Tuesday, April 8, 2008

On sleep...

Since he was just a babe, Lele had been an early sleeper. He would go to bed as early as 6 each night, wake for 1 or 2 feeds, and wake up proper at 7.

Why does he sleep so early, you might ask...

Well, I guess the main reason is due to us adults not deliberately keeping him past his "sleepy" stage. I believe that babies need lots of sleep and if they exhibit sleepy signs, we should let them sleep. If kept awake past sleepy stage, babies and young children will become very active. This might give some caregivers the wrong impresion that they are not sleepy, when in fact they are VERY. So whenever Lele starts showing sleepy signs, such as eyes-rubbing, fussiness etc, we will pepare him for sleep.

Some well-intentioned relatives, colleagues and friends have advised us to keep Lele up later at night so that he will wake up later. But I don't think it is right to deprive anyone, let alone a young baby, of sleep. Besides, there is no proof that keeping a baby up late will delay waking time.

Now that Lele is older, he stays active for longer periods of time, so his bedtime is naturally delayed till 7.30 - 8 each night.

Looking back, I seriously think we all made the right decision by following Lele's cues for sleep. Even in the day time, when Lele is sleepy but we showed giving him his nap, he will crawl into my MIL's lap to indicate his need. I believe Lele is akeen to his own needs precisely because we follow his cues as well.

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