Do I sleep train my baby to sleep?

10:35:00 PM

If you click on this video above, you'll see how my baby Luqman puts himself to sleep at 2 months old.

Mom used to tell me that I used to shake my head left and right before I doze off to sleep. I thought she was just exageratting the story, UNTIL I see it myself in both my kids! Looks cute actually hihi but this helps me to understand that he's already tired. What I will do next is I'll change him into his PJs and zip him up into his wearable blanket (as seen in video), and put him in his crib, and walaaa...! He will then put himself to sleep.

Just like his sister Aisya, that habit slowly worn off by the time he reached 4 months. Now that he's turning 5 months, he sometimes still shake his head left and right, but signs of him sleepy is not the same anymore.

Many times I've been asked whether I sleep train my baby Luqman to sleep. Here's something I would like to share.

Actually, when Aisya was very little, I developed a habit of nursing her to sleep.  I was juggling between my full time job and part time business at that time, so when it comes to putting my child to sleep, I was too tired to be rocking her to sleep. So, when its time to sleep, I just put her right next to me, feed her, while we both go to sleep, sometimes with my shirt all up.

Halfway down the road, when she was about 8 months or so, I realized that she was dependent on the nipple to sleep! And I became annoyed that our bedtimes were the same and I didn't have that me-time after the baby was asleep (like now!), and whenever I pulled my nipple out, she was crying looking for it if she wasn't full asleep. My body was also aching from the different weird positions of breastfeeding. And worst of all, I didn't really sleep well.

Trying to end this, I looked for ways to train Aisya to sleep. I ordered this book called 'The Sleep Lady®’s Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy' from Amazon. I got in touched with Sarah Ong (from Sleep Champ Baby) Malaysia's first certified and most trusted baby and child sleep consultant. However I didn't proceed with the follow up consultations because I find it a little bit pricey. I read lots and lots of articles and I knew what needed to be done, but implementing it on the other hand, is not as simple. I had an even harder time to break the habit that I just gave up and just continued on until she started fully weaning off breastfeeding. (you can read about her weaning off story here)

With Luqman, I decided to be discipline from the start! I realized that it has all got to do with routines & disciplines.

Alhamdulillah for his self-soothing head shaking phase, I have established that 9pm will be his sleeping time. I make sure that he is fed and full. And then I will bring him to our room. It has to be the same room. Remember, routine.

I will put him into his blanket. I give him a kiss and tell him "Its time for you to sleep now Luqman," and then I put him in his crib.

Set the right mood. I put a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil into my YL Diffuser. I also dropped Lavender Essential Oil on his soft toy. You do know that lavender oil is the remedy for a GOOD NIGHT sleep, right? Go google.

And then, I switch off the lights, leaving the door slightly open for some dim light.

Throughout this process, it is important to keep your baby in the sleeping mood. Don't make him smile and laugh. Don't get him excited. Don't play with him. Avoid eye contact.

If he's really sleepy, he shakes his head a little, hug and rub his face on the soft toy, and goes to sleep on his own. Sometimes, when he looks a little bit restless (usually after a lot of new absorbtion during the day), I assist him by singing some dhikir song (or anything but remember that it should be the same song for sleeping time ya) and give him some pat until he looks calm and sleepy but not until he sleeps. Make sure, no eye contact!

Luqman with his infused lavender soft toy
It is important to understand that babies need to LEARN to SLEEP. Yes, it sounds weird but we adults have passed that learning process and we know how to go to sleep easily on our own. So, we must assist babies to LEARN to sleep but not assist them to sleep righaway - get it? It's that PROCESS that they need to LEARN. If we keep putting them to sleep in a certain way, they will always depend on rocking or patting or nursing to sleep. Unless, of course, you don't mind doing that every night.

Once in a while, when we have weddings or late nights, we do break the routine. Sometimes, he falls asleep on his own, but most of the time we will get a sleepy cranky baby at 9pm-ish. I guess its ok to break the routine once in a while, as long as it doesn't happen a few night continously in a row, or you'll have to established the whole routine again.

I've been getting more time for myself and for Aisya after Luqman is asleep. I get to read books to his bigger sister before her sleeping time. I get to stream movies or catch up on Casey Neistat's latest youtube videos. Spend some time with Mr. Read books. Do some house cleaning. Write (or most of the time draft) a blogpost!

I also get my own bedspace to sleep! Not having shoulder or bad aches!

I really hope that this sharing can help new mommies to avoid all that long minutes of rocking or patting or nursing and have that good night sleep (and not wait till the 2nd baby!) Hopefully a short-cut. If you have the time, do read the book - highly recommended.

Till then, all the best mommies!

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