I've been having a good night's sleep since I got home from the hospital after my surgery. I can't say the same thing about hubby since he is temporarily fully in charge of our toddler while I am recuperating. Our dilemma over our son's sleeping problem stretched for almost two months.
Thankfully, our toddler has begun to sleep early and soundly since the night of my 30th birthday. What a gift! He now sleeps by 9 pm, rarely wakes up in the night for a feeding, and gets up at 5 or 6 am. Hopefully, he will stick to this routine for good. Husband on the other hand is having a hard time adjusting to the change in sleeping pattern. He's been so used to having intermittent sleep that he involuntarily wakes up in the middle of the night or early dawn. Kawawa.
Our son's pediatrician prescribed a vitamin called Mosegor Vita Syrup to supposedly help our child fall asleep. It's an Orexigenic Agent with Vitamin B Complex and it contains hydrogen maleate, thiamine, riboflavin phosphate, pyridoxine and nicotinamide. I must say it did help my son fall asleep but then he wakes up after two hours for a feeding and gets too agitated that he wouldn't go back to sleep until the wee hours of the morning. The medicine merely induced his appetite. We're thinking of changing his pediatrician as he has the tendency to prescribe medicines all the time instead of giving some practical tips or advice that really works. We need a doctor who is also a parent.
Advice from friends, google results and some common sense helped us address our son's sleeping issues.
Our mistake is that we allowed our son to get too addicted to Pocoyo videos on You tube on his itouch and on my iPad. He would spend hours watching videos and we let him keep the gadget in bed. Hubby and I are also guilty of bringing our gadgets to bed engrossed in twitter, facebook or blogging, setting a very bad example to our son. I am specially adamant of bringing my iPad to bed, reasoning that it is the only time I get to surf the net, read magazines, or blog.
For weeks, we did everything possible to make our toddler stay sound asleep. We banned his DVDs, limited his daytime naps (no late afternoon naps), dutifully gave him his vitamins before bed, and prohibited gadgets in bed (that was the hardest part for all of us).
Nanay has been telling us to forbid the use of the itouch or iPad before bedtime. From what I read, technology engages our toddler's brains, keeping them alert and therefore wide awake. It is advisable to ban it out of the bedroom an hour before bedtime, which should be a quiet time. We have less monkeying around in bed to prevent toddler from getting agitated. We also follow a bedtime routine - bath time by 8 pm, some quiet activities in bed such as reading a book (an actual one) or doodling, hushed voice, and a massage. We also encouraged our son's yaya to engage him in physical activities during the day such as running around in the neighborhood or kicking ball in the house, anything that will exhaust him of his high energy level.
This baby sleep profiler from Johnson's baby helped us assess our child's sleeping pattern and yes, we're using their bedtime baby wash, baby powder and baby lotion.
We had the best intentions when we introduced the gadgets to our toddler as a means to entertain and educate him. It backfired because we did not set a limit on its use.
What I've learned is that there are no black and white guidelines in parenting. Each child is unique and we have to learn to adapt our way of parenting to our son's individual needs and quirks. We just hope that even if we are not experts and we commit mistakes as parents, we'd still be able to raise our son the best way we know how, with the help of family, friends, books and google.