Lil' General has always been a very good sleeper. And, I think we as parents contribute in a big way to that. I often hear friends and other members of the family with small kids comparing their children to LG and complain that they don't sleep as well as LG. So that makes us lucky parents, they say. I say that's ridiculous. You don't expect your kids to go to bed if you don't establish a bedtime routine, if you keep your mobiles' ringtones blaring at the highest volume setting available and if the entire family decides to camp in front of the TV at 10:00. Still better if you came up with the novel idea of dining at 10:30 p.m. in the neighborhood restaurant. Nothing wrong with any of these. That's the lifestyle you are used to and have consciously made the choice to continue with the same even after the arrival of your child. Kids will grow up fine. They accustom to the environment they are brought up in. If you are the "late to bed, late to rise" kind then they will grow up to be just the same. My only grouse is that please don't blame it on the kids for not sleeping well.

We or rather I, might be stretching it too far when it comes to LG's sleep routine. But this is what works for him, me and us.

- he has been in bed by 9:00 p.m. every night from the time he was 2 months old, usually dozing off between 9:15 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. He associates the yellow light with sleep time. I can just recollect one day - the day after Diwali when he wasn't asleep even by 11:00 p.m.

- between 5 months and 9 months he slept once in every 2 hours, the duration of the naps varied depending on the time of the day. He had 3 to 4 such naps during the day - the longest being 2 hours and the shortest of 45 mins.

- the interval increased to 2.5 hours between 9 months and a year. The number of naps stayed the same at 3 but the morning nap duration decreased further and the afternoon one prolonged to 2.5 hours.

- it has all changed now that he has crossed the 1 year milestone. The morning naps are slowly going away. Some days he sleeps, some days he doesn't. It has been replaced by one long afternoon nap of 3 hours followed by a short late evening one.

- The time he wakes up in the morning has also changed. From waking up at 6:3 0 a.n. every morning, he now stays in bed until 8:30 a.m.

What we do to help him sleep better:

- First rule, our phones are in discreet mode which means we miss many calls and call back later. I know it's annoying but works for us.

- Loud noises such as washing of utensils, water taps and running the washing machine are generally avoided during this time.

- The volume on TV and music system is pretty much under control.

- Screeching doors are always kept well oiled.

Don't worry we do have a life!

If he sleeps better, then he wakes up happy; plays a lot, eats well and is a happy child. Else he gets cranky.