Operation Slumbertime : Update

A few of you may remember an earlier post on my blog; Operation Slumbertime”: my mission to change my adorable toddler from a “Night Owl”  into an “Early Bird”.

It’s been nearly 3 weeks (17 days, to be precise) since I wrote that post and I thought it’s about time I gave you all an update. So, here’s the Good News : Mission Accomplished!

After one false alarm early on, I wanted to be sure that V’s sleeping pattern had definitely changed before bragging (Yes, to me getting my two year old to sleep at night is something worth bragging) about it on this blog lest I end up jinxing it.

After a record 10 days of sleeping through the night, I guess it’s now safe to say that my baby is not a Vampire. Not quite and “Early Bird” as yet, but the timing suits me just fine.

We have finally been able to see some sunlight, and so have resumed our usual trips to the library and the toddler groups, weather permitting. Life couldn’t be  more perfect! Except…we have another big move coming up next month.

My Husband just told me yesterday that his assignment is nearing completion and so we will be returning to India in exactly a month’s time, after completing almost a year in UK. Which means, a different time zone and a whole new sleeping schedule. Help!!!

Anyway, I am glad I started the Sleep Journal, it has definitely been very helpful. I feel more confident about handling Jet Lag now, so definitely look forward to returning home and meeting family after almost a year.

I plan to write a detailed post on how we ended up getting V’s sleep cycle back on track, sometime later this month.

Today, I wanted to share a Bedtime chart designed for older school-going children.

Some of you may have already seen the chart, which was originally posted on Wilson Elementary School’s Facebook page. The chart, designed by a parent became viral within a few days of posting and has been shared over 400,000 times.

There are mixed reactions to the chart, with many parents opining that their kids would be up at 4 AM if they followed the recommended schedule.

After struggling with V’s sleep issues, I have come to the conclusion that not all kids sleep for 12 hours a day. So, the schedule would definitely have to be tweaked to suit the child’s temperament.

As for you fellow moms, have a look at the chart, and let me know in the comments if you think it would work for you.

Wilson Elementary school -Bedtime Chart

Update: Finally got around to creating the poll. Thank you Vikram for your helpful tip!

PS : I would love to include a poll, but am still figuring out how to do it. So, if you know how to add polls, please leave some advice in the comments. Thank you guys!

Image credit : Wilson Elementary 

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Operation Slumbertime

15099773683_f36735afc7_oIf you have been following my blog, you may have read about V’s erratic sleeping habits in my coffee update post.

Although I mentioned it only towards the end of the post, I would be lying if I said that it was the last thing on my mind when I wrote the post.

This sudden change in V’s sleeping pattern started sometime after his second birthday in early October. Thanks to Babycenter, I did expect a few changes in his sleep pattern. However, I foolishly assumed it to mean that V would simply skip one of his morning naps. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. In V’s case, there was hardly any change in his daytime nap. Instead, he starting sleeping less at night. He would sleep for two to three hours post his usual bedtime at night and then wake up refreshed and stay awake till  5 or 6 Am in the morning (today he was awake from 2:30 AM to 8:00 AM). He would then sleep for about 6 to 7 hours at a stretch and wake up only in the afternoon. Obviously, the system was wrong.

At first I thought it could be because of lots of unspent physical energy and tried to increase the amount of physical activity that I usually try to include in V’s daily routine. However, I found it increasingly difficult to include outdoor activities after the end of daylight saving, and the onset of autumn (or is it winter already?). Instead, I tried to include as many indoor activities as I could think of such as dancing, jumping and running around the house. Still, it didn’t work and so my poor hubby was left with no choice but to deal with my sleep deprived alter ego; waiting to snap, snarl and bite.

Sleep

So, after going through various stages of whining, ranting, crying, guilt, self-pity, frustration, anger and then trying to make a change and failing miserably, I was back to Square One. Tired of cribbing about the same thing to anybody who would bother to talk to me, I have finally come to the conclusion that this task needs to be tackled in a bit more organised and planned manner.

And That, my friends is how Operation Slumbertime came into being.

Here is what I plan to do:

Step 1 :

Try and create a sleep journal (akin to a diet journal), to log in the number of hours that V sleeps during the day and if there is a pattern to it. Hopefully, it helps in identifying the problem. *Fingers crossed*

Depending on the results of Step 1, will post updates on the steps that follow.

Photo credit:
  1. Image 1: Flickr.com
  2. Image 2: Quotesgram.com

 

Pre – Writing Skills in Toddlers – 101

Pre Writing

After moving to the UK, V and I started visiting a local library  for the “Rhymetime”  sessions twice a week. It was highly  recommended by a friend and we really enjoyed the  half an hour  of singing and actions.

So, when another friend suggested I visit the local museum on  Fridays for two hours of craft work, I literally jumped with joy; excited to try out another new activity with V. Off we went one  Friday to check out the museum with all enthusiasm (mostly on my part).

V was about 22 months then, and had not done much craft activity  at home before that. I  was scared that it would be messy and rarely let V touch any crayons or colouring pens.  The one or two times  I let him play with the crayons, he ended up scribbling all over the  walls and doors. So, I decided to wait a while before giving  him any more crayons and  hid them all away.

V is generally more of an “active” boy, who prefers physical  activities. The first day I took  him to the museum, he sat there  on the bench and just played with the colouring pens.  He was  fascinated with removing the lids on the pens and then putting  them back on  and that was all he did for about twenty minutes.  After that, he just got down from the  bench and walked out of  the room. The rest of the session I kept following him all around  the museum checking out every room and then climbing up and down  the stairs(we would have done that at least 20 times that day).

Exasperated, I decided to try some colouring at home. Still, I  could not hold V’s attention for more than ten to fifteen minutes  at a time and even then he would not do much with the crayons.  I was highly disappointed and would secretly envy the parents of  the other  kids who would sit and colour diligently. I also started  having nightmares imagining  the complaints I was bound to receive  once V started school considering  he hardly ever sat in a place for  anything more than 15 minutes.

It was only after around three more sessions that I realised that  V was the youngest among the group. The other kids were around 2  and a half years old.

So, I followed it up with some research on the Internet to find out at what age kids start colouring and doing other craft work.

Not surprisingly, I found out that most kids V’s age could not be expected to sit down for an hour’s session of craft work.

I am sharing below a compilation of some common craft activities and the recommended age at which it can be introduced to children.

I Hope it is useful for other parents like me who have no idea about toddler pre-writing and craft skills. This can help set realistic expectations and goals and will help plan suitable activities that are age-appropriate.

These activities can be introduced at any age, even a little earlier. However, it would be wise to be patient and set realistic expectations. Needless to say, it would require a lot of supervision as well.

Please click on the Link below for the Pre-Writing Skills Timeline.

Pre+Writing+Skills+Timeline

Happy Crafting.

Of Sanskrit & Value Ed : When & How to Start teaching toddlers

A few weeks back, I received two videos on Whatsapp that left a  lasting impression on me.

This was one of the videos, on the subject of Sanskrit(an ancient  Indian language)

Sanskrit thriving in British schools

It is pleasantly surprising to see the level of interest that such  young Students have for a foreign language that is not that widely  spoken nowadays. Being an Indian, I found it even more intriguing  and inspiring.

Taking inspiration from the video, I have decided that I will also  teach V a little bit of Sanskrit in the form of verses and hymns, or  “Shlokas” as we commonly call them.

As V’s vocabulary is only just starting to grow, I know I will have  to wait a bit  (maybe another year??) before I start teaching him  Sanskrit verses.

In addition, I want V to learn and know about the ancient Indian  mythology as well and be aware about the Indian culture and  traditions. It is getting  increasingly difficult to follow most of  the traditions today due to changing lifestyles and lack of time but I wish to preserve and pass on at least a few of those traditions  to V.

So, I want to consciously take efforts to include some activities  in his daily routine that are reflective of our ethnicity and  culture.

Also, I want to ensure that as parents, my husband and I give a lot  of importance to Value Education, starting from now. I hope we  continue to take efforts to that end and teach V good values and  manners at home, even after he starts school and gets older. This is something I do not want to compromise at all.

I suppose the best way to begin teaching him manners would be by  reading and narrating stories that have moral lessons and values  imbibed in them.  Although I remember my parents adopting the same  technique when we were younger,I sadly can’t recollect any of those stories.

Thankfully, I do remember that these collection of stories were  called the “Panchatantra Tales” and “Jataka Tales”. Hopefully, once  I find those books and finish reading them, I will know how to start the “Value Ed” classes at home. 🙂

V is now gaining interest in books and I think is ready for  “story-telling picture books”.  Therefore, I was hugely disappointed  when I couldn’t lay my hands on “Indian Story  Books” as we are living outside India at the moment (Courtesy: the hubby’s work).

AMK RamaAMK PanchaAmar Chitra Katha Mahab

So, I did the only other thing I could think of to introduce Indian culture and mythology.

I found some episodes from “Bal Ganesha” and “Little Krishna” on  YouTube and played them for V. I was delighted to see that BalGanesh and Little Krishna kept my little V as captivated as his favourites  Masha and Peppa Pig.

My next task would be to slowly start building a mini library for V  by collecting books from the “Amar Chitra Katha” series as soon as  we return to India. A task I really look forward to, as it involves  two of my favourite activities : “Shopping” and “Books”.

As I head off now to do some window shopping and book-ogling on  Flipkart,it’s time to sign off.

Bye!

Hope to be back with the next blog post soon.