Betty Muindi @bettyMuindi
If you are a mother, getting a six to eight hours of of uninterrupted sleep for the first year of your baby’s life drifts into history books. This is the story of Esther Kinuthia, a well-known psychologist and sleep specialist in Kenya.
“I am mother to a five-year-old boy, a psychologist by professional, but when that little bundle of joy landed in my arms, everything I expertly knew flew out through the window. I rarely slept at night and I had no idea what to do to make my child sleep through out the night,” she confesses.
Now a sleep specialist, she educates mothers on achieving quality sleep for them and their children. Speaking on Saturday, during the launch of the New Pampers Premium Care, Hello Comfort, together with other child development experts, Kinuthia taught parents ways to ensure they maintain a sleep routine for their children for them to sleep throughout the night.
To create a routine for your child, she recommended putting your baby in his crib, say good night, and leave the room. If he starts to cry, let him for about five minutes. Then go into the room, comfort him briefly without picking him up, and leave. If he cries again, wait 10 minutes before going in, then 15 minutes, until he falls asleep.
The point of going in is to reassure your baby that you still exist and to reassure you that he’s okay. Repeat the ritual every night adding five minutes to the first interval. She, however, advises against letting the child crying it out endlessly without attending to him, it is inhuman and could cause emotional trauma.
Kinuthia also advised new parents to also be on the look-out on the health of the baby while trying to get them to sleep. “Your baby could be sick thus affecting his sleep, ensure his crying is not because he is sick” she offers.
She also advises parents to put their babies to sleep slightly on their side by placing clothing or soft pillow on their back. “Sleeping on the back could cause chocking or suffocation respectively,” she said.