My little one Standing at an age of 27 months made the mother in me realise that apart from the well known parameters to measure a child growth ie height ,weight and head circumference there a big daddy of all units. The sleep Unit. TSU.
This isn’t a joke, a serious graph rules it. As the number of hours of the child increase, so does the sanity of mother.
Month 1 and 2 : The mother is legally,morally and religiously zombified. She becomes obsessed with sleep and can talk about the lack of it even with doodh wale uncle( the milk man). Her TSU is at an all time low. She snaps, shouts, cries her wits out and feels that her life is over and out.
My advice, hold on. Take a deep breath. Any kind of advice’s wont work. Your patience will. Try massaging your babies legs with soft hand at night. It won’t give you results at first but eventually the baby starts taking the cue that this is a relaxing/sleep time.
Months 3-6 : Feeding time comparatively reduces from 45 mins to 10( thank god for small mercies) and so does the afternoon nap time. My son used to coos and caas on my bed side and I used to dose off. As expected, the family and social connects feel, Oh! Her baby has grown up now she can continue with normal life. House, office kitchen and kid. That’s not normal. From zombification you turn into a vamp. Tired of advice’s. Advice about his eating ,sleeping , playing, bathing you now have the capacity to get offended at everything. If the little man sleeps in the morning the night time is play time. If he doesn’t sleep , he gets too irritated to sleep. Its a vicious circle.
My advice, now is the time to try to start a routine. And mind you , no one, let no one disrupt it for you. Guests, obligations, over enthusiast. They ask you to change the routine for a day and you suffer for weeks to come. Let everyone around be compassionate. This habit now will go a long way. Lie down with your baby. Don’t darken the room completely. Let the baby learn to diffentiate between nap and sleep. Put away all the distractions. Humming a lullaby segregated for nap time gives a signal to the baby that now he should rest. Don’t give up. It might take weeks.
Month 6-12 : now the milieu believes that the child eats solids that equals to tummy full that equals to perfect 10 hour sleep. Didn’t happen that ways with me. It took me quite some time to realise even a pinch of extra sugar or energy food post evening will give a high to my son. And the irony, he just ate everything sweet. I had a battle at hand to initiate bland and salty food. Which meant he wanted to play till wee hours. Not that he didn’t sleep. He slept. In my lap. The moment his head touched the bed,he woke up. Hungry. Now from a critical vamp , I became a sucker for sympathy. I wanted every mortal soul to tell me how great I was. That doesn’t help. Trust me. It makes matters worst.
My advice, start bathing the baby at night. I was constantly advised this by mother but was too scared . I didn’t want my cherub to fall sick. I adjusted his bathing time to 7 in the evening. What made things easier was that he is a water baby.Loves to take a bath anytime. I massaged him gently. Did a few excerises perfect for his age. Bathed him in warm water. And miracle happened. He started sleeping peacefully. Not the entire night of course. He still used to get up. But our fights post 10 reduced.
12 months onwards : As the little one is growing up, so is his attention span. His curiosity and him imagination. A mother by this time is exhausted. She had given up on the dream that she would get her sleep back. A light sleeper mode in her has been activated forever. Even a slight noise wakes her up. From a self pitying creature she settles down with the fact that sleep and that too peaceful is a thing of the past. There relation is no longer perfect.
My advice , try telling a story. At first he may just listen to a few lines and get distracted. But as his mind starts accepting and imaging the world you are creating with your words he would come back for more. Don’t stress on morals and content of the story. Weave one according to his interests. Animals , colours, cars, fruits. Let each story be as unique as you and your child.
By the time my baby turned two. My relationship with sleep came back to normal. And he has found a new friend in me and his sleep.
I hope this helps.Do share your tips and experiences. I would love to know about them.
Till then Happy sleeping.
Want to know my hacks to make your baby eat with some yummy recipes. Check this out