Pulleys and infant insomnia

I’m working on two books at the moment: Kurinji, a young-adult novel set at a boarding school in the mountains of South India; and Sari Swinging: One Mom Opts out of the American Work-Family Grind, a parenting memoir about raising my son for the first two years of his life in India


The New York Times will soon be publishing an essay excerpted from the memoir. It’s about a sleep machine my husband, Tim, and I rigged up for our son, Liam, back when he was an infant in India. For the first three months of his life, Liam had colic and the only way we could get him to sleep was on one of our chests with an adult thumb plugging his mouth. When the colicky crying finally ended, we should have sleep trained Liam, but instead we dug ourselves into progressively deeper holes, eventually building Liam a sleep machine out of pulleys, an ax handle, an old sari, and a spring.

Apologies for the poor video quality–it was 2010 and we were poor graduate students with a cheap camera. Regardless the video will give you a sense of what we were up to: no good, at least on the firm parenting front, though, boy, did we ever look smug. I’ll share the essay when it publishes.

About katiequirkauthor

This entry was posted in Sari Swinging and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Pulleys and infant insomnia

  1. A great story Katie. I have a son named Liam who also suffered acutely from insomnia in the first few years of his life, it drove me to great measures to relieve this condition. With my Midwifery background, I am now a Baby Sleep Specialist in Perth, Australia and assisting thousands of parents who suffer just like us. I think it would have just been easier to name him Connor. Thanks for your story, it is good to reflect and keep a sense of humour about such a difficult time. My Liam is about to turn 21 and still a fresh memory for me!

Leave a Reply to katiequirkauthor Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s