The other day during chama, we were going on and on about all those things women like going on and on about during chama. The chama girls – we’ve been together since our first year in campus donkey years ago, and still keep that close bond between us. Amazing. We call ourselves ‘Mascara’. When we’re feeling hippy, we call ourselves ‘Mascariots’ (don’t ask).
Also Read: Chama with the Girls
So we’ve gradually transitioned from days of talking about internships and new jobs, to dating, to our first new second-hand rides (Starlets and 110’s), to moving into our new ‘digs’ (one-bedroomed houses in Buru –albeit right next door to our folks), to painting the town red (I should write a novel about this one day), to job losses, to brokenness, to our siblings, our parents, to weddings, to funerals, to taking holidays together, to the blessings in our lives and now, we seem to be concentrated more on our motherhood experiences. I think we’ll be talking about that for many many years to come. Many.
So the other day during our regular chama meet, we got listening to our newest mom go on and on and on and on about how she has not slept in the last four months. Of course, we all understood. And sympathized we her. And even empathized with her. And laughed about it too. Because we’ve been there, done that and gotten the t-shirt. Two t-shirts for me please!
Maaan, those first months can be tough! In between the night feeds, trying to burp baby, rocking him to sleep and the diaper changes, getting a good night’s sleep can actually become just but a dream – and an elusive one at that. But yet, baby must sleep since it’s very critical to his development. Why? Because when babies rest well at night, they wake up feeling happy and bright. And ready for the next feed!
So today, we have a guest – a paediatrician who shares some helpful sleep tips, especially for those of us with younger babies. Dr. David Githanga is the Chairman of the Kenya Paediatric Association, and here are his sleep tips:
Sleeping Tips for Babies
- Don’t try and keep baby awake during the day thinking that he will sleep better at night. This usually just makes night sleep more disturbed.
- Plan ahead for wakeful nights by having everything at hand that you might need – nappies, bottles, milk etc. Do what you have to right there in your bed so that you don’t have to wake up and start moving in and out of different rooms.
- Don’t strive for absolute silence when babies (no matter the age) sleep. Normal background sounds can be very relaxing and reassuring.
- Small babies need to be comforted and held close for optimal emotional security and development. If this need is responded to, baby (and mom!) will sleep better and more.
So there you go. By the way that tip of not keeping baby awake during the day so that he can sleep at night rings so true for me. Before I knew better, I would try and keep Kitty awake during the day so that we could all get a good night’s sleep and we would both be happy, but wapi! Nothing doing. The nights would actually become worse when I did so because he would be so cranky and tired and annoyed and I would end up so frustrated and red-eyed and cranky too. Sigh. But by the time baby number two Ello came, keeping him awake all day long was not going to feature in any strategy of mine :).
And while at it moms, remember that a good diaper plays a very important role in ensuring that your baby has a good night’s sleep!
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