My son is 22 months old. I finally got him sleeping in his own room in his own bed when he was 18 months old. I night weaned him at the same time- he was a constant nurser and is a very active sleeper- I was getting no sleep when he was in my bed. Anyways... he slept very well in his own bed in his own room for about a month, but then started teething all four molars and all four eye teeth, followed by a two month long sinus infection, so he pretty much no longer sleeps anymore. Ever. His 2 1/2 hour daytime nap is barely an hour now and at night, he sleeps no more than an hour at a time. He's begun violent tantrums during the night, where he seems awake, but is hitting, kicking, etc, so I'm not sure just how awake he is- it may be night terrors. He sleeps a little better in my bed- only waking up three or four times a night, instead of 7 or 8 times a night- but neither of us are getting any real sleep. I don't really want him in my bed- like I said, he's a violent sleeper and I'm likely to get kicked in the face while sleeping- but whether he's in his own bed in his own room or in my bed in my room, the fact of the matter is, it's like he no longer knows how to stay asleep, like he can't get past whatever sleep stage happens after an hour of sleep. He has a toddler bed in my bedroom, but won't even sit in it. He has screaming/crying fits in the middle of the night if I'm not laying next to him to immediately shush him, "Shhh... you're okay, Mama's here..." that last 40 minutes or so. My other son has Asperger's and two of my sister's four kids have sensory processing disorder's and in other areas, I'm starting to suspect my little one is a bit "off", which may be contributing to his sleep issues, so I'm cross-posting in special needs parenting. But in the meantime... my son has forgotten how to sleep and I've adapted to getting four hours or less a night to sleep at night. Help? Please?
Hi there and hugs to you.
I have a 28 mo old who is a little bit "on the spectrum", his asd is very, very mild and not presenting enough for any kind of firm diagnosis. He has some sensory issues and exhibits some spectrumy behaviours.
And he has ALWAYS been a terrible sleeper.
Our journey from full-time cosleeping and constant night nursing to night weaning and having him sleep in his bed in his room has been a long and very (VERY) slow but steady one. I think the steps that may have taken other kids a few weeks have taken my son months. One step forward, 5 steps back kind of thing.
A while ago (this fall) we went through a horrible period of violent tantrums at night, I don't know if they were night terrors or what. But ds was impossible to calm down and it was a good month or so of just awful nights. It sounds really similar to your description. I don't know what was causing it or what made it stop all of a sudden, but it did.
I guess my advice to you is just to hang in there and try to ride it out gently with your son. It's so hard not knowing what is setting them off especially when you think they may have other issues going on.
One thing that helped my ds sleep (and it has been documented to work well on some kids with asd) is magnesium supplements before bed. It seemed to help ds become a bit calmer during the night. We didn't continue with it because it seemed to be affecting his BMs. But it's worth a try. Also, many MANY parents of kids with asds recommend melatonin supplements- we tried it and it didn't really work for us. But so many parents say it has saved their sanity! If your son is indeed on the spectrum there are lots of things that could be affecting his sleep, sensory issues etc. Have you tried a gluten-free, casien-free, soy-diet? This has been a miracle for us in so many ways and almost certainly had a positive impact on my son's sleep.
The special needs forum have a number of wonderful and wise moms that may have some good advice for you! Good luck and hang in there.
Me 32, loving him 33, more each day. Rad boy, 7/12/10 & Cool gal 4/28/13
I'm a biracial, atheist, humanist, pacifist, anarchist, bibliophile, and educator.