Bedtime Battles? 

We thought once Nat started snoozing through the night at 4 months, we’ll have it good but no. I think after 6 months, it’s a whole new ballgame. We noted that Nat recently developed a habit of resisting going down to sleep at 8pm. Either that or some nights, he’ll suddenly wake up ard 4/5am crying and HJ will usually carry him out of the crib to soothe him back to sleep. Last night I volunteered to wake up. Since I’m sick and can’t sleep properly with my stuffy nose, why not just deal with the baby when and if he wakes right. 

Then I wonder what could be causing his recent bedtime battles? 

Some nights he will knock out from 1030pm until 6am (hooray!). Other nights, there will be one sudden awakening in the wee hours and it’s not for milk. It’s like he just wants to be carried/soothed back to sleep and invade our bed. 

Could it be his day sleep habits? 

I don’t think so. His day naps are quite regular. In total, he gets avg 4 hours of day sleep and he’s up by 530pm for his evening purée. Between naps, he gets 2-2.5 hours of waketime. 

Could it be overtiredness? 

For some nights yes. When we go out for dessert after dinner or to run errands and Nat’s wash up/bedtime routine gets delayed so he may be overtired on those days i.e. staying awake longer than 2.5 hours. 

Could it be his diet? 

Maybe that was the case for yesterday – when we tested him on Tofu (protein) but it caused some wind/gas in his tummy. The best way to tell whether wind is causing problems is when baby is alright sitting up but cries when put to lie down. So some stomach oil and massage usually does the trick.  

Perhaps it’s this… 

I came across an article that talks about how the inability of baby to fall asleep on their own i.e. dependence on something/someone else to sleep can contribute to night awakenings. 

We are totally guilty. 

I think from the newborn stage until 5 months, smacking/patting Nat to sleep was effective but guess not anymore. 

Half the time, he’s able to sleep on his own, but it’s mostly for day-time naps. 

It’s the night time sleep that it’s the hardest to sleep on his own. We try our best to only intervene if we have to i.e. crying due to hunger or crying due to overtiredness. When that happens, putting him on his side with a few firm pats to his butt works most of the time. On difficult evenings, we got to pat for a while more longer (15-20minutes). 

What I had to tell HJ to resist doing was carrying Nat up from his crib immediately once he cries and bringing him to our bed to be soothed back to sleep. Ideally, Nat needs to be soothed back to sleep in his crib, not anywhere else. 

So I guess we got to go back to the drawing board and reapply our earlier sleep training practices.

  1. Put baby down in crib drowsy so he can fall asleep on his own 
  2. Comfort/soothe in the crib as opposed to carrying baby out immediately  
  3. If no. 2 fails, ascertain if baby is hungry/puckish. If we have to carry Nat out of his crib, we should still put him back in his crib to try and fall asleep 

– CK 

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