Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How to make your baby know when it is day or night, or rather, make him sleep at night and no mucking around!

I read with interest of many new mums sharing their experience (or in the middle of it!) on caring and doing their best to keep their babies comfortable.

Isn't it a miracle, such a tiny baby, with only little needs, to be fed and kept clean, and sometimes entertained :P but manage to make many adults go coconuts with sleepless nights and dangerously high level of stress?

And since I am over the sleepless nights now, not that I have many in relation to my dear little rascal (lucky me!), I'd like to share my experience, and hope some new mums can get a little tip here and make it work for them.

Aidan slept in a bassinet for the first three months. During the day, he will be either in the rocking chair while he was awake, or my bed during the afternoon naps. The bassinet is only for him to sleep in at night. It was my way of differentiating day and night for him.

By 7.30 or latest 8pm, I closed all the blinds and curtains to make the room as dark as possible, put him in his bassinet till the next morning, except for feeds and change of nappies, of course. If he ever made a fuss, I will carry him for a while, or rock his bassinet, or whatever I did, it will be in the room. Never out. I had a night light on if I needed to feed or change Aidan.

Other than that, I find that the white noise in ocean waves soothed him a lot. It was the closest to the sounds in my body I could relate to. Imagine the baby inside you, who had been listening to these heartbeat and the swooshing and swishing of blood and liquid rushing all through your veins and arteries. I bought a white noise recorder at Dimmey's then, for less than $20 and it had the sounds of the ocean waves, stream, rain and birds.

If he cried, or for whatever reason, we will remain in the room. Wilkin has been very supportive throughout, thank goodness for that, as he had to go to work during the day. He had been waking up with me everynight for the first month, just to help me out in getting the lukewarm water to clean Aidan's bum bum when he poo-ed, and to take out the dirty nappies.

After a short time, Aidan associated the bassinet with bed/night time. He 'knew' there won't be anything exciting happening even if he kicked up a fuss.

Three months later, he was upgraded to a baby cot. And unfortunately, my room didn't have enough space for that. So that was when he had his own room. I had separation anxiety, mind you, and the loudest in volume with the baby monitor wasn't loud enough for me. Even if he was just in the next room, with no bedroom doors closed!

Everything was fine till he was more aware of his surroundings. He wanted out! He wanted play! So I had to start the routine all over again.

I stayed with him, outside his cot, everytime leaving for a short while, telling him I will be back. Eventually the break grew longer, until he got used to the idea. I did not entertain him, no talking, no laughing. Well, of course there were small talks, but not 'conversation.'

Next, he was upgraded to a single bed. This was tough, as he could run out from his room. He didn't like the bed, but the cot was getting too small for him. We took the opportunity to remove the cot when Aidan and myself were back in Ipoh. So when we got back, it was easier for him not to see his cot being taken away. Aidan slept by my side the whole month we were back in Malaysia, so naturally, he didn't quite liked the idea of being alone again, in a new bed.

For the first week, he cried almost every night and kept running out from his room. I did the same routine again. Instead of sleeping next to him, I sat beside his bed, quiet, with no eye contact. Just so he knew I was there for him, but it was bedtime. I sometimes fell asleep myself sitting there, haha.

Then smooth sailing. Perseverence does pay :)

Today, Aidan goes to bed at 8.30pm, or 9.30 on the weekends. Don't you mums hate me? Hahhaha!!

I hope some mums out here will find this post useful, and if you have any questions, I will try my best to answer :) By the way, I got these tips from Super Nanny. And Dr. Christopher Green :)


eastcoastlife said...

Oh, I miss my son's baby moments. sigh....

anyway... Come and get your award from my latest post! ^-^

aceone said...

Good tips! Will record down in my notebook. kekeke

Mummy to QiQi said...

u are lucky that Aidan went thru a smooth transition when he moves to his own room :)

jazzmint said...

wei when did u start put him to sleep on his own bed. Mine don't wanna budge aiyo...

mott said...

I love Dr.Green! Wicked sense of humor! Did u read his method on keeping the door close?


Sweetpea said...

ECL - oh! *wipe tears* oh! so honoured! so *gaan doong*! wait, let me make a mind-blogging speech first :) THANKS!

aceone - ya ya, u keep in your 'saang jai ging'

mummy to qiqi - i guess it's becoz he was in his own room from the age of 3 months, so it wasn't any trouble at all :)

jazzmint - it's not when i started putting him in his own bed. it is that he has NEVER slept in our bed before at night :) you may have a hard time budging yours now :P

mott - haha, care to refresh my memory? i may have to re-read the book again. i know he definitely is witty, but can' remember that chapter. wait... i go read :P

J@n!ce said...

Both my boys sleep best in the sarong. If they wake up, I will s/w on the electic swing attached to the sarong cost SG$165 & puts them back to sleep again. I am really relieved that my hub bought this for me. It is really a nightmare for me during the first few mths. Yes, soothing music puts them to sleep too. You can try the sound from the vacuum cleaner too. It works :)

Etcetera~Mommy said...

I hate you and envy you la.. how? :P

Sweetpea said...

janice - yes! somehow the vacuum cleaners and washing machines do wonders sometimes.

i cannot use sarong here lar, very cold! unless the timing is right, e.g. summer :P

etcetera~mommy - u follow what i do lor! hhahahaa!

wHOisBaBy said...

that's nice. i think i better start moving my boy out from our bedroom soon.

Sweetpea said...

whoisbaby - it's true that the earlier the easier. no doubt there will be separation anxiety, more for you than baby :P but i think daddy will be very glad :)

healy said...

Hate you! Hate you! Hate you!......

*healy keep grumbling*

You know why I hate you that much? Elizabeth sleep around 9pm too, but, she will wake up around 12am. For milk and some play time too.

But, I don't blame her. It's her father who always sleep late that want to play with her once she gets up.

LOL! You are lucky not to have a "big Kid" ( like Lizzy's dad) at home. :)

Sweetpea said...

healy - if the big kid do not mind putting lizzy back to bed, then it's okay for you wat :) but on the long run, u have to talk with him, as lizzy will think it's part of the night's routine, and you may have to implement stricter routines if u want her to sleep thru.

i will usher aidan back to back immediately after he comes out for his midnight pee sometimes. like i said, no mucking around :) just a very loving goodnight kiss and hug.