Monday, August 04, 2008

The First Night

Nihkil learns an important lesson in infant care on his first night home with the baby...

There is so much talk and folklore around a couple’s first night that even young children in India have a fair idea about what ‘Suhaag Raat’ means. But the ‘Suhaag Raat’ concept is quite overhyped. In fact a survey on a new game show, brought out some interesting results – 55% of newly married couples do nothing but crash out on their first night together. So if you are looking for action, it isn’t happening here. For that, you need to wait for the first night you spend with your new born, as a couple. Now that is an occasion which has a heavy dose of action, emotion, conflict, drama, humor and lots or more!

I had heard about this ‘first night’ phenomenon from lots of friends, who had recently become parents. They almost made the infant out to be a sadist, whose only objective in life was to deprive you of sleep. I thought it was quite an exaggeration – after all, how much chaos could a newly born baby really cause? Clearly nothing that could not be tackled by a nice long feeding session. But predictions about baby behavior and their next move are as good as putting your finger on the map and guessing the location of the next big oil reserve!

10: 30 pm

Things are going well for us. We have fed her, cleaned her and rocked her to sleep.

10:45 pm

I am in the loo changing my clothes and have one leg in my Pyjamas, when I hear that dreaded little wail. Before I can finish wearing my clothes, the wail becomes a shrill, high pitched, all out war cry! As I come out of the loo, I find my wife looking mildly irritated.

Pallavi“We just put her to sleep. I don’t know why she is wailing again.”

Me – Knowledgably. “This is her hungry wail. I know it. Feed her.”

Suhana refuses to be fed.

Me“Don’t give me that look Pallavi. Even I am just learning about her. She must be wet. Lets change her Nappy.”

Correct move :-)

11:15 pm

We have changed her Nappy and she has gone to sleep.

00: 05 am

That dreaded wail again

Me“What is it now?”

Pallavi feeds her for 10 minutes, which calms her down, but then she begins wailing again. The nappy is checked, but nothing there.

00:20 am

The wailing has not stopped. So I decide to take her around the house for a walk.
The attempt is successful. She slowly dozes off to sleep. But she is fidgety and does not look completely comfortable.

01: 15 am

The wailing begins. This time, though, she goes for the feed and calms down rapidly.

Another nappy is changed. She slowly begins to doze off.

02: 25 am

I am woken up with a deafening noise. Suhana, is on a high pitch trajectory which has just reached its crescendo.

Pallavi“Tried feeding. No response. She is not wet either. I don’t know what to do”

Me“She may be feeling cold. Put a cap on her head”

Pallavi“The temperature is 29 degrees. You are sweating like a pig. She can’t be feeling cold”

Me – Tentatively. “Er… ummm.. then maybe she is feeling hot”

Pallavi - “Thanks wise guy. Why don’t you hold her for a while.”

03:30 am

I am sitting on the bed holding her. My head hurts with all the wailing. My eyes are barely open. Sheer exhaustion is getting the better of me but this tiny infant is going at it like there is no tomorrow.

04:00 am

Suhana is with Pallavi now. She has been fed again but soon after the feeding, she has stared wailing again. I go to the kitchen to get a glass of water. I come back into the room to find Pallavi, intensely looking at Suhana and blabbering something. Fearing that my wife is losing her sanity, I inch closer to figure out what’s happening.

Pallavi“There is no reason to cry like this Suhana. I have not done anything to you”


Pallavi“This is really unfair. If you have a problem, then you should let us know.”

Suhana – With renewed vigor “Waaaah! Waaaaah! Waaaaaah!”

I try to reason with my wife that the baby really can’t understand what she is saying. But, like most new mothers. Pallavi has come to the conclusion that the baby is wailing, because the mother has screwed up in some way.

04: 30 am

She finally goes off to sleep. Pallavi and I collapse out of sheer exhaustion.

05: 15 am

A tiny wail.

Oh God No! No!

This time I pretend that I can’t hear. Pallavi does the same.

05: 18 am

The wailing suddenly stops. And then…. BUUUUUUURPPPPP!!

It is the loudest, most unladylike burp I have ever heard in my life. I can believe this tiny infant is capable of making such a loud, vulgar noise.

05: 20 am

Suhana falls off to sleep.

Pallavi and I have craters under our eyes, due to sleep deprivation. But we are happy.
The First night is over and we somehow survived, with one very important lesson learnt - Always Burp the baby!

Previous posts with Nikhil's insights into new daddyhood: 1, 2, 3


  1. *Strong* sense of deja vu here.


  2. ha..ha...

    waiting to read more

  3. A lesson well learnt! :D

  4. Simply awesome ... yeah it brings back memories

  5. awesome and hilarious! good to see the sleepless nights has not affected the new dad's sense of humor.

  6. hahahahaha, amazing post! *suhaag raat* indeed :D
    Now when is Nikhil starting a blog of his own? Does he get to read our comments here? Will he reply to them - or will you add him as contributor to your blog?

  7. You live and learn guys! And the baby doesn't come with a product specific instruction manual either:)

  8. Sweet! You are obviously enjoying it thoroughly! :) Can see it in your sense of humor about the whole thing...
    BTW - hing works like magic - well, I had to use it only a couple of times when the wailing was unstoppable - paste of hing with water and rub in circles on the tummy and gentle rubbing of the back - all is calm! :)

  9. Has she started breaking wind yet? Rest assured, that will redefine 'un-ladylike' for you.

  10. brought back memories. and LOL i used to ignore them usually for sometime until the wail wud go full crescendo

  11. Hey all. Thanks on Nikhil's behalf. With a new job and new baby, he doesn't have much time on his hands so no blog in the offing. I will share his writing on my blog because it would be a shame for it to go unread...

  12. Well if babies don't come with manuals they bloody well should. Or the shop should take them back with a full refund.


  13. Hi Ro...have been thoroughly enjoying reading all of Nikhil's experiences. Its wonderful to see some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of parenthood in the light of a new father with an obviously good sense of humour. Congratulations to Nikhil and Pallavi and may they brave all the storms and high seas in good grace! :D

  14. hehe!

    i had almost forgotten the whole burping business!!

    Nikhil and pallavi are defi quick learners!! :D

    brilliant post yet again!



  15. nikhil4:01 pm

    Hi all I am enjoying writing this cos your comments are very encouraging. Have hit a writers block after 8 chapters but more coming soon :)