February 19, 2015

Bed Time Rituals!


                Being a doctor ,I get the opportunity to meet and communicate with many nursing mothers,on a daily basis.One of the common queries which they approach me with concerns their baby's/neonate's 'sleep' habits.

               "Doctor,my child is always restless.I find it really difficult to put her to sleep.Every time she wakes up from sleep in the middle of the night,I'm absolutely clueless as to what to do next! There are times when she has woken up from sleep and stayed awake the whole night after that!Can you kindly give me some tips on how to put my baby back to sleep in conditions like this?"


            Every time I go to a family function or a wedding party,someone or the other turns up suddenly from nowhere and confront me with a question like this! Initially,I used to get annoyed.C'mmon,I'm attending a private/family function.Give me a break,yaar! But later,I realized that they can't be blamed.Afterall,as a doctor it's my duty to respond to these anxious mothers in a compassionate,sensitive way,isn't it?First things first,babies have a rather un-even sleep pattern.It's true that neonates/babies sleep for 16-18 hours a day.But quite often,the majority of it happens when the whole world is awake and alert(read day time) and only the rest happens during night(i.e. most of the time it turns out that when the mother is badly in need of sleep,her toddler/neonate will be alert and awake).How can a mother have a sound sleep when her new born is awake and crying?While I don't claim myself to be an expert in this,for the benefit of the young mothers out there,I'll share the bed time rituals which I share with my little one so that she has  a sound,un-interrupted sleep.  

1.Play with the baby for sometime just before she goes to bed-Well,the logic is pretty simple.If the baby exerts herself/himself for sometime,it's pretty easy to put her to sleep.Afterall,we(adults) too get tired and hit the sack once we are exhausted/tired,right?To put it straight,a 'tired' baby will have a sound,smooth sleep when compared to the lazy bum!

2.Sing a tharattu(lullaby)-This one, I think, is the easiest and one of the well known 'tricks' of the game.As far as you don't 'scare' your little one with your singing,the baby will quickly go to sleep once you start singing a lullaby for him/her.Out of the many rituals which I perform to make my baby sleep,this one is the most effective/fool-proof one,I feel.  

3.Narrate a story-Obviously,a ten month old won't understand much even if you narrate the simplest of the stories to him/her.Frankly speaking,I still don't know the rationale behind this,but everytime my wife reads a story for our little angel in her soothing monotone voice,she quickly goes to sleep.

4.Switch off all the lights when she is about to go to sleep-C'mmon,even adults  find it difficult to sleep when the lights in our bed room are not turned off.The same applies to babies too.They won't go to sleep if the 100 Watt bulb in your bed room is still alive and kicking.I always make sure that all the lights in my little angel's room go to sleep even before her!

5.Change her diaper just before she goes to bed-As you know,attempting a change of diaper in the middle of her sleep will be disastrous.I always make sure to change her diaper just before she goes to sleep.

Okay,I have given my 'tips'.Feel like adding more to this list?Well,feel free to use the comment box below.

This post is a part of  Pampers-Bed Time Rituals initiative by indiblogger



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