Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
Everyone looks at my 6-month-old daughter and says she's such a sweetheart; has no trouble eating, sleeps for 12 hours at a stretch, so why on earth am I sleep deprived?All of this is true but unfortunately no one knows the inside story. My daughter, when she sleeps at night, dons three avatars apart from her usual self, who ensure that I get to sleep for only 3-4 hours.
A typical night for me looks like this:
6 p.m.-10 p.m.: My daughter's fast asleep. Hasn't moved to even change positions. Around 10 she starts to move as she needs her last feed for the day. By 10:30 p.m., she's sound asleep again.
11:30p.m.: I wrap up and go to bed. My daughter sleeps with me on the bed. My husband is in Ooty, so she takes up 3/4 of the king sized bed; leaving only 1/4 for me.
11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m.: My baby sleeps like a log with not a sound coming out of her. I don't know what happens to her around 3:30 in the morning, but without fail she starts donning her avatars one after the other here onward.
Avatar 1: the explorer
This is the first and the most dangerous avatar. By twisting and turning and rolling, she manages to explore the entire bed (except my bit). And this happens in minutes. One minute I open my eye to find her in a bottoms up position, the next minute she's on the other end of the bed.I bring her back to her regular position; she smiles at me sleepily. I shut my eyes again and the next thing I know she's almost off the bed! Call it mother's instinct or what have you, but two nights ago, I woke up to find she had managed to push a heavy pillow off the bed and was about to roll off the bed. If I had woken up a few seconds later, she would have been on the floor for sure.
She stops when she's more or less explored her side of the bed.
Avatar 2: the caterpillar
By the end of the exploration, she usually manages to find my knees or thighs. Then all she wants to do is to climb up. Mind you, she's fast asleep! Then comes all the scratching, pinching and pulling whatever she can lay her hands on (my tummy fat, my arms, my nipples-nothing gets spared). I think she does this because she is desperately trying to sit up and she tries it in her sleep as well. This is the most painful avatar and by the time she's reached my shoulders, I am almost in tears (babies can really scratch!) and obviously wide awake. She stops, without fail, at my shoulders. She doesn't open her eyes once in the whole process.
And finally, comes the last avatar.
Avatar 3: Zidane
When she finds my shoulders, she positions herself for her final avatar: Zinedine Zidane. Within a minute, from the clingy caterpillar position, she takes the perpendicular angle, with her head facing my shoulders. Then, she starts to head butt. She continues to do so, till I have shifted to the extreme corner and even the slightest turn will throw me off the bed.
She's finally happy- she gets to dominate the whole bed. She spreads her hand and feet like an eagle and sleeps soundly; back to her old self. By this time, it is 5 a.m. She's sound asleep and I am wide awake. Sleep slowly comes to me by a quarter to 6 and in 15 minutes I hear her call to wake up. If I ignore it for 5 minutes, I get slapped on my face and coos in my ears. I have no choice but to wake up.
I'm getting a crib for her, but I'll only get it by 1st week of May. If you mothers have any suggestions on how to stop her from falling off the bed at night, please share! The fear of her falling literally keeps me up all night!