Parenting is one of the most toughest job on earth i believe. I still wonder how our parents raised us. Did they also have so many questions like us, were they also confused in so many ways. Thank God atleast we the option to surf. Thanks to the technological boom. Here are few tips on parenting.
PREVENTION OF SLEEP PROBLEMS
It is much easier to prevent sleep problems than to treat them later. Parents look forward to getting a full night of sleep, but newborns awaken every few hours. Most babies can sleep through the night by about four months of age; learning certain things can help children develop good sleep habits:
Nighttime is a special time for sleeping
The crib is where you stay at night
You can learn to put yourself back to sleep.
Every baby is different; some will have no problems at all sleeping, others will keep you challenged for years. Certain approaches used consistently, are usually helpful. Try these suggestions. but have confidence in your judgment and skills. You know your child and family and their needs best.
Place your baby in the crib when he or she is drowsy but awake. Your baby's last waking memory should be of the crib, not of you. Rock and cuddle a crying baby, but try not to pick up one who is fussy or restless. You can actually start some of the habits and rituals now that will help the baby learn to sleep. A very young baby often sleeps better when swaddled or tightly wrapped in a blanket, and not too warm or too cool. They are used to being all curled up, so a smaller bassinet or cradle may work better at first than a big crib. You do not need to make it too quiet. Most babies can learn to sleep through some disturbances; some 'white noise' like a fan or quiet music can be soothing.
All babies under three months should be held for fussy crying. Crying is their only way to communicate; they need to know their needs will be met, that they are not abandoned. Also try to hold or carry your baby for two or three hours during the day, and offer play singing activity and other stimulation.
Be sure your baby gets enough sleep during the day, but do not let him or her sleep for more than three hours in a row during the day. Try to gently awaken and play with him or her. Even very young babies can sleep for five hours at a time, but they can learn to take this longer period of sleep at night. Newborns often have their days and nights backwards, and this as well as natural daylight, will help them get their day-night cycle straightened out.
During the day, wait at least two hours between feedings; a baby who is used to frequent feedings, will awaken more often during the night to eat. Try giving the last feeding at your bedtime.
Stimulate your baby as little as possible during the night. Babies often are restless sleepers, give them a chance to settle themselves first, but do go in right away for active crying. Keep the lights low, make the feedings brief and quiet without much talking or rocking, and minimize diaper changes.
Ideally the baby's crib should be in a separate room, both so you are not tempted to respond every time the baby fusses, and so the baby cannot see and therefore want you. (If you must share a room try to screen the crib from your bed.) Unless something very unusual is happening, give your baby a chance to settle down on their own.
Develop habits and routines: the same lighting, crib arrangement, blanket, stuffed toy or security object, and lullaby can all help the baby learn that it is sleeptime.
Try to delay middle of the night feedings. Hold the baby to try to settle him or her before offering a bottle, and offer smaller than usual feedings, except at your bedtime. After four months most babies only need to be fed four times a day so try to discontinue the 2am feeding - it can become a habit. Never put the baby to bed with a bottle. Not only can milk cause serious problems as the teeth come in, but the bottle is usually empty or out of reach when the baby wants it during the night. Pacifiers work for some babies, others get frustrated when they can't find them. If you dislike pacifiers during the daytime, they can be restricted to the crib, and most babies quickly learn that the crib is only place they can be used.
Continue to make nighttime contacts brief and boring. Four to five partial awakenings a night are common. If you go in right away it can actually encourage the baby to fuss and be rewarded that way. If he or she cries for more than a couple minutes go in to soothe and reassure but try to stay for less than a minute. Settling the baby in the bedtime position, with the music and the blanket can be helpful, but don't force a child to lay down
A stuffed animal, doll or blanket is particular important at this age and can offer security to a baby who is anxious about separating from Mom and Dad. Lots of hugs and reassurance during the day when separation fears arise can also ease nighttime problems.
Babies this age can appreciate simple picture books. You can add family goodnight routines and books or made-up stories at bedtime. Quiet time with stories can be relaxing and both parents can take turns. Be sure you share any rituals with grandparents and babysitters
The routines and rituals become very important by this age.
At this age, children are much more aware and curious and may fight sleep more because they are afraid they may miss something! A warm bath at bedtime can be relaxing. Try for a regular schedule and use the rituals. Then the rule is once in bed you must stay there. Ignore tantrums and protests and leave the room. If your child comes out, return hem or her quickly and avoid conversation.
Hopefully your child is sleeping well during the night. Sometimes you do need to let the 'child cry it out' for a while before they learn to fall asleep on their own.
Crankiness during the day and trouble going to sleep at night can be signs that a child needs more sleep. (However it is usually the parents, not the children who never get enough sleep.) If your child is not tired during the day, but in good spirits and playing actively, he or she is getting enough sleep.
Adapted from B.D. Schmidt, author of Your Child's Health,Bantam Books and Arlene Eisenberg et al, What to Expect the First Year, Workman Publishing Co.