We have been struggling with Kai's sleeping routines. Or should I say lack of them. He is not much of a sleeper. The issue is not as much putting him to bed and getting him to sleep, the issue is for him to stay asleep. He is a super active kid both day and night. He naps 30 minutes and not one more, no matter if he is in his crib, stroller, carrier or car. 30 minutes and he is wide awake and ready to roll. At night he tends to scoop and rotate all over his crib, hitting the railings left and right, until it wakes him up at which point he immediately pulls himself up and starts shaking the bars like a soap opera protagonist who was unfairly thrown to jail.
I was looking on internet for fixes. You always hope there is a magical recipe you have not heard about that is oh so simple and oh so effective.
As I mentioned, we don't necessarily have an issue with his bed time routine and falling asleep. But once you are reading on sleep issues, it is impossible not to come across articles addressing that as well.
Here is what a lot of them have to say.
One of the most popular parts of many bedtime rituals is a bath. Sitting in warm water is a soothing experience, and getting your baby warm and clean and dry is a great way to ease her into bedtime.
- I am not sure who is it supposed to be a soothing experience for. Kai loves bath. Even as a newborn, he never objected to being immersed in the water. But he is most definitely not sitting in warm water relaxing and easing into bedtime. He is very actively trying to dive, jump, roll, drown and splash water all over the floor, us, cats and anything else that is in 10 feet diameter. We usually end the bath when my back hurts too much to be able to hold his squirming little body somewhat still, so that Peter can somewhat sponge him and we can both pretend that Kai is actually clean. Once he is pulled from the water and placed on a towel, the real fight begins. This kid cannot lie on his back for 10 seconds. As soon as he hits the surface, he immediately flops and charges. He is one strong fellow too and any attempts of keeping him still are met with vigilant biting, scratching, face slapping, hair pulling, "I know where your eyeballs are and I am aiming right at them" attitude. And there is still a diaper to be placed and pajamas to be put on.
Playing a quiet game in the living room or on the floor of your baby's bedroom is a great way to spend some fun time with her before it's time for bed. Your game can be as simple as a round of peekaboo.
- I am pretty sure Kai has no clue what "quiet game" means. It's an oxymoron to him. Peekaboo? It is very difficult to play peekaboo with a kid that scans the room while you are "hiding" and starts speed crawling towards the marble steps (yes, there are marble steps leading to a bath tub in our rental master bedroom) ready to crack his skull open.
After the bath, smoothing on lotion with gentle strokes can serve as an additional means of possibly calming your baby. The number of pediatricians advocating gentle massage as a sleep aid is steadily growing. There are studies that have shown massage to have a positive affect on both the nervous and the immune system. Gentle massage also offers additional bonding time between parent and baby. The Touch Research Institute, a Team of distinguished researchers at the University of Miami have reported that. "infants who receive massage therapy before bedtime by a parent experienced less difficulty falling asleep and better sleep patterns."
- Interestingly enough the directions on how to tie the baby down first so you can smooth anything on him are always missing. I appreciate the advocating group of pediatricians, but am I supposed to slide him some Benadryl first? There is indeed an affect on a nervous system - mine. After the relaxing pre-bedtime routine, I am ready to either run to the marble steps and proceed with my own skull cracking or, on good days, drag myself downstairs and down a bottle of vodka.
I am certainly not saying these are not valid suggestions, I just find myself in awe that there is actually a sufficient number of babies in this world for which these work. And I am dreading to even imagine what will happen once we start feeding Kai sugars.