Okay, it's true...sleeping babies are cute, very cute...provided when they SLEEP!
As a second time mom, I was very hopeful that I won't have the same issues with putting my newborn to sleep as I had with my first-born...yes, there's something called wishful thinking, so I too am entitled to think this way...
Of course it didn't happen...of course it remained just a wish...of course my baby DOESN'T SLEEP!
And I am really yet to come across a new parent who has told me happily that yes, their babies sleep really easily and they are not at all hassled and crazily exhausted and trying to read up what to do....
Everyone goes through this and you and I are not alone...
I have read enough and seen enough tutorials from 'parenting experts' on how to put baby to sleep in a matter of minutes. And the conclusion is: these things are better left in the books or on screen, they have no place in real homes.
So today, I will tell you what all I have been doing with my kids to help them get to bed. Let me tell you that they take quite a lot of time to fall asleep. My elder daughter who is now 6, till a few months back, took anything between 1 - 1nhalf hours to fall asleep after she had retired to bed! My newborn, who is now 5 months old, took a lot of time too. But both are now falling into better patterns, so I will share with you some simple things that I am doing, in the hope that it helps someone out there too.....
These days, me and hubby are on the you-me duty: you out that one to sleep, I put this one to sleep.
Also, just to let everyone know, I am not a fan of pacifiers, and have never given one to my first born or the new one. I try to put the baby to sleep as naturally as possible.
New Born (5 months old)
My baby does take a lot of time to fall asleep, and all the things I have mentioned below are repeated on an on and on through the day, sometimes in the interval of less than half an hour. In most cases, she is fully fed, but still won't sleep. Also, she is a very light sleeper. We live on the 16th floor, but any noise outside is enough to wake her up. Now that she is 5 months old, she is sleeping better through the night, but even as I write this post, since yesterday she has been really waking up at night to play! Will let you know what happens :-O
- Many times she will fall asleep while feeding, but the moment I get up, she will start crying. In such cases, I lie down next to her again, without talking, and gently put my hand on her, letting her know that I am around.
- Sometimes, baby is in deep sleep, but suddenly wakes up and cries. I let her latch on for just a while, and she falls back to sleep with the gentle suckling movements.
- I stretch out my legs and put a big soft pillow over my feet. I place baby over the pillow and gently move my legs from side to side. The rocking movement helps baby fall asleep. As she nears sleep, I slowly reduce the swinging motion and gradually bring it to a stop. Once she is sound asleep, I place her gently on the bed. Sometimes, (actually most times), she will wake up as soon as I pick her up. So I repeat the process again and once she is asleep, I slowly remove my legs from under the pillow. As it is a very soft pillow, I can let her sleep on it without any worries of hurting or harming her.
- Sometimes baby opens her eyes in her sleep, and if I am not around, she starts crying, unless I come to her. If she is properly fed, I don't lie down next to her. Instead, I sit by her with a book, without looking or talking. I read, while she is assured that I am around, and she goes to sleep.
- Gently massaging the top centre of her head or the areas around the ears
- Helping her burp, then holding her in my arms and rocking back and forth
- A warm bath, followed by a gentle oil massage and swaddling her securely. This is followed by a feed, and she goes to sleep.
This one has been a very light sleeper, but now, for the past few months, is sleeping better at night.
- A glass of warm honey milk last thing at night
- Comfortable room temperature
- Clean sheets and covers
- Good night story (short) told in very quiet tones
- Dim light (I prefer but my elder one sleeps better in proper light)
- Gentle massage on the head
- Once I have read the story, I sit quietly by her side, reading a book, no talk
- I hold her hand and slightly massage the insides of her palm with my thumb
- As she gets sleepier, I softly keep telling her to close her eyes, each time she opens them
- I scribble on her back with my finger and softly keep twirling my finger on her back
In case you have any special tips, then please do let me know.
- Debolina Raja Gupta
And like I always believe in and say:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ
Be good to your little one, and to the millions of little ones out there who truly need every bit of love and compassion they can get.....Be a grown up...save the little ones.... Debolina Raja Gupta