Monday, December 14, 2009

Continuous Nighttime Sleep: Establishing a Routine

I was stunned to find out that a 2-week old baby can sleep 7 to 8 hours straight all throughout the night. A friend of ours with 2 girls ages 2+ and 1+ years old has been on this routine since they were 2 weeks old. I had been wondering at what age can you train a baby to settle down for naps on specific time of the day, much more uninterrupted nighttime sleeps. Until my husband told me about our friend. All the information about how to create an undisturbed sleep in the night for the baby is written on the book that she lent me before Evie's birth. But, I didn't bother to read.

Eve will be turning 4 months this week. I am not certain how hard or easy would it be to get her into a routine that was supposed to be practiced when she was only 14 days old. But according to the book, you can always start late. However, greater effort and patience are needed.

The ROUTINE: feeding-waking-napping. The book advised not to conclude feeding with napping. Typically, the baby feels drowsy while she is fed. Parents are encouraged to do some activities to put the baby in the waking mood during and after feeding time. Additionally, the baby needs to be fed 8 to 10 times from the start of the day up to the late night (12-1 A.M. maybe). Moreover, she should learn to go to sleep all by herself without the use of a prop: rocking, pacifier, swing, etc.. The one main thing that convince me to try this method are the benefits babies get from getting healthy naps and nighttime sleeps. They are happier, less irritable, smarter, have higher IQs, and more. Which mother doesn't want that?

We informally administered the routine yesterday. The most challenging part was putting her down in her bassinet...awake. We haven't done that before. She usually close her eyes to nap either being carried in our arms rocked or on the swing sucking her binky.

Most of the tries yesterday were successful. After she made some noises (as if talking to herself) and few on and off crying, she fell off to sleep without the aid of her pacifier (which she is used to). One attempt last night was unsuccessful. She cried so much and...longer. I had to pick her up because I could no longer bear the heaviness I felt in my heart. She fell off to sleep last night around 8:30. We gave her last 2 feedings at 10 P.M. and 1 A.M. She woke up this morning at 5! Technically, she slept for 8 and a half hours. There were few fussiness at late night, but she managed to go back to sleep with the help of the pacifier.

Today is the official day of the routine introduction. So far, one attempt was again not successful. After the failed attempt, I thought the next one was going to be a failure too. I was on the verge of giving up. I was tempted to go inside the room and pick her up so she would stop crying. A lot of times I was standing outside the bedroom door struggling with myself whether I should rush to her or not. Prayer was my only weapon. I didn't know if what I was doing was right or not. My only desire is to give and do what is best for my daughter. I asked for wisdom. I didn't know what to do. I even came to a point of giving myself an ultimatum. I told God that if Eve will not stop crying on the time I set for her to settle down, I will go, pick her up, and hold her in my arms. To my surprise, she stopped crying and closed her eyes to sleep. She woke up almost an hour late until her next feeding.

We'll see what happens tonight. At the same time, I am making an evaluation whether this setup is beneficial to her well-being or not. I will be observing her moods and see if she is happier or not. I am giving myself 1 week to find out the overall advantages and disadvantages of this new routine. Her welfare is always my priority.

1 comment:

  1. For babies to have a sound sleep, they must have a consistent bed time routine. Lay down the baby on the same bed even for naps, make the room dark and play some music. This way it will keep the baby from crying too.