So sad....letting her cry... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 12-25-2008, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just don't know what to do with DD anymore. I know that CIO is typically "off-limits" on MDC, but this is a special circumstance I think.

DD has been fighting sleep. Big-time. She gets a pretty heavy dose of seizure meds every night and I used to think that that is why she slept so well and now I'm not so sure. She used to just go right out when I gave her her meds. She gets 8.5 mls of phenobarb, 3 mls of keppra and 25 mg of topamax through her tube at bedtime and somehow she is staying awake! But she is soooo tired I can tell! Her eyes aren't even open, she just lays there and cries. It doesn't help a whole lot if I hold her and as soon as I try to put her down she cries even harder. And if I try to lay down next to her, she buries her head in the pillow and breathes really hard, like she's trying to smother herself or something (I know she's not going to because she's on oxygen and hooked up to a pulse-ox).

But if I just let her cry (it hurts me to even type this out ) she goes to sleep within 10 minutes.

Is this neurological or is she just acting like a 15 month old? My son always nursed to sleep so I have no idea how non-nursing little ones go to sleep.

I'm never out of earshot and I suction her if she starts to sound junky, but then I just have to walk away or she tries to stay awake again.
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#2 of 34 Old 12-25-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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I really don't know. I couldn't read and not you.

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#3 of 34 Old 12-25-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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I dunno, but tonight DS was really fighting sleep even though he was tired. I was tired of him kicking and biting me and screaming bloody murder, so I put him in his crib while I went to collect myself. He fell asleep. Oh, the humility of it all...
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#4 of 34 Old 12-25-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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No advice, but plenty of sympathy. We dealt with the sleep fighting and as we understood better as our child got older how significant the health cost is for him when he doesn't get sleep - it does make it clear to me how much the fighting sleep was costing him. Hope you find some kind of answer soon. That ten minutes is probably way worse for you than it is for her.
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#5 of 34 Old 12-25-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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I don't think that CIO is the same with SN. Sid (who is 4) usually goes to sleep with no problems, but on nights like tonight when he has been really sensorally stimulated (goes with Christmas day), he cries at bed time. It certainly isn't that he wants to be up and doing things--quite the opposite. He's overwhelmed and crying is his way of dealing with it. If I were to go into his room (which I did when he first started sleeping in his own room) while he way crying, I would not be helping the situation. he would only push me away, literally. So he cries for awhile and then goes asleep. It is stressful for me as a parent, but there is little that I can do in the situation. During the day, we do all that we can to prevent a difficult transition to sleep (brushing, listening therapy, etc.), but some days, Sid may cry for 30 minutes before settling down to sleep. Thankfully, this is not the normal for him.

It sounds like you are handling your child's sleeping issues well. Not every AP "protocol" works with SN children.
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#6 of 34 Old 12-25-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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It sounds like her crying is her stress reliever and transition to sleep. You know, sometimes we just need a good cry? It sounds like trying to comfort her may be giving her too much stimulation.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#7 of 34 Old 12-26-2008, 12:07 AM
 
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I would agree with the over stimulation case here. 2 of my 3 kids need to "whine" down to "wind" down at nap time, and sometimes at night as well. Often just being in the room delays their falling asleep, but neither of them makes a distressed cry like they really want us. Just a whiny, "I'm done here" kind of noise. The third talks himself down, but that can take an hour, and he doesn't expect a non stop audience. We just pop in and out at intervals. It works for him.

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#8 of 34 Old 12-26-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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OP~ I can understand your hurt I think all the pp's have had some great advice. The collective thought here is that you're not letting her CIO.....you're giving her space because comforting her seems to be too much for her
I think that's the hard part. You want to comfort her. It seems so natural for our children to go to sleep on or with us. It causes us stress when we can't comfort our children and it sounds like that's what's going on here?

Only you know your child. Go with your gut...but don't feel guilty for 10 minutes of her crying. big

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#9 of 34 Old 12-26-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by fanniefarkle View Post
I don't think that CIO is the same with SN. Sid (who is 4) usually goes to sleep with no problems, but on nights like tonight when he has been really sensorally stimulated
:
Especially my kids with sensory issues, if they are overwhelmed, me trying to help is like restarting a 'clock' that they have in their bodies. They are working through their issues, and then I come in and add MORE in terms of touching or talking or just being there.

It's hard, especially since I've had babies who LOVED to be held and rocked, and I have children who canNOT be touched sometimes. But AP is about meeting your child's needs, not just the principle. s

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#10 of 34 Old 12-26-2008, 11:57 AM
 
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:
AP is about meeting your child's needs, not just the principle. s
SO TRUE!!

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#11 of 34 Old 12-28-2008, 01:31 AM
 
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Please keep in mind, any posts advocating CIO will be removed per the User Agreement:

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Mothering.com is the website of natural family living and advocates natural solutions to parenting challenges. We host discussion of nighttime parenting, loving discipline, natural birth, homebirth, successful breastfeeding, alternative and complementary home remedies, informed consent, and many other topics from a natural point of view. We are not interested, however, in hosting discussions on the merits of crying it out ...
This discussion may take place as long as one is discussing medical problems, medication side-effects, and sensory reasons for kids having trouble falling asleep...and how to parent them at night through these difficult situations.

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Parenting the special needs child comes with many rewards and challenges that are unique to each family. This forum is a place to discuss these issues with like-minded members....

Please join us in supporting parents of special needs children as they work together to deal with everyday issues and parenting while practicing Natural Family Living.
This article in Mothering Magazine *may* have some helpful ideas you haven't tried.

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#12 of 34 Old 12-28-2008, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bandgeek View Post
I just don't know what to do with DD anymore. I know that CIO is typically "off-limits" on MDC, but this is a special circumstance I think.

DD has been fighting sleep. Big-time. She gets a pretty heavy dose of seizure meds every night and I used to think that that is why she slept so well and now I'm not so sure. She used to just go right out when I gave her her meds. She gets 8.5 mls of phenobarb, 3 mls of keppra and 25 mg of topamax through her tube at bedtime and somehow she is staying awake! But she is soooo tired I can tell! Her eyes aren't even open, she just lays there and cries. It doesn't help a whole lot if I hold her and as soon as I try to put her down she cries even harder. And if I try to lay down next to her, she buries her head in the pillow and breathes really hard, like she's trying to smother herself or something (I know she's not going to because she's on oxygen and hooked up to a pulse-ox).

But if I just let her cry (it hurts me to even type this out ) she goes to sleep within 10 minutes.

Is this neurological or is she just acting like a 15 month old? My son always nursed to sleep so I have no idea how non-nursing little ones go to sleep.

I'm never out of earshot and I suction her if she starts to sound junky, but then I just have to walk away or she tries to stay awake again.
What is CIO?
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#13 of 34 Old 12-28-2008, 01:44 AM
 
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What is CIO?
Cry it out. Leaving a child alone to cry themself to sleep.
MDC has a very easy to use FAQ section with all the abbreviations listed.
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=522590
hope that helps!

To the OP-

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#14 of 34 Old 12-28-2008, 03:00 AM
 
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Oh, poor little baby girl!!

It may be the transition for her. My so-far-typical 13 mo old cries if I'm not w/ him at nap time. Dh holds him, but if his usual comfort isn't there (nursing) he cries. He doesn't know what to do w/ himself.

If I AM w/ him and he's overstimulated he won't go to sleep. He'll get up and play or crawl on the bed. I have to pretend to be asleep and even that may not work. lol My big ones were the same way. (Oldest has Asperger's and 2nd has anxiety & SPD.)

So, part of it sounds normal. Part of it sounds SN.

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#15 of 34 Old 12-28-2008, 03:57 AM
 
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Many hugs.

I don't think that is CIO. Sensory kids/SN often calm themselves and deal with transition and frustration differently. Many cry or whine (mine included). There is a big difference between leaving a child in hysterics and just letting them cry and letting a child cry who uses it as a way to self calm and transition. Some kids need to be allowed to cry because its what helps them reset and focus. Crying can be as much of a self-calming-stim as rocking or tapping. I just think you need to know your child and what works for them and which it is. IMO, there is a HUGE difference.

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#16 of 34 Old 12-28-2008, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update:

It does seem to be sensory related. I hadn't really thought about that. But the couple of days she cried like that we had had a busy day with a lot going on, lots of noise, ect. Then we had a really calm day, no TV or music, no car rides, bedtime went smoothly and there was NO crying.

Also, the night I posted this, we had been listening to a concert on DVD and it was turned up kind of loud (not blaring, just louder than we'd have a sitcom) and she freaked out about 3/4 of the way through it. I knew that was sensory related, but I didn't realize it might affect her several hours later.

Now, obviously I can't just block out life to prevent her crying at night, but at least I can kind of relate if she has a night like that. I have some sensory issues too and while I don't cry to wind down (anymore...I used to as a kid) I know how completely *agitated* I get and how I have to be left alone to work through it. The thing is...she cries *less* if I just leave her alone. It's just SO hard for me to hear her, even though it's not very long.
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#17 of 34 Old 12-28-2008, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bandgeek View Post
Now, obviously I can't just block out life to prevent her crying at night, but at least I can kind of relate if she has a night like that. I have some sensory issues too and while I don't cry to wind down (anymore...I used to as a kid) I know how completely *agitated* I get and how I have to be left alone to work through it. The thing is...she cries *less* if I just leave her alone. It's just SO hard for me to hear her, even though it's not very long.
While you can't block out life, I do think it is worth looking at patterns of what bothers her and ask if it is really necessary or if the difficult kinds of stimulation can be earlier in the day. Obviously she needs life experience but with more awareness of the patterns, it help eliminate some of the evening difficulty. It might also be helpful to think what kind of wind down activities may be comforting for her. A few things that helped our son: use of a white noise machine, swaddling in the sling or blankets - when he got older a weighted blanket, rocking, very quiet saying "ssshhh, ssshh".
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#18 of 34 Old 12-28-2008, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm going to try and make her a weighted blanket once I get the cash for some fabric and filler.

Her oxygen concentrator is her white noise.

I usually try to sing to her or just do the shushing thing. Sometimes that works and sometimes it just pisses her off.
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#19 of 34 Old 12-28-2008, 04:26 PM
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Cry it out. Leaving a child alone to cry themself to sleep.
MDC has a very easy to use FAQ section with all the abbreviations listed.
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=522590
hope that helps!

To the OP-
Thanks I will use that for future refenrence. I noted on some posts I just stopped reading as it had too many abbreviations that it was very confusing.:
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#20 of 34 Old 12-29-2008, 04:35 AM
 
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I know it is sad. You are clearly coming from a place of looking at works best for her overall wellbeing and observing her with love and honesty. That's not CIO, so don't heap any guilt on yourself on that score.

I hope you can find a way to calmer days.
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#21 of 34 Old 12-29-2008, 01:46 PM
 
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Just a . I've had to do some things with Gabe that have been almost 180* from what I philosophically believe. Ideals don't always fit into reality (or maybe it's just that ideals look different in certain realities).

It sounds like you've found a key or two to help the two of you at bedtime .

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#22 of 34 Old 12-29-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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I'm so sorry that you are going through this. My ds1 had really really tough times getting to sleep when he was little. I wish I had known about MDC then!! I thought I was a horrible mom because my touch didn't seem to help him out. What I learned the hard way was that even if I couldn't touch him during those times, I could still make myself available to him in other ways.

He would cry, and I would let him without physically rocking or even touching. But I was in the room so he knew that he wasn't being left alone to CIO. I'd sit in a corner quietly until he was done. Even if I couldn't hold him in my arms, I could let him know that I was loving him and supporting him even in his toughest moments. After he would work it all out, he would often need a snuggle before going to bed. If I left him on his own, I wouldn't have been there to offer him the snuggle when he needed it.

I know that sometimes kids with sensory issues are overstimulated by physical touch. But I think leaving a child completely by themselves crying is CIO. You can stay in the room or even right outside the room with a screaming child who doesn't want to be held or touched so that they know they aren't deserted. It is not easy! I remember those nights so clearly. But being available to meet your child's needs, even if those needs may be to cry to release the stress of the day (heck, I've had quite a few of those lately!), is what being an AP parent is about.

 
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#23 of 34 Old 12-29-2008, 03:57 PM
 
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HUGS, mama! For some kids (NT and SN) crying = winding down after a hard/exciting day. If rocking her makes it worse, give her some space.
In a way, I think I'm lucky that Brendon came first. If I'd tried to co sleep and snuggle him all the time he would have HATED it. He LOVES his independence and space. But Hypatia clings ALL THE TIME. I'm JUST starting to be able to put her down for naps! Every kid is different. AP is about recognizing that and following THEIR lead, which it sounds like you're doing.
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#24 of 34 Old 12-29-2008, 04:05 PM
 
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AP is about meeting your child's needs, not doing what you think you're supposed to do- what your child actually needs. CIO is a philosophy that states "OK, the kid's had enough attention for the day, time to teach him/her who's boss."

This is NOT what you're doing. What you're doing is taking a good look at the child's actual needs, and seeing that your child needs to cry at night to releive stress and calm down enough to sleep. Attempts to comfort her are over-stimulating. She NEEDS some time to herself at night to wind down in order to get to sleep. You're respecting those needs.

You're also looking at preventing her from being over-stimulated in the first place. You're not ignoring her- you're staying nearby and listening and you can tell the difference between her "I need to vent by myself" cry and her "something's wrong- I want Mommy!" cry.

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#25 of 34 Old 12-29-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimomma View Post
Especially my kids with sensory issues, if they are overwhelmed, me trying to help is like restarting a 'clock' that they have in their bodies.
This is Grace. She doesn't really cry, but she certainly will not be rocked or held and sometimes she just needs to rant for a little while. I go back in several times to let her know I can still hear her/am still listening to her. I put her several (mandated by her) layers of blankets on her (Mama, head! Blanket Head!), and then I have to leave the room. And I can't keep coming back because she will, like Multimomma said, "restart" and totally wake up.

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I usually try to sing to her or just do the shushing thing. Sometimes that works and sometimes it just pisses her off.
Yep, here too!

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AP is about meeting your child's needs, not doing what you think you're supposed to do- what your child actually needs. CIO is a philosophy that states "OK, the kid's had enough attention for the day, time to teach him/her who's boss."

This is NOT what you're doing. What you're doing is taking a good look at the child's actual needs, and seeing that your child needs to cry at night to relieve stress and calm down enough to sleep. Attempts to comfort her are over-stimulating. She NEEDS some time to herself at night to wind down in order to get to sleep. You're respecting those needs.

You're also looking at preventing her from being over-stimulated in the first place. You're not ignoring her- you're staying nearby and listening and you can tell the difference between her "I need to vent by myself" cry and her "something's wrong- I want Mommy!" cry.
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#26 of 34 Old 12-29-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
AP is about meeting your child's needs, not doing what you think you're supposed to do- what your child actually needs. CIO is a philosophy that states "OK, the kid's had enough attention for the day, time to teach him/her who's boss."

This is NOT what you're doing. What you're doing is taking a good look at the child's actual needs, and seeing that your child needs to cry at night to releive stress and calm down enough to sleep. Attempts to comfort her are over-stimulating. She NEEDS some time to herself at night to wind down in order to get to sleep. You're respecting those needs.

You're also looking at preventing her from being over-stimulated in the first place. You're not ignoring her- you're staying nearby and listening and you can tell the difference between her "I need to vent by myself" cry and her "something's wrong- I want Mommy!" cry.
YUP!!!
i do think that with SN children there are special issues that you face. No matter how hard it is to do, and no matter what you once thought your parenting technique is, you as a mother know what is best for you child. AP parenting is about listening to your childs individual needs, and doing what you know is best for them. I totally don't agree with CIO, i think its cruel and wrong, but i will say that for children that have high sensory issues, you have to weigh if its healthier for the child to cry for 3 hours for 5+ years or to cry for 10 minutes for 3 days.....its a very hard decision that i wouldn't wish on ANY mother.


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#27 of 34 Old 12-30-2008, 01:50 AM
 
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If she cries less when you leave, it's NOT CIO. It's meeting her needs- totally different thing. Yes, she's crying either way, but the process is different. People cry for different reasons, sadness, happiness, stress reliever, etc. If you being with her makes her cry more and longer, that's more like CIO than leaving her alone for 10 minutes, IMO.

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#28 of 34 Old 12-30-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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We're there with you. We have been finding that we have to lay Juju down too. He won't be parented to sleep at the stage he's in right now. The seizure meds don't seem to help us either. Wish I had a better idea, but that's what we have to do.
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#29 of 34 Old 12-30-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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I'm glad to read this thread, because we sometimes have to do this in our house, and I've always been afraid to talk about it for fear of being judged. It's NOT cio, sometimes it's a sanity break for mom that turns into child crying himself to sleep (and that sanity break is very VERY necessary when dealing with extreme behaviors, as many of you know) but usually it's an overstimulated overtired child who needs darkness and quiet in order to calm down, and anyone being within eye sight will just prolong the agony.

Sometimes, with Ian, I will leave him to cry when all else has failed, but as soon as I hear him settling down, I'll go in and hold him until he falls asleep because I don't want him to go to sleep along after a huge fit like that. It breaks my heart! I've learned which fits "allow" for me to re-enter his space when he's calmed, and which ones will get worse if I try to re-enter his space. Trial and error, and a lot of tears (on both our parts!) was all that worked for us.

Connor isn't nearly as difficult with sensory and stimulation stuff as Ian, but even he sometimes gets to the point where he just needs to be left alone to wind down. Poor kid!! I always feel terrible because I think that there must have been something I could have done during the day to avoid the over stimulation, but sometimes there isn't anything that could change it, it just is.

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
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#30 of 34 Old 12-30-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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I wish I knew about this place when I first got my step son. He was almost always on sensory overload and it broke my heart to not be able to do with him what I did my own two kids. My boys I could rock to sleep or just lay them next to me and they were out instantly (or just about), my SS however, would get more and more aggitated no matter who was around him. it wasn't personal (him not wanting me) but he didn't want anyone. I finally just sat at his door (inside) and cried along with him. But he would fall asleep that way, but if I talked to him or acknowledged him, he would have a fit and get agressive. I felt like a failure, at the time.

Now I know it was just HIM and not me. Each kid is so different and the most important part of life and parenting is finding and following the needs of that particular kid. No child is the same and if they were, we all would have a manual by now on how to do it. That doesn't exist. Just trust your gut.
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