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Babies For Parents

Parents Share: Tips and Tricks on Getting Babies to Sleep

Do you struggle with getting your baby to sleep?

With a newborn or a toddler, the subject of ‘sleep’ is often discussed and pondered over.

It is essential for babies and children to obtain sufficient sleep as having ample rest supports healthy development. The younger the child is, the more sleep they need. And while they sleep, parents can get their rest too, or possibly score some pockets of time to prepare meals or simply “me time” to unwind for the day.

So, what do you do to get a baby to sleep? When do babies sleep through the night? That sounds like a distant dream!

Let’s hear it from parents in Singapore who have successfully found ways to get their babies and young children to sleep – yes, tips and tricks that work!

There’s just something about a sleeping baby, isn’t it?

 

#1: Trial and error to more zzz’s

As with parenting, there comes certain situations where trial and error becomes your best bet. Armed with the mission to ensure your newborn sleeps well, and clocks in sufficient naps throughout the day, parents pretty much start from Ground Zero.

Some parents may discover certain sleep strategies that work for their kids. Like Elizabeth Wu, who has 3 children, she counts physical caress as a technique that works for her family.

“Stroking the bridge of the nose gently, white noise and gently running fingers through hair!” she shares.

It sounds so easy, but when she first tried it, the kids probably thought that mummy was playing with them!

Getting the children to sleep also calls for disciplined parents. These parents unanimously agree that a bedtime routine is essential, since children learn through conditioning and repetition.

For Serynn Guay, she believed in sleep training her newborn. Here’s what she does, which involves her special magic trick on days when getting her child to sleep becomes a tall order:

“Nothing forceful, but I established a routine – after wipe down, change PJs, tuck in with baby and turn off the lights. Even now (boy is 3 years old), turning off lights is always a solid cue to sleep. Usually I’ll pretend to fall asleep too (sometimes I’ll fall asleep for real!). If all else fails, use Hylands Teething Gel. It knocked my baby out goooodddddd!”

She also shares that eliminating distractions such as screen time at least an hour before bedtime is important. This is supported by neuroscientists who advise that sleep quality becomes compromised with the blue light emission from our smartphones and gadgets – which is also true for adults too, isn’t it?

A comfortable, sleep-conducive is essential when it comes to bedtime settings.

 

#2: Establish a bedtime routine

Most parents who successfully establish a bedtime routine that syncs with their baby sleep patterns are all praises for this must-do!

All of them agree that the familiarity and association with pre-bedtime activities allowed kids to understand and anticipate that it’s almost bedtime. Parents advice? Start early.

Mummy Ryn Ryn started a bedtime routine when she was pregnant. She turns on a particular piano music throughout the night until now whenever her three-year-old daughter sleeps or naps.

“(It has) became a(n) SOP… sometimes if I forget, she will say “mummy please on the sleeping music”..!”

Besides developing a routine, being consistent from the start is equally important, shares Qiqi Low, who has 2 young daughters. She also shares that when the kids start Primary School, the bedtime routine will then have to change to accommodate the child’s schedule so it’s still boils down to making it work for the family.

Parents who have a consistent bedtime routine in place for the children are really pleased with the “results”. While some days are hits and misses, Maria Wee explains that “(Our bedtime routine) is part of his everyday life…. now, he falls asleep within half an hour but most of the time within 15 mins or so. If he’s tired, even faster.”

While it sounds like clockwork going on, what happens if schedules on some days are out of the norm, or, the kids are home later than their usual bedtime?

 

Need to put two young kids to bed? Establish a bedtime routine that fits your family’s schedule.

Mok Yizheng shares, “Both my kids sleep by 830 every day (except for the odd weekend we are out till late). It’s also routine… after dinner they play awhile then when it’s bathing time they will know it’s sleeping time soon. We’ll go into the room and they’ll drink milk around 8pm.. cuddle abit and they’ll fall asleep within 15-20mins.”

Elayne Gan seconds that routine is key and helps to manage the family’s schedules. She affirms, “Regardless the time, the routine remains. That’s one way for baby to recognise it’s bedtime.”

Both mummies Mok Yizheng and Elayne Gan stick to their daily practice even if it means doing certain activities twice, or the same activity at close intervals. For example, bathing them before changing into the pyjamas despite a bath just a few hours ago.

“So many points but so important for sanity!” Elayne quips.

That’s pretty true! Anything to keep parents sane counts as an ally!

 

#3: Have a game plan to get the kids to sleep

As your children grow older, their bedtime routine may change and morph into something quite different. Or at least, not what you may have expected at the beginning.

With 2 or more kids, siblings may get up to quirky antics at bedtime, which can be really heart-warming to watch after a day of being away from them.
Raye Kiu, sticks to a bedtime routine for both kids. Things are a little different now as the routine “includes silly dances, silly games … milk … brushing teeth, (switching) off (the) lights”. She occasionally resorts to white lies as well by announcing that it’s 11 pm, when it’s just 9.45pm. Things parents do to get their kids to bed!

Also, expect that what used to a fool-proof plan to get them to sleep may suddenly not work when your child is older.

For Mel Goh, “initially, playing soothing baby sleep music helped a lot… once after 6 months, it didn’t really work that much.”

So, her game plan had to change. Now her son hugs a bolster instead. If they are out and her child is yawning, she babywears him and pats him to sleep.

When out and about, babywearing your child lets him know that daddy or mummy is close to him. Alternatively, tuck him in the stroller for naps.

#4: If your child fights sleep, it’s time to see the fun side

If you’re feeling frustrated when trying to get your baby to sleep, remember to see the fun side of things and breathe a little easier.

Researchers have been linking insomnia and intelligence, so who knows? Your sleep fighter could be a little genius! At least that’s what Drea Kang Gruszka convinces herself too: “Take comfort in that possibility the next time you’re ready to slaughter them… At least that’s what I psycho myself to believe when (my daughter) Kinia is driving me nuts at midnight!”

Managing a child who fights sleep can be nerve-wrecking, but with a simple routine in place, you might find one that works for your family. Raising happy, healthy children takes patience and some experimentation at times – we hope you find a way to develop healthy sleeping habits with your children.

Do you have any tried-and-tested methods to get your children to sleep? Do share them too!

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Babies For Parents

父母分享:让婴儿入睡的窍门和技巧

您是否难以让宝宝入睡?

对于新生儿或幼儿,父母们会经常讨论和琢磨“睡眠”这一主题。

婴儿和儿童都必须获得充足的睡眠,因为充足的睡眠有利于健康发育。孩子越小,需要的睡眠就越多。在孩子睡觉的时候,父母也可以休息,或者挤出点时间来准备饭菜,或者仅仅是获得难得的“私人时间”来放松。

那么,您会怎么让宝宝入睡呢?宝宝什么时候会睡一整晚?这听起来像是个遥远的梦!

有些新加坡父母已成功找到了让宝宝入睡的方式,让我们来听听他们有效的窍门和技巧吧!

熟睡的宝宝也很特别,不是吗?

 

#1: 反复试验,获得更充足的睡眠

与育儿一样,在某些情况下,反复试验可能是您最好的选择。我们的目标是保证新生儿获得优质睡眠以及全天内足够的睡眠时间,父母大多都是从零开始。

有些家长找到了适合自己孩子的睡眠策略。拥有3个孩子的Elizabeth Wu认为,身体抚摸有助于宝宝入睡。

“轻轻地抚摸鼻梁,放着白噪声以及轻轻地用手指疏理头发都会有效!”她说道。

听起来似乎很容易,但当她第一次尝试时,孩子们认为妈妈在和他们玩!

让孩子们入睡也需要纪律严明的父母。他们一致认为按时睡觉非常重要,因为孩子可以通过调整和重复学会按时睡觉。

Serynn Guay认为新生儿需要进行睡眠训练。当孩子难以入睡时,她是这样做的,就像魔术一样神奇:

“我并不是强迫宝宝睡觉,而是有套常规程序:在给宝宝擦拭干净后,换上睡衣,抱着宝宝,关掉灯。即使宝宝现在3岁了,关灯仍表示要睡觉了。我常常会假装也睡着了(有时我是真的睡着了!)。如果这个方式行不通的话,可以使用Hylands的婴儿出牙舒缓凝胶。这让我的宝宝倒头就睡,效果确实好!”

她还认为,至少在睡前一小时关闭屏幕放映等干扰源对宝宝入睡非常重要。神经科学家也支持这一观点,他们认为智能手机和小工具发出的蓝光会影响睡眠质量,对成年人亦是如此,不是吗?

在入睡时,舒适、有助睡眠的环境至关重要。

 

#2: 形成就寝规律

为宝宝入睡成功形成就寝规律的父母得益于他们严格的执行力!

这些父母都认为熟悉睡前活动并建立联想,能让孩子明白并预料就寝时间。父母的建议是尽早开始。

妈妈Ryn Ryn在怀孕时就形成了就寝规律。直到现在,每当她三岁的女儿睡觉或午睡时,她都会打开特定的钢琴音乐。

“这已经成为睡觉必备了。如果有时候我忘了放音乐,她会说“妈妈把睡前曲打开”!”

妈妈Qiqi Low有两个女儿,她表示,除了形成就寝规律外,还得严格遵守。当孩子们上小学时,睡觉时间必须得调整以适应孩子的日常安排,归根到底就是要让就寝规律适合孩子。

让孩子严格遵守就寝时间的父母对“成效”感到非常满意。虽然有时成功有时失败,但Maria Wee表示,“(我们的就寝模式)已经成为孩子日常生活的一部分。现在,他会在半小时内入睡,但大部分时候都在15分钟左右入睡。如果他累了,会睡得更快。”

这听起来像是上了发条一样,所以如果孩子的日程安排和平时有出入,或者孩子比平常较晚回家的话,该怎么办呢?

 

需要把两个孩子直接放在床上睡觉吗?形成适合您家庭日常安排的就寝规律。

Mok Yizheng表示:“我的两个孩子每天晚上都在八点半之前睡觉(周末除外,因为我们比较晚回家)。孩子们在吃完晚饭后玩一会,然后就去洗澡,此时孩子们就会知道马上要睡觉了,这也是每日的常规安排。我们会在晚上八点左右给孩子喝牛奶,抱着孩子,然后他们会在15-20分钟内入睡。”

Elayne Gan也赞同就寝规律非常重要,有助于规划家庭的日程安排。她表示:“我们会一直严格遵守就寝模式。这是宝宝自觉上床睡觉的一种方式。”

Mok Yizheng和Elayne Gan两位妈妈都坚持日常锻炼,即使这意味着有些事情得做两次,或者做同一件事的间隔时间较短。例如,尽管几小时前刚洗澡,但在换上睡衣之前还得洗个澡。

Elayne开玩笑说道:“这么多要点,保持理智确实需要这样做啊!”

的确如此!父母保持理智才能出奇制胜!

 

#3: 给孩子制定就寝计划

随着孩子逐渐长大,孩子的就寝模式可能会发生变化,甚至会完全不同,或者至少不是您刚开始期望的那样。

家里有两个或两个以上的孩子,孩子们在睡前可能会嬉戏打闹,在一天的分别后看到此景确实让人感到温馨。

Raye Kiu让两个孩子严格遵循就寝规律。但现在情况有点不同,因为日常安排“包括随意乱舞、玩游戏……喝牛奶……刷牙、关灯”。她有时候会善意地欺骗孩子说已经晚上11点了,让孩子赶紧睡觉,而实际上是9点45分。父母所做的一切都是为了让孩子上床睡觉!

此外,当孩子越来越大时,以前那些让孩子睡觉的办法可能会突然失效。

Mel Goh表示:“刚开始给宝宝放睡眠音乐很有帮助,但是6个月之后就没有那么奏效了。”

所以,她必须改变策略。现在她让儿子抱着长枕睡觉。如果他们外出时孩子打呵欠的话,她会用背带把孩子背在身上,拍着孩子睡觉。

外出时把宝宝背在身上能让宝宝知道爸爸或妈妈就在身边。或者可以把宝宝放在婴儿车内睡觉。

#4: 如果孩子拒绝睡觉,父母应该乐观一些

如果让宝宝睡觉使您感到沮丧的话,记得看到事物有趣的一面就能松口气了。

研究人员一直在研究失眠和智力的关系。说不定您不爱睡觉的小家伙可能是天才呢!至少Drea Kang Gruszka是用这一观点来说服自己的:“当您下次想把孩子暴揍一顿的时候,可以用这种可能性来安慰自己。至少当(我的女儿)Kinia在半夜快把我逼疯的时候,我就是这么给自己做心理暗示的。”

面对拒绝睡觉的孩子可能会让人伤透脑筋,但形成一个简单的就寝规律,可能对全家人都会奏效。培养快乐健康的孩子确实需要耐心和反复试验,我们希望您找到合适的方法来帮助孩子养成健康的睡眠习惯。

您有哪些让宝宝睡觉的试验方法吗?也与我们分享吧!

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