Get That Sleep Mama and Papa Helping Your Baby Sleep Through the Night!!

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One thing every mom told me when I got pregnant was….”You are going to miss sleeping”. And…..they were right!!

But lets be positive, they’re are ways to get a good amount of sleep, it may not be the way you used to sleep before(10 hours on a Sunday, wow those days were good!!), but there is hope.

Sleep is something that can be taught! The earlier the better!!

I want to share what helped us. Tamanna (my daughter who is now almost 22 months) was not a fussy baby, and a good sleeper. I believe baby wearing(studies show baby wearing results in less fussy babies) and couple of other things we did helped with her sleeping patterns.

This is what we did for when she was a newborn(these tips will probably not work for a toddler)!!

Lets get right to it.

The Missing 4th Trimester 

Babies are born after the 3rd trimester, because if not their heads would get to big and would not be able to get thru the tight birth canal,killing both mother and baby.

When a baby is born it is very comforting for them to feel like they are in the still in the womb.

This is the time for you to hold and snuggle your baby as muchhhh as possible, it is what they need. It is impossible spoil your baby the first 9 months. I repeat!!!!!! IT IS IMPOSSIABLE FOR YOU TO SPOIL YOUR BABY THE FIRST 9 MONTHS. So if someone is telling you otherwise, Kindly disregard!!! (Bye, Felicia)

How would you feel if you were all snug in a womb, and then you come into this whole new world? You want to be eased in, still snuggled and tight like you were in the womb. Right?

Also it wasn’t quiet in the womb, it was surrounded by a constant shushhhhhh, which is louder than a vacuum. This explains why babies are soothed by car rides, hair dryers, and white noise downloads.

For thousands of years parents swaddled and rocked their babies. Almost every traditional baby calming technique returns babies to that cuddly, rhythmic prenatal world. 

 

I am going to reference the book “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, by Harvey Karp. This book helped us sooooo muchhhhh.

For more in depth information on sleep check out “The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep”, by Harvey Karp

This is a must read for all new parents.

Im going to briefly discuss what I learned from this book.

Mr.Karp talks about the 5 S’s, the Five Steps to Calm your Baby and Sleep Longer

  1. Swaddling: Snug Wrapping 
  2. Side/Stomach: Lying on your side or stomach(only when you are there with your baby; never for sleep.
  3. Shushing: Strong white noise
  4. Swinging: Tiny rhythmic, jiggly motions(just one inch back and forth) 
  5. Sucking: Sucking on your nipple, a clean finger, or a pacifer

When these 5 S’s are done correctly, they work like magic!! They did for me.

These S’s don’t need to be done in this order you have to learn what is best for you and baby.

We had a sleep routine which consisted of bath time, breast milk, and then bed time.

After she was bathed and fed, I would start by swaddling her, I had to do it a few times to get it right, if she was able to get out of it, I didn’t do it tight enough. But you want to make sure you give room for the legs to move.

Watching youtube videos helped me master swaddling, it took many many attempts.

I also had a ready made swaddle which I used when she was two months, it was much more convenient.

So once it was time for bedtime I would swaddle her, and give her, her pacifier.  I would have white noise playing for her(there are so many on youtube, find what works best for you).

Then I would rock her back and forth, or put her in her bouncy.

These simple things after some trial and errors helped us both get some sleep!!!

During the day I made sure she was exposed to sunlight, so that with time she could learn the difference between night at day.

It takes time for healthy sleep habits to develop and every baby is different, some have a harder time than others.

Things like teething, sleep regressions, fevers, have changed her sleep routine for periods of time.

Raising a child takes a village!!! Asking for help doesn’t make you an incompetent parent, but a smart one. During the time that you are helping your baby develop healthy sleep habits, you will need support and naps!

You need to be taking care of yourself so can take care of your baby, and you will get thru this!!!!

3 DIY Baby Toys

My 9 month old Tamanna loves exploring!! I decided to make her some simple DIY baby toys. I don’t believe in wasting money on toys she will get over in 3.5 seconds. Plus living in a NYC apartment I just don’t have the space to store unnecessary objects.

Sensory play is very beneficial.

What is sensory play?

Sensory play is any activity that engages your little one’s five senses, touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing.

This becomes a fun learning experience to explore the world.Sensory activities facilitates exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore!!

The first DIY toy are these simple water bead, cotton ball, and water and glitter bottles.

 

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You can fill up these bottles with so many other things as well, beads, beans, colorful fuzzy balls, bells.

The second DIY baby toy is an hula hoop with random objects tied to it! (Have no idea what I would name this)

This is basically finding things around the house that would intrigue your little one. I added ribbon, plastic cookie cutters, ribbons, flower headbands, soft doll/toys. It was super simple and Tamanna loved it so much, the hula hoop has beads inside so she loves shaking it. She was excited to play with the hula hoop right after she woke up from a nap. This is also great for tummy time. She hates tummy time even when i have other toys around her but she enjoyed being on her tummy while playing with the hula hoop (for about 8 minutes). IMG-2607.jpgIMG-2606.jpgIMG-2603.jpg

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 The Third DIY Baby Toy is a Sensory Board. 

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So this was also items I found around the house that would be great for her to feel and play with. This included soft, fuzzy, rough, different textures, a mirror, feathers, cotton balls, pom pom, straws. tassels, ipsy bag. I hot glued most of the objects. She did pull some off, so I then used wood glue. She mostly enjoyed feeling all the different objects.

You can use different pieces of fabric, table mats, curtains, cut them in pieces and attach them to a cardboard. Get creative!! I want to make one with just different pieces of clothes that have different textures.

I hope this blog inspired you to make your own baby toys!! These can all be done with things around the house. I had so much fun making these, and watching my baby having fun was the best part!!

Why Teaching Urdu to My Child is So Important to Me.

When I think about raising Tamanna in America, there are some things that I hope to accomplish as a parent. One of them is that she learns how to speak, read, and write in Urdu. Being raised here, I primarily spoke English. I know how to read and write but on a beginners level(so I will be learning along with Tamanna)

My dad tried very hard to teach me and my sister but he didn’t make it fun so me and my sister weren’t interested and didn’t want to learn how to read and write in Urdu(but I’m glad he made the effort and at this point in my life I really appreciate that). We did learn the basics thou.

Unlike my childhood years, now I love Urdu!!! And I hope to pass this on my my child. I know this will be difficult, but very rewarding. Teaching her Urdu will also keep her connected to her culture.

There are numerous benefits of bilingualism. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.

 I want to be able to teach Tamanna this beautiful language and for her to pass it on to her kids.

I learned Urdu because my mother did not understand English, and she only communicated with me in Urdu. Now Pakistani/American mothers of my generation mostly all speak in English, our kids will not have to learn Urdu, unless we decide to teach it to them. I also know many Pakistani Americans that don’t know Urdu, or hardly know how to speak it, imagine the next generation. 

When I  start teaching her Urdu,I want to make sure I make it fun, interesting,and appealing and not overwhelming. I want her to be eager to learn it!! I don’t just want her to learn, and then hardly ever speak it. At home we will mostly speak Urdu, since at school and other places she will have to communicate in English. 

For now I read to her in Urdu and sing her Urdu nursery rhymes. When she gets older I’m going to plan out tons of Urdu games and activities. We will have Urdu words and phrases hung around our home. I’m big on making learning fun and not a chore.  

Teaching her Urdu won’t be hard at all. The hard part will be making sure she stays interested and doesn’t forget it as she grows up, or choose not to speak it. My Urdu speaking skills started to lack as I grew older and hardly spoke Urdu(until I got married and mostly spoke Urdu with my husband). 

I want Tamanna to be connected to her roots even though she will be raised in America. I honestly can’t wait to take her to Pakistan and show and teach her all the beautiful aspects about her motherland and mother tongue. I want her not just to know it, but love it and be proud of it!!!