Sunday, July 12, 2020

Baby and Sleep : A Parenting Update for the first 3 months

One of the advice they tell you about being a parent is
'Sleep when your baby sleeps'
Although it makes sense, it is pretty hard to implement in real life. Everything kept aside, the sight of your new born baby is a blessing which is just ❤️❤️ 

Babies in their early stages sleep more than 16 hours in the day..This might not be ideal for their grandparents (as I experienced) as they get less time to play with their grandson. But it is ideal for their brain development and also a break in between the madness for the new parents. 

As my new born has crossed 3 months, he has started to fall in to a pattern. I would like to share how we have managed our schedules and sanity during these 3 months through self experimentation.

3 Months Baby and Sleep

To summarise;

  • Manage your routine around their sleep:

Newborn babies do not sleep for long hours in the beginning. Although the sleep in total everyday averages more than 16 hours, they do not sleep for more than 2-3 hours at a stretch. So expect your baby to wake you up at random times throughout your day and night. So if you have a team meeting coming up or have a commitment, try to adjust your routine around his/her sleep. 

Making him sleep 30 minutes before your work makes your available for the next 60-90 minutes depending on his feeding and burp. If he is fully fed and burped, expect a distraction free sleep for a minimum of 90 minutes

  • You need to develop their sleep routine:

When we sleep, our bodies tend to know whether it is day or night. This process is called 'circadian rhythm' which is a natural way for our body to follow a pattern to be asleep and awake at a particular time of the day. Babies do not have this and start developing it slowly as they age.

During the day expose them to sunlight for their internal body clock to realise that it is daytime, while as they are going to sleep do the opposite. You might need to help them sleep in a dim environment without much noise and stimulation. Do it everyday at around the same time for the first 3-4 months and your baby will start to feel sleepy during that time frame automatically. For our baby this time is around 11 PM when we start our night routine which generally consists of dimming the lights, starting his favourite lullaby music and lack of activity in the room.

  • Experiment to find out what works best:
Initially our baby used to sleep on my chest only which was always a cute moment to see a fragile thing laying his head on my chest and sleeping peacefully without any movement. But then before it got addictive and turned to be the only way he could sleep, we started to try different techniques to see which ones had a better success rate. Feel free to experiment to see what works best for your baby and calms him down.

For us, he sleeps peacefully on his stomach more than on his back. He has never liked swaddling much, so we avoid doing it in the day time and loves sleeping himself off staring at the fan. Keep those 1 or 2 techniques consistent, so whenever you hold him in that position, he knows it is sleeping time!

  • Appreciate the little things

I have never been more tired and excited at the same time. My baby sleeps really light in the afternoons waking up every 30-45 minutes some days. This gives me a break of only half an hour to get things done.

So I end up not wasting that time browsing on my social media profiles, In fact quitting social media this year has helped me not make that mistake at all. I manage being appreciative of the little time gaps I have in between his sleep and feeding patterns. Sometimes I end up using it for work and sometimes just taking power naps. You will start to appreciate even the 20 minute naps you get in between.

I repeat, 

Do not spend all of those resting times you get in between his sleep on your mobile phone!

The first 3 months have been great and our baby has started to develop a pattern in sleep which we are taking advantage of now. Knowing when he sleeps deep (after his massage in the morning) and when he sleeps really light (after lunch) helps us manage what tasks can be completed when.

One thing I have really begun to get better at with the arrival of baby which I always wanted to do is Time Management. And I can't thank him enough for it ✌