The Pop duo speak to Mumbai based sleep consultant, author of Sleep, Baby, Sleep – Kerry Bajaj. She has studied infant and child sleep in America and
a member of the Indian Society for Sleep Research. They spoke to her about kids and sleep, her book and much more.
NADIR’s BABY SLEEP STORY
I wish I had met Kerry Bajaj 3 years ago, I am pretty sure my wife, daughter and I would have slept peacefully but alas that was not meant to be. My daughter is now 3.6 years old and definitely sleeps better compared to what she used to three years go. She made us realise what a bad idea it was to have a kid (obviously we love her).
My daughter was a bad sleeper, she has improved now, but still can’t sleep peacefully. It’s almost as if the hidden monsters in her mind come out and play havoc.
When Baby Z was much younger her crying got really out of hand and all that she wanted was to cling to you. Feeding didn’t always help, nor did constant engagement, most definitely not in the middle of the night. All the baby wanted was human touch. We For a couple of days it’s fine but after some time your mind and body starts giving way and frustration sets in.
At one point I am sure we were crying louder than the baby. There were moments when we wished we never had a child. We started questioning our parenting skills. Screaming at the baby or nobody in particular became the way of life. But we found out that all parents go through this in some form or the other in varying degrees.
My wife and I haven’t feel that we still haven’t slept the night uninterrupted, it’s already 2020. Our daughter used to wake up every two hours for a feed and then refused to go back to sleep. We carried her for comfort, but we didn’t walk with her. We kissed her head, but we did’t engage her. We patted her back, but we didn’t play with her. We made sure that the room was dark and we didn’t give her any attention. She eventually did drift to sleep but by then we were broken.
Let me narrate a a very personal baby sleep story. It was something that I will never forget.
It’s the eve of Diwali, Oct, 2016, and it all started round 6.30pm when she was napping. All our doors and windows were shut tight in order to keep the room as sound proof as possible, but it didn’t work. When the ear-shattering bombs go off, it’s not just the immediate blast, but the lingering echoes in the neighbourhood that really gets you.
Now imagine being with a child with incessant sleep trouble during the loudest day of the year in Mumbai, India. Baby Z woke up, and no surprise she stayed up because the frequency of the bombs, rockets going off were so regular that there was no window of peace and silence for her to revert to sleeping. She was crying, a lot.
My wife fed her and she looked fine, happily staring at us and flailing her limbs about. But every time a bomb or a rocket went off she would shake. It would seem that her Moro had kicked in but this was pure shock from the unnatural noise that she was subjected to. She clearly was uncomfortable even though she wasn’t crying. But eventually the noise was getting too much for her.
I picked her up and started walking with her, as this always worked to clam her down. Every time I thought she was okay enough to be put down she would only wail. This went on for a couple of hours, my wife and I took turns carrying her while the other slept.
Our backs and arms started to fail us. I finally wore the baby wrap (body carrier) and carried her on me. At one point the noise got so bad that I had to lock myself in our closet for extra sound proofing. She started to drift around 9.30pm, way beyond her usual sleep time but the fire crackers just would not stop. She kept waking up, we were so helpless, how do you put a 10 week old to sleep in this sheer mindless noise fest?! We couldn’t even massage or bathe her because she refused to stay down. I have no recollection of even eating dinner that night, that’s how bad it got.
At 11.30pm the noise started to subside and she fell asleep simply because she was just too tired to keep her eyes open. Now came the tough part, We needed to catch some shut eye. My wife stuffed her face in the pillow and forced herself to sleep, I managed to sleep only at 1.30am and was rudely woken up around 5.00am thanks to another round of bombardment because, you know, why not.
Have a listen to the episode and listen to what Kerry Bajaj has to say about “baby sleep”. If you have a story to share about your and your baby’s sleep experience then write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we will invite you as a guest on our podcast.