I've been whining for a while to Rohini about WB's sleeping habits. Spurred on by regular complaints maybe she has posted an in-depth and awfully instructive discourse (well, it is!) on how she sleep-trained her son.
Now, after her book arrives here in Calcutta I intend to try out the Ferber method on The Bhaeblet. Till then though, I wish to record just what happens in my house everyday.
The son and heir wakes up any time between 6 and 9 a.m. Till last month he used to sleep till 9 easily, even, on occasions when I wasn't well, till past 10, even 11. Anyway, from March he has taken to waking up around 6 or 7. He's not really hungry and has maybe half a feed before falling asleep once more. He does not settle down without that feed, though. I have tried leaving him alone to settle down and that does not always work. Nor does he wake up for this half-feed every morning. Now this is a nuisance, because my maid comes at 7.30 and I used to try to do my cooking mostly while she was around. Now however I never know if he won't suddenly wake up just as I've got started.
He is bathed sometime after 9 and given his juice and banana a little later, depending on when he had his last feed. By now the warm bath and the full tummy have made him quite sleepy, so he gets quite cranky and starts to cry. It can take anything from 10 minutes to a couple of hours before he does fall asleep, though. Sometimes he cries himself to sleep in his pram, sometimes he needs me to pat and hum him to sleep. He usually sleep for about an hour, sometimes more, usually less.
This obviously decides my mood for the rest of the afternoon and also whether lunch gets cooked and whether I get to bathe, do the laundry and so on. I try to do my minor household chores earlier, when the maid is around, but the midnight battle usually leaves me too tired to do much.
Around 1 p.m. he has his lunch and plays a little and what with the heat of the afternoon and the full tummy, feels sleepy once more. The whole fight is repeated. By now my temper is that much shorter. Eventually, if we are lucky, he does sleep a little. Mostly though, he does not. He wakes up (or is woken) for his 5 p.m. snack and thereafter, is not allowed to sleep any more unless he really is very tired. In such a case he naps a bit but usually wakes up himself in 15, 20 minutes.
I had brought his dinner hour forward to 10 p.m. and tried to have him firmly in bed by 11, so that we had a full hour to battle it out before I got really murderous. (I hate having to do anything resembling work after midnight.) Yesterday though I managed to have him fed and in bed by nine. He put up a spirited fight despite being very tired (he woke up I don't remember how many times) but eventually, by a quarter past 11, he was out for the night.
I hate the fighting. Also, I have a knee problem and if I stay in one position for long, my knees act up and prevent my getting much sleep all night. To make my life a little more miserable, I have developed some kind of a wrist pain and so cannot take much weight on it. All this means I cannot sit with Rahul for longer than 20 minutes with any degree of comfort. Who am I kidding? After 20 minutes I'm usually ready to howl with pain. So I developed another way of getting him to sleep --
He keeps himself awake by screaming and throwing his arms and legs about. He can keep this up for two hours, even though no paediatrician has believed me. So I pin his legs and one hand down with a thin pillow and hold his other hand down with my other hand. This angers him but also helps him sleep sooner since his body is forced to be still. I know, it sounds terrible. But even if I hold him and pat and sing him to sleep I have to pin his arms tight to his body to get anywhere. And I sing and hum to him anyway.
So this is my life right now. Today he's been unusually good. He's had his meals fairly quietly and also taken his naps. He protested a bit about his afternoon nap, so V let him play with a newspaper while he napped beside The WB, and eventually I saw that both my men had fallen fast asleep.
That was half an hour ago. WB's up now and staring at me. Gotta go!