Thursday, 19 February 2015


All living beings (at least most of them) need their share of sleep every day. It's sleep that gives our minds and bodies the time to relax and recharge our batteries. Without our 40 winks (or more), we would never have the energy to do any work. Research has shown that man can survive for a month or more on just water, but without sleep, he will SURELY die in 11 days.

Human adults, no matter how busy their lives might be, never compromise on their sleep. They devise innovative methods and put to use all their time and situation management skills to get some sleep. Some of us are fortunate enough to have chilled out working hours. As a result, most adults tend to have more or less fixed sleeping hours. With kids, however, things are a little complicated. They obviously don't follow a fixed sleep pattern, their body clocks are simply not from this world, and adults have to struggle to tuck them into bed so that they themselves don't lose out on their sleep. All parents will vouch for the fact that kids have given them sleepless nights and drowsy days.

My son is barely 15 months old now. But at close to 2 feet in height and enough strength in his limbs to knock out Chota Bheem, he's way past the days when swaddling could get him into slumber mode. Me and my wife have spent sleepless nights dealing with a cranky kid in the wee hours. A cheerful kid on a night prowl isn't any better, what with him practicing hair pulling on the wife and WWE-style wrestling maneuvers on yours truly at 3-friggin-o'clock in the night, or even  simply jumping up and down and making eerie noises or shouting and laughing aloud in the still of the night.

But being resilient adults, we tried and tested a few methods to manage mayday. Some work most of the time, some worked only initially, and some gave the false impression of working only because our son had pity on us and played along. So, for the benefit of young parents, and soon to be parents, here's what we did:-

1) Hum a tune - You need not be a Shreya Ghoshal or a Kishore, or even a sleep-inducing singer from the 50s to be able to pull this off. You don't even need to know lyrics - you could fit the lyrics of Jack and Jill to the tune of a kid-friendly version of a Marilyn Manson track to get the desired effect. Use his pet name to come up with a song like "Shonu boy, sleepy boy" to the tune of the Spiderman song (old tune) for best results. Psst: Avoid taking a video clip of your antics to avoid embarrassing yourself in front of family and a grown-up kiddo in the future.

2) Pretend you're sleeping - This initially seemed to have a wonderful magic wand-esque effect. Within a minute (or maybe 10...patience is a virtue), your kiddo is likely to go into hibernation like you. Beware: This is one game in which he/she can be a step ahead of you and play along for some time before giving you a rude shock later.

3) A head massage - Works wonders, especially when it's done by a favourite grandparent. Here again, it's not a privilege that your kid might have accorded to you, so no guarantee.

4) Hand him/her a feeding bottle - Some kids tend to sleep during breastfeeding. Using a feeding bottle can replicate the effect. Dunno why it works.

5) Entertain the kid - A lot of times, kids are hyperactive simply because they need your attention and want you to indulge them. Reading a story book, getting into an impromptu jig, playing with toys along with them can give them a reassurance of your presence and their well-being. On the flip side, you might end up losing your sleep for the night while he/she bids goodnight.

Watch the video below to see how Pampers can ensure at least 12 nights of peaceful and comfortable sleep for your child.

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