Fatherhood – The sleepless nights

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Lets talk about fatherhood again, in this personally called ‘fatherhood series’. You’d be able to tell it’s about fatherhood because i’ll put in in front of the title.

Since Carissa came back, there has been considerable effort trying to put her to sleep. Personally, I’ve tried putting her to bed in so many ways such as patting her to sleep on bed, holding her near my shoulders, putting her in a seated position on my huge tummy and even cradling her, but it has a low 20% success rate.  Carissa’s mom, has a higher success rate at 80%, estimate speaking.

I guess the time when she would just doze off with little effort happened when she was hospitalized, and now, she is starting to adjust her body clock to the world outside.

There has been plenty of tips given by experienced parents, but well, it really ain’t the same with your own experience, especially if you consider kids or babies are not the same as others.

One thing for sure is that babies need to have their body clock set at the correct time as they get older.  The idea is to get them to sleep more during the night, and stay awake more during the day.

Staying awake during the day means the parents need to entertain their little one when she is not really sleepy during the day, while enforcing ‘sleeping laws’ when lights are out.  It really sounds easier than done, especially when you didn;t have a good night sleep before that.

As I read in BabyCenter.com, babies will have longer sleeps as they grow older, and now Carissa is experiencing Rapid eye movement (REM) sleeps. These sleeps aren’t deep enough so little Carissa tends to get startled, or awaken by the simplest noise or movement. That has indirectly caused practically everything at home to be quieter than usual, with my phone also constantly on silent more. (So do pardon me when I do not answer or reply to your text as fast as I used to).

While the amount of times she wakes up at night has decreased, it does still happen once or twice, so the whole ‘party’ would wake up together, just to ensure she goes back to bed almost immediately at night.  The ‘party’ has to wake up because she wakes up to either poop or feed, and that means every hands are needed on deck as one would need to prepared for whatever needs to be done, while the other needs to watch over Carissa and try to calm her down if she is ‘unleashing her great cry’.

Carissa’s mum(my wife), in particular, takes the responsibility of calming Carissa most of the time as I do the preparations such as making the milk, spreading out the items for a diaper change etc.  I’d try my best to stay awake while the diaper is changed, or feeding is being done but I’d admit, there are moments when I just can’t fight my eyes, and doze off in a very awkward sleeping position because I’m that great at sleeping instantly – a trait Carissa doesn’t seem to get from me.

There has also been moments when my wife had to use extra efforts to wake me up because I sleep like a log sometimes, another trait Carissa didn’t get from me. But hey, I’m not complaining because I am prepared for all of this.  On top of that, knowing my wife is working harder than I am when she is calming Carissa, makes what I do equal peanuts in baby care.

The interesting thing though is that most parents which I know, do not say a word about these ‘sleepless nights’ until I actually had Carissa.  My wife was saying the same thing.  The topic of babies with experienced parents would be sort of the catalyst for many parents to open up their experiences and share, and that’s when you know, boy did they too go through a rough time.

I guess, nobody really complaints because it is expected, but it is my belief that the feeling is mutual especially when ‘sleepless nights’ are on-going.

Now, I’m hugely out of ideas on what else to say but this quote from BabyCenter.com about the baby’s sleep is something I think most new parents should ponder upon.

…Babies are learning their sleep habits. If you rock your child to sleep every night for the first eight weeks, why would he expect anything different later on?

I’ve past the eight week period, so there’s no turning back from here on. Behold the swinging arms of mom and dad =)

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