…when it comes to putting my baby to sleep and getting some ME time.
(My daughter is 20 months old and is growing at a very fast pace. She is learning to do things on her own and makes me wonder how fast time has gone by!)
When the baby sleeps, the freedom a mother feels, is inexplicable and only a mother can understand the importance of those hours (when the mother can live the time in her own way). There are many things that we mothers put on our to-do list for the day and wait for the baby to go to sleep to check-off the items on that list. Some say, the mother should also sleep with the baby as it is good for both the parties but what about the other things that are pending on that to-do list. Is it practically possible for the mother to co-sleep with the baby, unless you are ready to sacrifice the other things, which are waiting to be done?
I have been playing many tricks with my daughter to put her to sleep to bag my very much needed Me time and do things which makes me happy and content.
These are the things that I do to make her feel sleepy and steal some time for myself:
1. Send her to play-way without giving her bath: This point may sound weird to some of you but it just works for me. After taking shower my daughter feels good and after sometime, she slumbers for an hour or two. So, I save this time once she comes back from her school. We both enjoy our bathing session together, its kind of our play-time and after that I moisturise her body and give her olive oil chumpy (head massage) that makes her feel relaxed and more connected to me. I could very well see this in her eyes. She then eats something and plays with her toys for not more than 15-20 minutes; then she comes to me tired and demands cuddling sessions. I make her rest on my shoulder or lap (wherever she feels more comfortable) till she closes her twinkling eyes.
2. A cosy environment is what they need: I always make sure to make her bed before her sleeping time. A neat and tidy bed cover, a pleasant room odour, an apt room temperature and dim light is just perfect to make your child land in her dream world. It ensures a peaceful sleep for longer period. If possible co-sleep or just lie beside her (with a good book) to make her take rest for extra time.
3. Play more, sleep more: The more the baby plays, the more she becomes tired; the activities which make my 2-year old exhausted are running around the living area, jumping on and off my body, and a one-hour evening-out in the park; there she runs, takes rides and plays with the sand (that’s her favourite). I relive my childhood by seeing her doing these activities. And exactly after an hour she tells me to go home because its her dinner and sleeping time. Shes very punctual, you know!
4. Massage therapy: This trick works like magic, especially with the newborns. Until my daughter was 6-month old, I diligently followed the ritual of giving her massage before putting her to sleep in the night, so that we both could sleep peacefully. Initially my mother and MIL used to massage her and gradually I started doing this for her (and of course for myself also). A gentle body massage helps baby to relax and sleep for longer hours. It calms her body and mind too.
5. Dressing up for good night sleep: What I mean by dressing up the baby in the night is cleaning and changing her diaper and putting on the comfortable night dress. This is a must to ensure your baby and you both take a good night sleep. Imagine the feeling you get after putting your night dress on your body, this is the same feeling your baby feels when you do this for her.
6. Full tummy ensures uninterrupted sleep for both: A straight 10-12 hours of sleep for a toddler is not a myth. My daughter sleeps between 9-10pm and wakes up at around 7am in the morning. No interruptions in the night until there’s some stomach problem. I make sure her tummy is full before she goes to her bed in the night. This is very important and a sure shot way for that peaceful night.
I am one of those lucky moms whose baby gets to sleep for 12-14 hours a day and provide her mother the time to do things that matter to her. Its all about training your child to follow some routines and patterns. A mother should not forget herself and need not shy away in playing some tricks to shut those magical eyes for some-time and do things that make her in high spirits because a cheerful mother can raise a cheerful baby! Isn’t it?
Watch Poonam talk about her baby’s sleep struggles and how her baby’s smile in the morning compensates for the sleepless nights he gives her.
This article was originally published here.