I MUST give you an update! If you read my last blog about our kids’ crazy bedtime — I have GREAT news!!!
All week (drumroll please!) — both our kids slept early, and by early I mean 8pm for Audrey who is 14 months old and 9/10pm for Kristo, our 8 year old! That’s a HUGE DEAL because I used to think they were ‘naturally’ nocturnal little earthlings. I have been proven wrong. Ouch.
So what I’ve read in those baby books are for real after all. These little precious ones CAN be sleep trained!
For Audrey we created the illusion that it’s already around 2 or 3 am (her OLD -wooohooo!- bedtime) by switching off the tv and lights. Tadaaaa! It’s bedtime for all of us baby! See? Quiet house. Everybody, shhhhhhhhh!!!! AND IT WORKED!
For Kristo, all he needed was that eye mask/cover/thingy. You know, the one they give out on planes when you go on loooooong flights. He said it left him with no choice but to close his eyes and fall asleep!
I also gave both of them chamomile drops (absolutely all natural, yes, from our doctor, donchaworry!). Every 2 hours for the first two days then every 4 hours from the 3rd day onwards for about 2-4 weeks. I call it our magic potion!
Since they’ve been sleeping early, we’ve been waking up way earlier too (between 8-9am!). Kristo says he feels great and Audrey looks so well rested! Yey! We also get homeschool done way earlier so Kristo has more play time!
I thought it was gonna be a long, tedious, challenging, ultra mega tough ordeal BUT it was far from it. Audrey only made a fuss on night #1. The next night I was ready for battle again but she didn’t show any signs of wanting to play in the middle of the night (like she used to). All she needed was a bit of milk and she was on her way back to lala land. Wow. That was it?!
I’ve just proven that kids really do crave for structure, routine and our leadership. We set the pace for them. We have that power…and with it comes great responsibility…so we must use it wisely.
Our family’s sleeping schedule has been pretty crazy from day 1 and it got even crazier when we welcomed our baby girl home a little over a year ago.
Before I gave birth I had this beautiful picture in my head of finally having a solid routine for me and the kids. I mean, how hard was it to program a baby’s day, right?! AND if we nailed that then it would be pretty easy enough for my son and I to ride along that ‘on schedule’ daily grind train, right?!
NOPE. WRONG. NOT EASY. Hello?! What went wrong? Why didn’t that awesome game plan work?!
Simple. When it got challenging to ‘stay on schedule’ and be firm about the day’s routine, I quit. I just said “we don’t need this kind of stress putting the kids to sleep. Instead of battling it out every night, can’t we just enjoy our time together as a family….(at 2 or 3 am)..’til they’re finally tired enough to sleep?” As I was typing that line I felt like a total hippie stuck in the 70′s.
So for months I guess you could say I was a hippie mom. There were several days when I’d be firm about our 8 year old son’s bedtime, but then he’d see his 1 year old sister still playing at 1or 2 am. Not good at all, I know. What’s worse is we’ve been waking up at noon or even around 2pm! Half our day gone down the drain This whole sleeping-waking up situation was getting out of hand. Things needed to change and it had to start with…me. gulp
If I want our kids to grow properly (growth hormones are released around 9pm til sunrise, according to our doctor), I need to be firm and get them in bed by 8-9pm and get up early in the morning to enjoy Mr. Sun!
Tonight was day 1 dear reader. I am happy to say that by 11 the kids were sound asleep! The tv was switched off, we said our bedtime prayer as a family, we sent our son to his room, my husband and I made it obvious we were sleepy too, I nursed our baby girl and I’m pretty sure we fell asleep before she did. I guess when she saw that there was no one to play with, she gave in and just slept. WHEW.
Too good to be true, I thought. I’m pretty sure she’s gonna wake up again when she sees that her dad is up and in the living room rehearsing a few songs for work this week. She’s gonna want to be part of that and play as well. She’s gonna fight a good fight and scream and cry. I was totally psyching myself. I was also coming up with my own battle plan. Then it happened. A little before 1am she woke up, got all excited when she saw her dad wasn’t in bed, then she tried to get out of bed but I made it pretty clear that tonight she wasn’t going anywhere but lala land. She cried and screamed and cried some more. Sorry neighbors. We gotta do what we gotta do. 5 mins later, when I felt it was ‘safe’ to nurse her, I cradled her in my arms and kissed her goodnight, she started feeding and that was the end of tonight’s battle. Half an hour later she was sound asleep. Whew.
It’s 2:17am. The kids are sound asleep. Soon I’ll be on my way to meet them in the land of Zzzzzzzzs too. This seems too good to be true but we want this kind of good for our kids, so I’m choosing to believe that this is gonna be what’s normal for us from now on.
Goodbye hippie mom.
As parents, we’re always on the lookout for awesome finds for our kiddie winkles. One of my greatest ‘finds’ is our pediatrician, Dr. Cricket Palanca-Chen. Kristo, my seven year old, was already 4 and a half or 5 years old when our friends told us about her. Kristo had been suffering from a series of tummy aches and his tummy was huge (and no, it wasn’t even a fat belly!). We went to two hospitals, he was given meds but his tummy was still pretty big and it still hurt.
On that first visit Dr. Cricket asked all about his diet. She had us eliminate milk and gave us a few homeopathic remedies which are normally based on natural ingredients. (For more info http://abchomeopathy.com/homeopathy.htm ).
Within days we saw a huge improvement — it was just gas because he was drinking too much milk for his age! (maximum is 2 glasses from 2 years old onward because our tummy can’t handle more than that.) We returned a few months later because Kristo had a fever that was on its 3rd day. Instead of asking us to get tests done right away, she had me wait it out for another 2 days and had us take another homeopathic remedy. She said she wasn’t worried because she pointed put how Kristo was playing with the toys in her clinic. If it were something serious, he wouldn’t be able to play the way he did. True enough, fever was gone the next day.
Dr. Cricket Palanca-Chen practices both conventional and natural medicine. It’s exactly what I was looking for `coz I grew up not taking meds as soon as I get a cold or a fever. Dad was a firm believer in letting the body heal naturally and I wanted that for my kids too and yey, I finally found a pediatrician who doesn’t give me a drug prescription just because my child has a runny nose!
I was pleasantly surprised to find an article on going natural in the October issue of Smart Parenting. It was an interview with Dr. Cricket. I’m glad I saw this article coz she’s discussed a number of these items with us but I wasn’t able to take note of it. Anyway, if you weren’t able to read that issue, here are a few things we need to remember:
- Don’t give your child cough suppressants. Give him something to expectorate phlegm. Even if he swallows it, his body will get rid of it as waste.
- If the cough comes with fever, then it is an infection and would require medicine.
- Cough is bacterial if there’s high-grade fever that lasts for more than three to five days. The child doesn’t eat as much and only wants to sleep.
- Cough is viral if fever usually lasts only three to five days and child starts to get better on his own by the third day. Viral infections are very self-limited. You can wait them out without having to take medicines – the antibiotics will not help.
- Fever is your body’s way of killing germs inside the body. It is not the enemy. Your body increases its thermostat to fry the germs and prevent them from multiplying. If you kill the fever, bacteria would multiply and the illness would be prolonged because your body’s defense mechanism is down. But if the fever is high, give paracetamol because there’s the danger of having convulsions. To bring the fever down, give sponge baths or food that’s cooling.
- When your child has a cold, he has so much cold energy or lamig in his body. Anything warming is helpful, such as steaming, wrapping a scarf or blanket around him (yup, we do this!), applying a cold rub like Vicks on the throat area to increase blood circulation. Also feed your child warming food like hot soup with garlic, onion and ginger. Don’t give him milk; it increases phlegm, makes the mucus stickier and makes the throat more painful. Don’t give him sugary food too, because they form puss in the throat.
Hope those tips help you as much as it’s been helping me. If you’d like to set an appointment with Dr. Cricket Palanca-Chen, she holds clinic at Room
539 Medical Arts Building St. Lukes Medical Center Global City and Medical Plaza Makati. Here’s her assistant’s number: (0927) 987 7079
There are three other great things I love about her which you might want to know.
- She’s a breastfeeding advocate (we skipped one immunization coz I exclusively breastfeed and that was just as good as that particular vaccine!).
- She replies to text messages EVEN IF your question is super simple!!!
- AND she has super cool and funky shoes — now that makes our pedia visits even better, don’t you think?