Thursday, April 12, 2007

To Sleep or Not To Sleep -- Part 3

(This post by Sandeepa of Bong Mom's CookBook)
The Sleep issue generated a lot of information and facts and figures and etc. etc. etc. Too much good information and instead of sleeping on them I right away started applying them. No not to myself, though I would have simply loved that, what with Asha mentioning lavender infused warm bath and the santoor playing on the background...ahhhhhhh bliss.

Ok so I started that at home for little S. I used to do the brushy-brushy, sleepy pajamas, story book routine but then I would lie down besides S to give my aching back some rest. So someone said -- sit not sleep. So that's what I did. I sat straight and then got bored sitting in the dark and patting away to glory, so after 15 minutes I told S I will be downstairs packing up lunch and she should shut her eyes and go to sleep. Saying this I went down and after 5 mins I hear a timid voice enquiring the english for "office", searching for the voice I found it at the top of the stairs in night pajamas :) Cute. Nah, oh come one, kids are allowed to do such things.

Anyway I took her back and put her back on the bed again, same bed, the one in our room. Then after a couple of minutes I again went away. And this time she SLEPT !!!! Yes, she did without asking me english for any other thing, she just slept. So technically she did sleep on her own and thats a big step. D thinks this is not going to continue, so lets keep our fingers crossed...

Thanks to all those wonderful comments and suggestions though so let me just compile all those thoughts here for quick reference


This is fine as long as you, the kid and the hubby is. Don't worry about the neighbours at least not in this case. Some Moms say "Co-sleeping helps bond with the kid, and they start sleeping better when you co-sleep. " Another Mom says "I like to think of "our co-sleeping" as a ritual where the whole family spends time with the children". So cuddle up before they shut the door on you.

Not Co-Sleeping

Still better. Your life is easy. If you are reading this, do not read ahead you have achieved what every Mom is striving for or maybe not striving for yet...
But by the age of 3-4 maybe you can start the process even if you are an ardent co-sleeping fan. To support the economy someone has to buy those cute toddler bed sets, right ?
This is what The Experienced Mom says "Both my kids slept in my bed as infants every day from birth to the first two years although we had a crib.Then they asked me to buy them colorful kiddie beds and moved to another room on their own!!"

Bed Time Routine

Every Mom swears by this. Have a stable bed time routine. So if you want the child in bed by 8:30 PM start the routine by at least 8:00 PM

-- Give a Warm Bath or a Wash. This helps the Kid to relax. If you don't want the bath just wash hands, face etc.
-- Brush their Teeth
-- Change into NightDress
-- Read a Book. Do not give in to the kids demand and go on reading for an hour. Read for 15-20 minutes
-- Sing a song if your voice permits. My daughter allows me to sing only 3-4 songs , rest are so off tune that she prefers me to remain mum. Many parents said they chant hymns or recite slokas during bed time. That is a good thing too. Try to play some soft music if you prefer that. No "Krazy Kia Re" at bed time :)
-- Leave the room if your sleep time is later.

Day Time Naps

If your child is not sleepy by 8:30 - 9:00 at night curb his/her daytime naps. Day time naps should never extend to late afternoon or evening.
Try to include your child in some tiring activity, like running, jumping etc. in the evening. If the child has had along day at school don't force though.

Cool Tips

Sit next to them, and read to them rather than lying down. Do not give in to that inviting pillow and rest your head on it.

For the smaller ones massage with baby oil might be relaxing

Get a blanket as one Mom says " I have never had to sleep next to my kids to get them to sleep and I credit it all to the blanket :) ". Not entirely necessary, don't rush off to the Mall. If it works for you fine, all kids migh not need a blanket, for some a blanket or a toy is security.

One more Mom Wisdom "Make sure he/she stays in bed (even if it means you need to be there beside him/her), be firm about no talking back to him/her. He/She may talk and talk, respond only a bare minimum, do not encourage more conversation."

However remember that all kids are not same and neither are all Moms & Dads. So work out whatever works best for you and your kid. These are just some generic rules, work around them.

Some Links

Check out Tharini's Tale of Two Sleepers here. This is what she says describing her attempt to make Sathya (the second little one) an independent sleeper "Dear God...stay with this child and grace him with the comfort of sleep. Take my fears, and make me believe. And when I put him down after that, I did it calmly. I patted him for 2 minutes to get him to stop writhing about, and when he stilled, I gently walked out of the room. I listened outside the door for a few minutes"

Check Indian Mommies for some more useful links here

Useful Products that help at Sleep Time

Please let me know about CDS, Books that have helped you and I will update this

Leave comments/suggestions and this post will be updated



Praba said...

Sandeepa -

Great job! Hope it works for you with S...Keep us posted...

6.45pm here - out my baby down in her crib, older one in the bath tub while I sneak in this comment...Couldn't resist - this is like a chai break for me...ya, loved the chai breaks in college... -

Laughed out loud at " sing if our voice permits" .3-4 songs - that's great! Rest are so off tune - my mom and I took turns singing a karnatic song while patting her to sleep...- Vara Veenaa...Mrithu Paani... to my newborn until she was close to 6 months.. (now she sleeps by herself - older one doesn't care for my singing...!)- The funny thing was whenever it was my mom's turn my dad and hubby would crack up because the voice was so funny on the baby monitor that was downstairs...and keep joking about how beautifully we bray...

Krazy Kia Re - ee...hee...

anyways - thanks and gotta go....

swapna said...

Hi sandeepa
wonderful post.Thanku for the suggestions.

actually before reading a post on "Sleep for kids" i never thought kids sleep has so much importance i mean sleep with or not to sleep with..and the timings.because in this issue my daughter hasn't given me any troubles from her birth.she used to sleep with me and get up at after 6:30 pm. unless regarding how mush time she sleeps in the day time.Now she goes to bed between 9-9:30.
The major issue what i have to think about is to make her sleep in her own room..i think she can easily adjust because if she sleeps for once..she won't getup again..All the best to me in this...:-DDDD

as praba said i too laughed at the line"sing if ur voice permits."he heeeeeeeee
sometimes my daughter asks me to sing my own created songs..and sometimes she tells me to stop because she can't bear me after that....:-DDDDDDDDD

she says prayer with me before going to the bed.

so that is the story of my daughter's sleeping conditions.

indosungod said...

Sandeepa wonderful tips. The pleasure reading a book gives little ones is immeasurable. The older one likes to sleep in our room read a book for some time before she goes to her room and the little one reads a book and just goes to sleep in our bed.

Here is an interesting article in NYTimes
"Whose Bed is it anyway?"

Tharini said...

Sandeepa : What a wonderful effort in piecing it all together. Thank you for the time and organisation you put into that! Enjoyed getting to know you better thru the little snippes of your sense of humour. :)

Books that helped : Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg

The happiest baby on the block by Dr. Harvey Karp!

[Those books are in respect to putting babies to sleep on thier own.)

Asha said...

Good job compiling everything in one post Sandeepa!:))

Sharmi said...

this is such a nice write up sandu!! really loved reading it. I feel so bad and guilty that I havn't dont most of it to my son. except for telling him stories and singing him songs, chant mantras,shlokas etc, but want to start all this right away. my son sleeps soon when its quite and dark so I just sleep beside him. but all this is not a routine. it keeps changing as it fully depends on his mood. sometimes he likes it that way and sometimes this way.

Sandeepa said...

Don't feel Guilty !!!

What you have done is best for your Son.

Reading a group blog like this you might think others are doing good or bad since you are NOT really seeing them or their Kid. And what works for one may not work for another.

So don't go by that. Pick up anything if its useful to you but let me tell you again


sailaja said...

Sharmi, I echo Sandeepa's words here. Please don't feel guilty because there is no need to. Each child, each parent and each home is unique!

You have done your best and continue to do your best..
"except for telling him stories and singing him songs, chant mantras,shlokas etc," Do you think that is any less?

We all strive to be better mothers and each moment is a learning experience. Let's not rush into doing things. Take it easy, go slow and see what works best.

Shivapriya said...

Nice POst Sandeepa.
Nish has his own bed but next to mine . He sleeps on his bed and sometimes he comes to us early morning. I always put him back, But "R" loves to cuddle and sleep with him, So Nish knows where to go:D.

He never troubled me to sleep. We have to tell him stories and sing lullaby and he is off to sleep. The whole process takes 20-30 mins.

Sharmi said...

thank you so much sandu and sailu. lovely advice.Sandu this idea of starting a blog for moms is really nice and useful. I think now we are sharing things out of kitchen and thats really useful. from this blog I got so many wise advices. its a nice community to interact and get together.

Roopa said...

A very good writeup. Sleeping with or without is always is a question. My daughter who is 9 also sleeps upto today with us in our bedroom though she has her own cot.Our second son is 2 so sleeps with me. The age difference is making things difficult as my D feels she is left alone if made her sleep in her room. So i am just giving it some time so that i can put both of them together in their rooms. Give in your suggestions. Both have a routine only problem is making them independent at times my d will burst open saying we care more for her brother. It hard on us to do anything aginst it so i will wait for the time to come