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Discussion Starter #1
<p>Most days I am just resigned to things the way they are, and I try to practice loving acceptance and accommodation. But some days I wonder if there's just one more idea out there that I should try in the hopes of having any sort of "normal" sleep routine. For the most part we are adjusted to DD's sleep pattern and have figured out how to make it work in our family - it's not the greatest, but we're surviving. Here's the deal:</p>
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<p>DD is now 3.5 years old. She had a brain tumor at age 6 mos - it was an aggressive form of cancer and she received very aggressive treatment, including surgery, high dose chemo and radiation. Along with oodles of other drugs and procedures. As a baby.</p>
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<p>She has many special needs as a result; the chief one being a severe language/communication disorder. She has developmental delays, possibly cognitive delays or disabilities, eating issues, a hx of seizures, and who knows what other neurological consequences from all that mucking about in her brain. She hasn't been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, but she has many similarities.</p>
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<p>She has always been a night owl. If left to her own devices, her natural inclination/rhythm seems to be: go to sleep between 11 pm - midnight. Usually sleep through the night (though not always). Wake around 8 am. At daycare, she will nap from about 1 - 3 pm. (She resists nap at home.) There are variations in which she wakes in the middle of the night for a while, or skips naps and tries to take a nap at 5 pm, or doesn't nap at all and still soldiers through until midnight, or goes to bed late and wakes up early at 6 am. </p>
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<p>I have not figured out a way to get her to go to sleep before she's ready. Once she's asleep, she sleeps very heavily. She will not wake up until she's ready. (No amount of prodding, picking her up, changing her clothes, etc. will wake her. She will persistently sleep.)</p>
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<p>An 11 pm or midnight bedtime isn't so awful except DH and I both work full time out of the home, so it's wrecking our job performance. </p>
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<p>We've had spotty success with melatonin. Some days it works and she goes to sleep earlier (around 10-ish) and sleeps all night. Other nights it makes her vomit, or she goes to sleep but wakes up ready to rock 'n roll at 3 am. </p>
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<p>I have tried doing a bedtime routine with her. She will cozy down into bed, get all sleepy and snuggly... and then suddenly perk up, climb out of bed, turn on the lights, and play and play and play. I have tried re-directing her back to bed, over and over and over and over and over again, but I reach a point of total frustration way before she gives in. She's extremely persistent and hard to re-direct. Babysitters, therapists, many people have noticed this. She does what she wants and ONLY what she wants. (Yeah, we're in trouble, I know.) She seems like she gets to a point where she wants me out of her hair; she gets restless and edgy if I stay in the bedroom with her for too long.</p>
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<p>What we do now is put her into her bed around 10:30 pm, say goodnight, give some snuggles, maybe read a book, and then close the door to her room. She will get up and play until she's ready to sleep. When she's ready to sleep, she'll climb into bed and go to sleep. I don't go to sleep until I know she's asleep because she does a fair amount of climbing and I want to listen out to make sure she's safe. Also, sometimes she poops late at night and I don't want her to fall asleep with a poopy diaper. </p>
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<p>Any other ideas? Or should I just resign myself once and for all to "this is the way things are..."</p>
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<p>It's 11:31 pm and she's laughing in her bedroom... </p>
 

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<p>I have no ideas except to say that you're in a challenging situation! Wow. My DD is completely different in the sleep regard so I can't advise based on my own experience - which I'm still struggling with.</p>
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<p>But</p>
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<p>Maybe you and DH can take it in turns - week on and week off - to be the one who stays up waiting for her sleep cue before retiring. That way at least one of you is getting rested for your work day the next day.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<p>So many reads and only one reply? (Thanks, beachcomber). </p>
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<p>I'll take it as a sign to pursue "loving acceptance of things as they are."</p>
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<p>:) </p>
 

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<p>Ok, here's my idea.  It will take a while, but should work...I think.</p>
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<p>Start by keeping her up until let's say 11:30 or 11:45. At that point do your routine, weather it is snuggling with a book or singing a song or having her cuddle a blanket,whatever.   At that point the idea is that she is ready to sleep, and you are associating that feeling with the routine. Do this for a week or two, without trying to make it any earlier. This will backfire if you do it when she isn't sleepy yet. </p>
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<p>After at least a week of her falling asleep within a few minutes of doing the routine you will be ready to move to the next step. All you will do is move her bedtime up by 15 minutes, no more than that. Keep the routine the same. At this point she is used to associating the routine with falling asleep right away so you should be able to do this. If you have problems then back it up a bit.  </p>
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<p>I would say keep moving the bedtime earlier by say 10 minutes every week until she is where you can all handle it better.</p>
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<p>Good luck!</p>
 

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<p>Have you tried time release melatonin?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<p>thanks ktgrok, that is a new idea that i haven't tried.</p>
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<p>emmeline II - i've been nervous to try time-release melatonin because sometimes regular melatonin makes her vomit. do you think time-release might be different?</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>isisreturning</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284459/dd-s-wacky-sleep-pattern-accept-it-or-keep-trying-to-change-it#post_16120576"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>thanks ktgrok, that is a new idea that i haven't tried.</p>
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<p>emmeline II - i've been nervous to try time-release melatonin because sometimes regular melatonin makes her vomit. do you think time-release might be different?</p>
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I don't have an answer for that; perhaps your pharmacist could help. It may be the "all at once" drug that makes her ill and the time release would not, or it may be the melatonin itself that she is sensitive to.</p>
 

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<p>Sorry I'm a little late to the thread--I haven't been on in a little while.  I don't have any great advice, but just want to let you know you're not alone.  My DD is 2 yrs old (T21) and we have been struggling with her sleep since she had her heart repair at 4 months.  It sounds like she's on the same sleep schedule as your DD.  She doesn't go to sleep until late if left on her own, and usually she will wake at 3am like clockwork.  I started giving her melatonin, which has helped with the falling asleep, but only partially with the night waking.    I haven't tried the timed-release, because I don't think she would swallow a tablet (I assume it can't be crushed).  She does the same thing with naps that your DD does, as well.  Unfortunately when she is not sleeping, she doesn't amuse herself in her crib, and will just cry until someone comes to get her.  I feel your pain.  <span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></span></p>
 

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<p>Ask for a sleep study.  Also, have her iron levels checked.  I have two kids with sleep issues, one is Sleep Apnea and the other is RLS/low serum iron levels.</p>
 
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