On sleep

(artworks by Ayang Cempaka)

These last weeks, and after months of sleeping peacefully from 8pm to 7am, Emma has been waking up 2-3 times a night, asking for a bottle of milk, but mostly well… company. My husband and I are taking turns to put her back to sleep and I’ve laid a bed next Emma’s so that we have the option to fall asleep while soothing her.

While I hate (HATE) sleep-training, it’s gotten to a point where we can hardly function as normal human beings and I am afraid this situation calls for another drill. We’ve dealt with it in the past, and were very close to hiring a sleep consultant (yes, such profession exists) but ended up using this book: The Sleepeasy Solution, a more gentle alternative to cry-it-out. The title is catchy but the process was rather nerve-racking (Elliott cried for 6 hours straight the first night we tried to implement this, he was then 7 months old) but it was life changing none the less and I highly recommend this book for parents who are looking for sleep advice. Our kids also love to sleep with white noise, which normally comes from the air purifiers, but we love taking this machine with us whenever we travel.

Once our kids moved to their own bedrooms (which happened around 6 months), we’ve never let them sleep in our bed or room at night (but we’ve slept in their rooms countless nights and have extra beds in both their rooms). Not only do I really worry this could become a habit and impact our sleep, I also just love being able to have some alone time with my husband (even if it is mostly spent talking about the kids!).

Did you sleep-train your children? I know a lot of Indonesian parents co-sleep and I’d love to hear more about that. Do you really manage to sleep while your baby is kicking, rolling and mumbling? And how does it affect your relationship as a couple?

On this topic, this article from a few months ago made me smile.

4 thoughts

    1. Sorry I missed your comment (still new to blogging!)! I recall reading 4 months was the starting point (when they no longer need to feed at night). I sleep trained both kids around 8 months, but I think it really takes complete desperation to actually do it. Hearing your baby cry is incredibly painful and I could only go through it when my back was against the wall. Also, I think fathers can play a bigger role with sleep training because they aren’t as sensitive as mothers are to cries. I am not sure how I would manage with two? Perhaps have them sleep in two separate bedrooms so they don’t wake each other up? Is it already the case now?

  1. The tricky thing is trying to get your nanny to follow your sleep training rules. They seem to be horrified by the idea of “crying it out” and have undone a lot of the hard work I did in Australia with anak satu. I haven’t tried any formal sleeping patterns with baby dua (yet) but I’m sure it’s to come.
    Co-sleeping — no. Once you allow it it’s VERY hard to pull it back. I think it’s healthy and safer to police a clear line between parents/adult’s bed and kid’s bed.
    May the force be with you during your sleep challenge!

    1. Sorry I just saw your comment! yes, forget about asking the nannies to follow any sleeping rule. I never really tried because there is a very strong cultural element to it: for Chinese and Indonesians nannies, letting a child cry is not acceptable (for sleeping or in any other context in fact). Having said that we stick to sleep training at night only (during the day, the nannies stayed with them until they fell asleep but at night, we had a different routine) and it worked (mostly!)

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