not feeling so supermom


Ever since Finn’s epic bout of illness last month, his sleeping habits have regressed to that of an infant. There once was a time when he slept from 12 midnight to 7 in the morning but those days are like a fuzzy distant memory, mostly because one does not have much of a memory without any sleep.

Now, not only is he waking up every other hour, he has developed a sensor to detect if he’s being carried or not. He can be sound asleep in my arms but once I transfer him into his cot, he’ll immediately open those peepers, eyeball me for two seconds and then launch into a screaming fit. He doesn’t care much for pats or repeated shhh’s or that bizarre Japanese water gurgling method.

He wants only 2 things: to be carried and boobs, preferably simultaneously.

Putting him down without waking him up is like a art form, one that I’m evidently not very good at despite having tried numerous methods like the ones below.


ways to put down a baby

1. Swift and Decisive

You know the tablecloth pulling trick where you yank off the cloth without smashing the utensils? Sort of the same concept. Do it in one swift motion and hope the baby doesn’t notice that he’s no longer in mommy’s arms but in his cot.

Effectiveness: 28%

Downside: There’s an equal chance of the baby getting startled and becoming FULLY AWAKE.

2. Nice and Easy

The other extreme is to ease the baby into it via small, barely noticeable steps.

Shift the baby’s head from your arm to the palm of your hand. Gently lower him into the cot. Place baby on pillow. Ease your hand slowly from underneath his head.

Effectiveness: 34%

Downside: If he wakes up at any point, you have to go back and start from the beginning again.

3. The Boob Trick

When the baby is almost done drinking, lower him into the cot without breaking contact with the boob. Hold the position for like 30 seconds and when he’s settled in his sleep, remove the boob and voila.

Effectiveness: 69%

Downside: This move requires you to be a contortionist or you’re probably going to get a hernia.

4. Develop Consistent Sleep Triggers

Use certain repeated actions to induce sleep like stroking his head or kissing his cheeks or shushing. Keep these actions consistent before and after putting him down so he gets lulled to sleep.

Effectiveness: 2%

Downside: Don’t bother, it doesn’t work.

Anything else I should be trying?

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  • Reply Wendy January 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Have you tried massaging him? When my girl refuses to sleep, I will try rubbing her back. Quite effective :-)

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks for the tip! Maybe it’ll work when he’s a little bigger, now touching him only makes him want to play.

  • Reply Madeline January 8, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    1 definitely doesn’t work! I think ur best bet is really the boobs. How about breast feeding on your side with baby on the bed. Then slide boob away and find another bed to sleep. Takes some practice but it could work. Or sleep on a rocking chair with him in your arms and hope he grows out of it stat! Haha jiayou :)
    Madeline´s last post ..My First Bachelorette Party

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Hahaha yeah it works but I don’t have so many spare beds. I tried the chair thing and after an hour, I couldn’t feel my arms. Sighh..

  • Reply Jane Soo January 8, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Lol.. I literally lol.. I can so relate cause my baby is like that too.. Haha.. I also did wat Madeline suggested.. I let my baby suck on my boob side by side when I’m too sleepy to move.. So she n I can both sleep in peace.. But I usually do this if she wakes way too early for me.. Cause I don’t want her to have the habit of sticking beside me all the time.. Cause she needs to understand that she has to sleep in her cot eventually.. :) I really enjoy reading your entry about your kids.. :D

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Thanks Jane! I was desperate enough to try co-sleeping but he’s a very light sleeper and I toss a lot so it wakes him up, which is not good. I probably have to it on a spare bed then escape to my own bed to sleep.

  • Reply Colleen January 8, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Mine was like tt as well! It went bonkers starting from 4 mths onwards!
    As much as I hate to, I used a pacifier at 4/5 mths. Tt really saved my life from waking up every hour!!!! So she’s dependent on pacifier now but at least it buys me some peace and much needed sleep. Good luck!

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      I wish he’d take the pacifier – I went and bought two but he hates it. I also tried teaching him to suck his thumb (terrible, I know) but also not working..

  • Reply SengkangBabies January 8, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Eh, pass to the husband? I used to sing lullaby at 3am in the hall :(
    Baby might still be awake, but at least Mummy can grab a one hour snooze haha.
    SengkangBabies´s last post ..Red Star Tim Sum

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Hahahha Andy you can win best father award! I need the husband to be awake to handle the two big ones so I’d rather do the night shift actually.

  • Reply Samantha January 9, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Co-sleep. lol. I’ve been doing it for years with all my kids .. they graduate to their own beds later on .. in the meantime, you get plenty of sleep.

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Yeah tried it but he’s a really light sleeper. Every time the husband or I move, he stirs and I have to pop out my boob again.

  • Reply Susan January 9, 2013 at 12:30 am

    I shouldn’t comment because my 9 month old still doesn’t sleep through the night BUT someone told me when the baby falls asleep in your arms, hold/move the baby’s arm. If the baby doesn’t respond you are safe to put him down. If he stirs when you move his arm he will wake when you put him down into his cot

    Hope that makes sense. Good luck

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Great tip! But he’s still swaddled for now so I do the head weight test. When he’s in deep sleep, his head will slump on my arm like a rag doll. :)

  • Reply Ellen January 9, 2013 at 1:09 am

    LOL. I’m laughing so hard right now because I just went through that !! My baby is 9 months now.

    I didn’t find a solution to that except co-sleep, if you can call that a solution. Co-sleep as in sleeping on your side and feeding him, then either sleep or sneak away. I think I did that until he was 6.5 months and started rocking him to sleep at night. I also started letting him cry a little when he wakes him in middle of the night at 6.5 months. I still did the co-sleep, side boob, boob into the crib trick during nap times until he was like 8.5 months. Once he started sleeping through the night regularly, he let me put him in the crib for naps too. At least he has for the past week… so I hope that keeps up!

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      OMG I have to do this for another 5 months??!! I was thinking of hardcore sleep-training him soon (the other 2 kids were actually sleep trained and sleeping through the night by 4 months and I regret not going commando on him from the start.)

      But he smiles at me all the time and I didn’t have the heart to use the Babywise method on him.

      All the best for your baby! :)

  • Reply Audrey January 9, 2013 at 3:58 am

    I had one of those clingy babies too. Put him in a baby sling and went about doing chores, when he’s finally asleep, tip the sling with baby slowly into the cot. Once baby landed on the cot, remove sling from neck, leave baby-sling-cot combo and run!

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Hahha nice one. Didn’t think I’d be the babywearing kind but I’ll probably give it a shot.

  • Reply Elaine January 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Swaddle or sleeping bag? That keeps in the warmth and somehow they don’t notice being put down as much. I guess if all else fails, co-sleep but not good for your plan of immediately having the no.4 baby.
    Elaine´s last post ..Best educational DVDs

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Yeah he’s still swaddled very tightly! He’s learning to break free from it and when he does, his arms keep startling him. But he still detects it when I put him down even while swaddled. This one is very alert for 4 months.

  • Reply Esther January 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I had the same problem and chose to co-sleep too. While that allowed me more rest at night, it created other problems like reliance on breastfeeding to sleep and persistant night feedings. That all made sense cos the boob is just so conveniently next to his face! So do consider the repercussions if you decide to co-sleep. My very cruel suggestion is for you to wait it out. This is probably just a phrase even though it’s so so sooooo difficult to endure.

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      That’s true. :)

  • Reply Ck January 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    I bed share with baby and nurse him each time he stirred. Got to sleep while he drank. Downside is, having to decide when to stop doing this.He’s 21 mths now…

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Wow I was actually planning to wean him completely at 9-12 mths. Don’t think I’ll be able to last 21 months of breastfeeding..

  • Reply Vanessa January 10, 2013 at 5:51 am

    If Finn sleeps in an airconditioned room, try putting a layer of fleece blanket on his mattress. That way, the bed won’t feel too cold and startle him when you put him down. Works wonders!

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks for the tip! :)

  • Reply Ai Sakura January 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I say just give up and expectations and go with the flow. Good luck! this is coming from a mama whose 3 y/o girl still wakes up 1-2 times a night ;p
    Ai Sakura´s last post ..Chinese New Year 2013 | Kids CNY Clothes Shopping

    • Reply Daphne January 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Hahah she still wakes up for milk? The two big kids wake up too but we just have to tell them to go back to bed and they’ll do it. So much easier!!

  • Reply Serene January 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I must be an evil step-mother! I let my baby boy CIO after he was 1 month old because I was so taken by what others have said, ‘Start the good habits right from the start’, ie, to fall asleep independently. I tell you, it was heart wrenching inspite being a 2nd time mommy. But this definitely gave me the time to spend with my 4 year old babe.

    • Reply Daphne January 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Tru & Kirsten got the CIO treatment from birth too. But modified – we’ll pick them up every 10 minutes to comfort them before putting them down again. Worked like a charm for Kirsten, she was sleeping through the night at 8 weeks and taking 2-3 hour naps. Now regret not doing the same for Finn sighh..

  • Reply Anonymous January 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    what I did for my 2mth is to let him sleep on his tummy. apparently they’ll feel more secure and cozy. worth a try I’ll say. good luck! :)

    • Reply Daphne January 15, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Tried that too!! But he hates sleeping on his tummy. Only Tru used to sleep on his tummy, but not this one. Keeps struggling like he’s suffocating so we had to put him on his back.

      • Reply Anonymous January 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm

        oh no.. has things gotten better?

  • Reply Janice January 18, 2013 at 1:20 am

    You could try the 5 min shichida method (try googling). My gal was horrid at sleeping n like u say, she’ll wail bloody murder when put down. Now she’s very very very much better…it’s either coz she has passed the 1yo stage or that the method really worked! haha anyhoots, no harm trying to keep your sanity in check!

  • Reply The Pleasure Monger January 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    My daughter is about the same age as Finn and it sounds like the 4-month sleep regression (give or take one month). Happens at 9 months and 18 months too apparently, but they usually blow over after a while. My baby was waking up every hour at night and napping very poorly. I suffered from this for 9 weeks since she turned 3 months and recently, she’s settled down to waking up twice a night. I am hoping she settles back to STTN, like she was before she was 12 weeks old! I guess…either wait it out, or sleep train. I am too lazy and soft hearted to sleep train my baby, she is a screamer and turns purple whenever she cries…good luck!
    The Pleasure Monger´s last post ..So…You Know What They Say About Happiness?

  • Reply Sing January 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Mine is 10.5 months old and he doesn’t sleep through the night since he started teething at 4 months! Once his new pearly whites are about to cut, he’ll be waking up at least 4-6 times a night screaming his head off. Once they’re out, he’ll b quiet for a while until the next set comes in. Molars are gonna be fun. Maybe baby Finn is going through a teething stage?

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