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This Pinay Mom Got Her Daughter To Sleep On Her Own At 4 MonthsIt took patience and dedication, but it gave this mom and her hubby 'alone time' and 'me time'!by Kitty Elicay .
By now, every new parent knows to brace themselves for sleepless nights during their baby’s first year. Newborns don’t have a sleep-wake cycle yet and they feed every one to three hours — sometimes nonstop — so moms and dads would barely get any shuteye. Sleep training is an option, but most experts recommend it at four months when a baby’s sleep/wake cycle begins to regulate.
For working parents, having a baby that can sleep through the night can be a huge comfort, especially for moms who need to go back to work after a maternity leave. That’s why mom Pennelope Baria, 26, tried to adopt sleep training concepts for her daughter, Seven, who is now 1 year and 8 months old.
“My original intent was to create a daily routine for her since I have read a lot of parenting articles that share how beneficial a routine is for babies,” she tells SmartParenting.com.ph in an interview via Messenger. “Then, I read that a routine helps the child become ready for sleep training. Since I only have two months of maternity leave, I thought of allotting that time to establish a routine for Seven.”ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
In a post that she shared on our Facebook group, Smart Parenting Village and her Facebook page, Nanay ni Seven, Pennelope shares that for the first month, she and her husband, John Christopher, helped their daughter distinguish the difference between night and day.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
“During the day, we opened our windows and curtains. All lights are on, plus we played nursery rhymes in a speaker so it can be heard all over the house. At exactly 5 p.m., I give Seven a sponge bath,” the mom of one writes. “I read her bedtime stories, dim light or lampshade lang and as much as possible, no sound at all."
Another way they distinguished night from day was to set sleepwear for bedtime. For the first seven months, she would wear frog suits as sleepwear, before they transitioned her to pajama sets. “It became a cue rin for her na ‘pag pinalitan na siya ng pantulog niya, it means bedtime na,” Pennelope says.
They also incorporated daily activities that the couple strictly followed according to their timetable. This includes a morning and afternoon stroll, playtime, naptime, and tummy time. By establishing and following a routine, Pennelope realized that these were already the first steps to sleep training their daughter.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
How routine helps in sleep training
When Pennelope’s maternity leave was over, her mother took over caring for Seven. “She asked me to orient her sa daily routine ni baby para sa consistency. So I posted her daily schedule in our room hanggang sa nakasanayan na ng lahat including our daughter ‘yung process ng daily routine,” Pennelope shares. “As [Seven] grows older, nag-i-integrate pa kami ng activities based on her interest and needs."ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Here’s a look at Seven’s daily routine from 6 to 12 months:
- 5 a.m. – wakes up and we change her diaper
- 6 a.m. – gets her dose of Vitamin D/morning walk around the subdivision
- 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. – breakfast
- 8 a.m. – bath
- 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. – short nap
- 9 a.m. to 12nn – playtime with her toys and books. No screen time po kami and no baby talking
- 12nn to 1 p.m. – lunch
- 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. – naptime
- 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – playtime
- 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – afternoon walk
- 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. – dinner
- 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. – sponge bath, change to sleeping clothes
- 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. – we ask her how her day went, bedtime stories
- 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. – sleep
Pennelope adds that during her bedtime, Seven would ask for milk around 10 p.m., 12 midnight, and 3 a.m. “She doesn’t cry, though. She just wakes up and we know right away na milk time na,” Pennelope explains. “Pagkadede na, sleep na ulit.”ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Establishing a routine definitely had its own challenges, like needing to orient her husband and her mother about sleep training. “I needed to explain to them word for word ‘yung mga researches na binasa ko,” Pennelope tells Smart Parenting.
Sticking to the routine and being consistent was also harder when she got back to work. Thankfully, she had her mother’s full support. “Very important talaga na naexplain ko ng maayos,” she shares.
Learning to sleep on her ownADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
At four months, Pennelope shares that Seven was able to sleep on her own after their bedtime stories. “There is no need na ihele na or kalungin (which they did before). Pagkasettle niya sa bed, matutulog na siya ng kanya,” the mom shares.
At 17 months old, Seven is also able to sleep on her own for her morning and afternoon naps. Her bedtime has also shifted from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
She had also had begun to ask for her own bed. “[She] already showed signs that she wanted to sleep in her own bed na,” Pennelope writes in a separate post. “We always respect the boundaries she [creates] for herself; ayaw na niyang may tatabi sa kanya pagtulog, so we immediately planned and look for co-sleeping bed designs that will fit perfectly in our room’s set up.”
Pennelope shares that while it is really difficult to establish a routine and sleep training kids, it has proved beneficial for their family. “Seven gets to have enough sleep required for her age and since she is well-rested, she wakes up in a good mood most of the time. She rarely cries when she wakes up in the morning,” Pennelope shares. “She also has enough energy during the day for playtime and other activities.”ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Their daughter being able to sleep independently is also good for Pennelope and her husband, who are both working full-time. “Since Seven sleeps early, hubby and I get to have our ‘alone time’ or ‘me time.’ And since she also wakes up early, we get to eat breakfast together as a family.”
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