For those of you who have actually heard of the book, I'm sure you either have babies or have grown up with this book yourself. The book is about a bunny who doesn't want to go to bed. So, he says good night to all the things around him. So he keeps saying good night and you hope your little one will doze off by the time he's done. I've heard a lot of parents who say that their kids loved this book. I wondered why!
It has lines that go something like this:
Good night comb and good night brush.
Good night Nobody, Good night mush!
And good night to the old lady whispering hush!
I find these lines almost eerie, don't you think! But Pickles too, for some reason, loves this book. Maybe it is the colour scheme of the book, alternating between black and white and colour. Maybe it is the rhyming words. I don't really know! Imagine my plight when I find Pickles actually smiling at the page which shows a blank white page saying Good night Nobody! Until I figured he was probably looking at the adjacent page which shows a bowl of food and a spoon saying Good night, mush. I think the food bowl seemed familiar to him and hence the smile of recognition.
But this post is also about something else. It is about the myth of parents putting babies to bed or rather scheduling sleep times for baby. The babies trick us into thinking that we put them to bed when in reality, they decide exactly when they want to sleep! They seem to be thinking, "Take that, Gina Ford!"
I read a lot of books during my pregnancy. I wish Pickles had read at least a few of them. Because it seems like he knows nothing about what he is expected to do! He just does his own thing!
Coming back to sleeping habits, I had read that babies eventually get used to the rocking and it is best that they are not rocked when they are little. I followed this very diligently as soon as he was born for the first few months. I would snarl at anybody who as much as gently rocked the baby. I'm sure people thought I was crazy but in order to avoid the wrath of a sleepless mother, they all meekly agreed.
And then, one day, Pickles fell ill. He had some issues, due to which he refused to sleep. I tried everything and this little thing wouldn't as much as close his eyes. It was around this time that I got a new nanny. She offered to put him to sleep and sleep-deprived as I was, I handed him to her and went straight to bed. I woke up to the pleasant sight of a dozing baby. When I asked her, she said she had just carried him around and he had fallen asleep. So, after that, that is what we did. Eventually, even that did not work! Around this time, I had to go back to work. In my absence, I know the nanny rocked him to sleep a few times. I don't blame her. I know it is so hard to put my own baby to sleep. I can only imagine what it must be like to do the same thing for another's. So, there began the saga of rocking Pickles to sleep. At around the same time, I read an article that said it is ok to rock babies to sleep and that will grow out of it as they grow slightly older. What it didn't mention, though,is the timeline.
After that, the nanny rocked him to sleep for his daytime naps. At night time though, I'm glad he fell asleep at my breast. So, I wasn't exactly complaining. As long as we all were happy, things were good. Everyone else, however, thought this was a bad practice. I might have agreed if I was not on the other (read sleepless) side. If you want to judge, judge away but not until you've put my little monster to bed at least once. My mother-in-law tsk tsked our putting-baby-to-sleep practices and vowed to make changes when she visited. She stayed with us for a month and tried. Eventually, she conceded and in fact started rocking him to sleep too. When I went to India for a month-long-trip, my mum tried her hand at putting the baby to sleep in a lot of other ways. Nothing worked. In the end, rocking still rocked!
It has been a good one year now. We have a good bedtime routine. We have a warm bath followed by a gentle massage. Then we read a book together, most often it is Good night moon! After that he is ready to drift off to la-la land. We still rock him to sleep but we don't have to, always! Sometimes, he just drifts off to sleep. I am hoping he will outgrow rocking to sleep soon. If not, I will just include it in my exercise regime!
PS: As I finished writing this, it occurred to me that I could have done this post for R : Rock-a-bye-baby. But, too late! I'm too pooped to write another one now!