleep till its time for milk then I will pay with her within a certain time frame and leave her to nap.

If you are on total direct latching, it’s the same thing but because you are a human pacifier so be prepare that putting them down while they are still at first stage of sleeping may wake them up easily. And when they have sucking reflex, Mommy you are wanted..

Night
Depends on her milk feeding time, around 730 pm I will have to start cleaning her up, feed her, off the light, on night light and stay in the room.

You can either carry till she fall asleep or before she fall asleep. I use either one. I don’t believe in sticking into one way as it’s important to look at baby cues. Even human, like prefer to eat chicken rice today but tomorrow mood like to eat prawn noodles.

No matter which method you use, once you put baby down, if baby talk ignore, just seat beside the baby or baby cot, no eye contact, no talking, totally like ignore them till sleep or when they start to cry.
If baby cry, don’t straight away pick them up in seconds, wait slightly awhile, carry baby and give them the sense of security till they are calm down, put down again.
REPEAT THE CYCLE AGAIN AND AGAIN TILL BABY SLEEP. Do prepare to do some hand exercise, up and down, up and down…

Means baby 1-2 hours or even 3hrs like this I have to stay in the room with lights off?

Unfortunately the answer is YES.

Baby needs people to help them to sleep. They can’t self sooth.

Expectations

Creating a habit doesn’t come easily, no matter you are training for sleeping or eating.

I remember when I started routine for Yi He when we are back to our home after confinement, me and hubby always have arguments on the timing. Due to his sales job, his timing is always not accurate and he always insist to fetch me and end up the timing is so late.

When human experience changes we takes time to adapt so is baby. Settle into routine definitely takes time and most importantly stick to only one caregiver first. Because different caregiver handle things differently and baby are smart. Once they know is a different people who handles them they will “chu” pattern. I know sticking to one caregiver is tough especially for working parents, unless your caregiver can create a same routine and soothing method like yours. Otherwise best is create a habit by yourself (main caregiver), and once baby gets the hang of it, there wouldn’t be a lot of issues.

Not only that, when they experience night terror in toddler age, there is another consistent routine and soothing method which you need to set (which I’m not going into that). Which is what my sister has been experiencing for the past few weeks.

We are lucky in the sense that my parents and us have the same parenting style, so the one person we need to educate is our spouse. They do have some hard time because of their work. It’s definitely not easy, my dad will chase us (even till now) to go home early, even our kids have already settle into routine.

The older you start a routine/habit, the longer it takes time to set in. Be realistic, imagine you are so comfortable at your current work station and working hours, suddenly your boss ask you to come to work an hour earlier and change your work place from Hougang to Tuas. How will you react? Rejection? Thought of quitting? Complaining and whining?  Kids does that too and that’s where you need to be more patient and be perseverance.

It’s normal to feel lousy, normal to find ways and means to make baby sleep. I even bring Yi He go to temple to pray or go visit my mil and put magnet etc, IT’S NORMAL. That’s part of parenting. You do stuff which you find that’s stupid whenever you think back hahaha… but Yi He does get better after we brought her to respect my mil.

Anyway on average most baby can sleep throughout the night, or slightly longer at the age of 1yr old to 18months onwards.

So don’t set high expectations on baby to sleep through, set high expectations on yourself or caregiver to give consistent routine. Be reasonable, if you can’t be consistent how can you expect the baby to understand what it’s going on. Always put your self in baby shoes. Adults needs time to adjust to changes, and consistently be reminded so does baby.

Each human, each baby, each caregiver is different, change your expectations and manage. Don’t expect miracle in doing sleep train.

Continue the strict routine for at least a month and not so strict routine but consistent habit even when outside, slowly when they are older, times up they will tell u they want to bathe and sleep. Of course they will still have cranky moments of refusing to sleep.

Last time when we are outside, if I need my girl to nap but she refused, I will baby carry her, and make her sleep. She sure will struggle and cry, but still better than she is cranky during night time. That is even worse.

I don’t care how people look at me, I don’t care that sometimes I will snap back at everyone in the household because I’M THE MAIN CAREGIVER!

THEY DON’T SLEEP, I SUFFER, BABY ALSO SUFFER. Some more I’m working, especially having side lines now. The rest and time after they sleep is the time I need it most.

Suffer for few months, gives you easy life for the rest of their baby/toddler moments.

I understand that there is some apps on about baby leaps,when baby at certain weeks they will just cry. I don’t really believe in it and frankly speaking I don’t even know it until joining the July mommy group.

I believe baby fuss for a reason, just because they can’t talk and express themselves well, so they only can cry. That means I know how to differentiate baby crying? NO, I don’t know how to differentiate baby crying, but I see my baby overall body language.

Each baby is different, spend time to see your baby cry, do different stuff each time to watch their reaction, slowly you will know what they asking or crying for. I don’t believe it in letting in passing it off as a leap. Yes baby does have a phase of cranky or naughty period just like adult but that doesn’t go by age. It goes by mood, hormones and environmental factors.

Baby is like an irrational adults.

We are rational adults because we know how to think, we know what’s the norm, we know what is right or wrong.

For those who spend time to read my so long post, appreciate it. I hope it does help, parenting is never easy if it involves a lot of caregiver. And parenting is nvr a textbook or 10years series, or word by word.

Sleeping to me is very important for their growth and development in their brain. (don’t want to go into that). So I wouldn’t treat it as a phase/leap and let it pass.

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