I was just back from my mom's place with my infant daughter. She was now 1.5 months old. We had a tough time with her sleeping since beginning but as there was help in form of my mom, dad and sister, still life was easier.
Now, I was all alone to manage. My husband would help at night and early morning but rest of the day I was alone and could do my daily chores and take some rest only when she slept. Though night is a much peaceful time for babies to sleep but most of our babies are night owls and active at night and somehow like waking up at night. Thus, it is mostly seen that babies try to cover thier sleep during day specially when tired after activities, fed after a good massage and bath. So, these are the times when a mother can catch up on her sleep and rest a bit and also find time for daily chores.
I had seen and heard about some babies in family who slept well, also for long time etc but mine was exactly opposite. She was a very light sleeper. Though it is said that babies sleep from 16 - 18 hours a day mine slept for maximum 10 hours in total of 24 hours. At night mostly she was awake and there were spans in daytime when she slept. Also the spans were around 1 to 1.5 hours or even lesser. Sometimes she would wake up in 15 minutes or half an hour, when I had put her to sleep after a lot of struggle.
Sleep deprived, tired,worked up sometime I was more cranky than her. Then I realised one day that whenever I made her sleep during day time it was some or the other noise which was responsible for waking her up. Also, woken up from mid sleep made her more irritated and cranky and even a feed or song won't help.
This noise was proving for us like a villain. I observed that the major noises causing disturbance were:
Noise of the doorbell.
Noise of our ringtones.
Noise from the kitchen, when cooking was done, like a whistle from the cooker or clanging of utensils.
Noise produced by the maid in washing utensils and other chores.
Outside noises like construction, vehicles, a hawker shouting etc.
We both (me and my husband) incorporated small changes in our habits to reduce disturbance. The TV volume was well regulated, opening and closing of Almira's, drawers and small things which produced disturbance were reduced to a great extent.
I started following her sleep patterns and made a note of times when she was always awake and when sleeping. We made few changes which helped me a lot to make her sleep. I am sharing them.
The first was that we got the doorbell changed and got a softer one.
We started keeping our phones at vibration and far from her. We would call back if missed a call.
I made it a point to cook with minimum noise, not use cooker and mixer when she was sleeping.
We got the address for couriers and posts changed as much as we could to my husbands office so that less of these people come as they very annoyingly came in the afternoon sleeping hours.
The guards from society, were requested to visit at particular time if needed, keep a check on hawkers etc coming to our place and use doorbell once softly.
The friends and neighbours were requested to call and come at a convenient time and use doorbell softly.
Regular people like maid and presswala were requested to come at regular time which was convenient and make less noise.
I was really happy that with these efforts the noise at home was reduced considerably and all the people specially maid (she ensured minimum noise if the kid was sleeping) cooperated and helped.
But still noise from outside was a problem and that too not under our control. So we did the following to reduce its intensity for the child.
During day time I shifted her from our regular bedroom to a room where the effect of outside noise was minimal.
Someone suggested me to use ear plugs or cotton but as I was scared of putting anything in her small delicate ears I didn't follow, instead I put many of my dupattas near her pillow so that the noise impact on her ears is less. It is also said that a child feels secure when some cloth with mother's scent is put near them so it helped.
Another idea which didn't work in winter but was good in summer was the low continuous noise of a fan or cooler (hum) which was cutting other sounds and gave a sound sleep.
I also put a light napkin on her head whose edges covered her ears lightly.
Thus these were my ideas to fight this battle with noise and disturbance which was not letting my baby sleep and waking her up now and then. It decreased my woes considerably.Hope this may help someone else too.