Bulletproof Baby – Post partum week 3: hacking newborn baby’s sleep pattern
Today my baby boy is ALREADY 17 days old. The time flies quickly and every day we feel much closer to him! I am producing a lot more milk than before (still a bit yellowish) and he has regained his birth weight few days ago, hooray! It looks like he is also 3cm taller!!! What we find fascinating – he is so curious visually, always opening his eyes and paying attention to a lot of things around him already. I always thought that a newborn doesn’t really open his eyes much… but he does! Sometimes he also looks at us and even look into our eyes for a brief period of time.
So far we’ve been doing fine in taking care of him. Every day we review what happened and try to improve what we do. Thank god internet is full of great resources! Tobias takes care of me well and the nanny is here to help us, we don’t know what we would do without her! We all work as a team and he is getting all the attention he needs – he is a lucky guy for sure!
We have been inspired by the book written by Gina Ford, a ‘super-nanny’ from the UK, who came up with detailed schedules for babies at different ages. When you follow her schedules, your baby will quickly learn how to sleep better at night!!! Doesn’t this sound fantastic???
I came across to her method when I was researching about breast-feeding. Then I found few Japanese blogs, which mentioned about the miracle “Gina Method.” I was immediately fascinated by it. All I knew was “to feed the baby when he is hungry” – this was the only advise I got from the hospital. Most of the mummy forum say, feed the newborn 8-12 times a day. And when he starts to poop three times a day, you are doing fine. Oh, the colour should be mustard as well. I wasn’t so satisfied with this – so I was looking for more innovative way to take care of a newborn.
So what does Gina Ford have to say about how to deal with these tiny humans? Rather than me trying to explain what it is with my half dead brain, let me quote from her book!
Unlike the old-fashioned and inflexible every-four-hours routines, my routines are based on a baby’s natural feeding and sleeping rhythms, ensuring that a baby’s needs are met before he gets distressed or overtired. Most important, the routines can be adapted to suit the individual needs of each baby; from extensive experience, I know that all babies are different.
Having worked with over 300 babies, she knows what she is talking about! Well, who doesn’t want 6 hours of continuous sleep when you are raising a newborn!?
[Example of her schedule]
Her book is quite difficult to follow as there is so much information inside. Her approach is unconventional but it works for us, and no matter how much criticism we may get from our family or friends, we will continue to work on her approach. After all, it is MY sleep and comfort I am sacrificing!
So far we are transitioning to the 2-4 weeks routine from her book, where the baby is encouraged to sleep up to 5 hours a day, and he is challenged to sleep through during the night. At first I always woke him up at 2:30am to feed him, but now I let him sleep as long as he can, and he wakes up between 4:15 – 4:30am, wanting to feed. Waking up just once during the night!!!! And I wake him up at 7am. Under no circumstances this routine is starving him or stressing him. On the contrary!
I am also expressing breast milk with a pump already. Many are strongly against it because I may suffer from over supply of milk. Yes it is true, but this also prepares me to have sufficient milk when he experiences growth spurts, and to have enough spare milk for bottle feeding for top ups, and in case we need to take a long midday break running some errands. It is also advised that babies who are introduced to bottles at early stage are willing to take them without any problems. Ours took it immediately without any hesitation! Later on it can get difficult. We didn’t want our boy to be a fussy eater!!
For the last few days, I have introduced the Munari Mobile to him, which was designed by the Montessori educator. They are the first toy to be introduced to a young baby, which is suitable to stimulate his underdeveloped brain by offering a strongly contrast colours, black and white.
In this blog, the mother writes:
The Munari is a black and white mobile made from 2 dimensional geometrical shapes. All the shapes and dowels are balanced off of a glass ball which reflects the light. This mobile moves very slowly in the environment (just by natural air flow) which allows the child to observe it with great concentrated energy. The newborn is unable to see colour so the Munari is black and white in order to give the child the greatest contrast in shades. Also, as the newborn visually studies his or her environment, he or she picks up that objects are made from linear and curvilinear figures so the Munari offers these geometric shapes to the child.
Since we let him play on the terrace outside, I just hang them on the play mat where he stays awake during his nap… it’s been a few days so he hasn’t really been paying much attention. He seems to be more interested in birds and trees in the garden.
OK, feeding time now! But I have 10 minutes to kill some aiptasia anemones in my salt water tank, which has been pretty neglected for a few weeks!!!