As parents to a newborn child, it can get overwhelming. Nursing a baby doesn’t come with a manual although there are many resources that you can consider. You will not be empty handed do not worry. Nothing beats a smile or giggle from your baby.
You will get sleepless nights but that is part of the whole process. You will eventually be good with sleep training the baby. Have you heard about Cry it Out Method? Many parents here in Singapore use this sleep training. In this training, you will leave the babies alone to cry until they sleep. It colloquially called CIO. Many parents here in Singapore consider this kind of sleep training; they say that it is fine to let the baby cry for a particular period of time (usually a very short period) before you actually offer comfort.
In 1985, Richard Ferber, a paediatrician, wrote Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems. He presented a similar method to get babies to sleep but did not call it CIO. From then on, many paediatricians agreed that crying is normal and CIO method works. Here are the things that you need to know about CIO method:
The theory behind it
The most common mistake of parents is to rock or nurse the baby whenever he/she wakes up at night. This is dependency. When you are not there, the baby will cry. The theory behind CIO method is to let the baby cry so he/she will learn how to calm himself/herself to sleep. Crying is not the goal of this method but it encourages the baby to adjust so he/she can sleep on his/her own.
It is two way – the baby can learn to sleep on his/her own plus parents can count on a good night sleep.
Other similar theories
Ferber is the most famous expert when it comes to sleep training method but there are other advocates that made significant contribution in sleep training. For example there is Marc Weissbluth who authored Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child that claim crying is a part of developing a good sleeping habit. There is also Baby Wise – an approach presented by Robert Bucknam and Gary Ezzo. They are encouraing parents to have a strict sleep, nap and feeding schedule.
There is nothing wrong if you want to try this sleeping method. Not all parents are convinced that this is safe but experts say that it is so do your baby a favour by teaching him/her to self-soothe. It can encourage dependency at such a young age.
You want your baby to have a safe sleeping environment. Your baby deserves it. This also means you are a part of it. How can you ensure that your baby have a safe sleeping environment when you decided to cosleep? Co-sleeping is a parenting practice that encourages sharing sleep with toddlers (or even older children). While many parents do not practice co-sleeping because according to some it encourages dependence, one cannot deny the many benefits it yield.
Many parents here in Singapore practice co-sleeping because it encourages self-esteem and trust. It can also inspire family bonding. However, you need to make sure that the baby is safe when co-sleeping. Remember that adult beds are not designed to assure the safety of the infants. It is not enough that you just let your baby lay there. You have to ensure that you follow co-sleeping guidelines. Here are some guidelines that you have to follow:
No fluffy things allowed: It is nice to look at a baby surrounded with fluffy or stuffed animals. That’ll make them more adorable but it is not safe for them. They might get suffocated. You have to be sure that when they sleep, the bed should not be soft. Do not place the infant to sleep on top of a pillow.
Pick the right bed: The type of mattress matters. It is crucial. Sometimes what you feel comfortable will not work for infants so you have to be careful. For example, waterbeds can be dangerous to infants. When picking the right bed, choose tightly intersected bed frame that has no space or gaps. Never consider couches or sofa as they might slip.
Inform your partner: Do not put the infant in between the bed without informing your partner. Babies are tiny and fragile. What will happen to them if an adult accidentally slept on them? If you have other toddler children, do not put them together with the infant because it can cause many accidents. Be careful too if there is anyone sleeping with the infant who took heavy medications or sedatives.
Free yourself from obstruction: If you have long hair, it is advisable to tie before sleeping or have it cut. This is to prevent entanglement of the infant especially on his/her neck. Though the chances of this happening are remote, it still happens so you have to be careful.
At the end of the day, it depends on you what sleeping arrangement you have come up with. The important thing is the infant sleeps well and sound.