Mod note: I put this here instead of night time parenting because it is really a SID issue more than a sleep issue and I know I will get more help here. Thanks!
Dd is 20 months old and has SID, we have a lot of trouble winding her down for bedtime. Even if she is tired she has to bang her head on the wall, flop all over the place, she likes to head butt me too
: and play for at least an hour before she falls asleep. If I put her to bed an hour before bedtime sometime she does it even longer because she isn't tired yet. We just started brushing and it isn't helping much because she doesn't really like it, she only tolerates it on the bottoms of her feet.
I would try a weighted blanket except she hates blankets, she has never slept with one except as a newborn when she was swaddled. Anyone have a SID kid that hated blankets actually sleep with a weighted one?
Yep, Brandon hates regular blankets...but if he's sleeping with no clothes on and a weighted blanket, he's a happy camper. I think he doesn't like the "light" feeling of a blanket touching him, but a 4 lb blanket helps him wind down and get sleep!
. She *loves* to swing so maybe I will try that before bed. If that or epsom salts don't help I will make or buy a weighted blanket, the worst that can happen is it doesn't work and the best is it will
Before trying the weighted blanket, you might want to try something that creates soothing pressure, like spandex shorts or leotard. The pressure can be very organizing. Elliott often needs a bit of rough housing/heavy work to help him calm enough to sleep. Doing a 'carwash' or family 'sandwich' helps him calm down enough to sleep. In addition, we keep to a pretty regular routine. He changes for bed right after dinner--the act of changing and selecting pajamas just revvs him up, so we get it out of the way early. After pjs and an evening activity (this is where we throw in heavy work or a roughhousing game if needed) , we take supplements (including melatonin), brush teeth, wash with a warm washcloth--nice firm strokes, he LOVES this as it is very relaxing, and then we read for at least 20 minutes and then cuddle a bit with the lights off--no more than 5 minutes, he really does need the alone time to calm sufficiently. Elliott goes to bed under a weighted blanket (and no, he doesn't like regular blankets either) with a white noise machine and a cd on, he also has a 'disco' light on all night--it's a rotating black globe with little colored windows so that little spots of color float around the room--we got it at Target--sometimes he prefers his lava lamp instead, but only if his sense of smell is hyporeactive rather than hyper (it does change for him). If his sense of smell is really heightened, the lava lamp is too bothersome. All of this really helps with sleep, although to be honest, he still (at 6.5 ) wakes 3ish nights a week, in the wee hours and needs help to resettle. Arrgh--who knew I'd deal with interrupted sleep for SOOOOOO long? All of these little tips though have definitely decreased the likelihood that I'll hear 'MOMMY' at 2:30 in the morning.
I also recommend the rough-housing and sensory activities before bed. I haven't tried it because a) I'm a teacher, not a parent, and only do babysitting occasionally for my students, and b) my student usually has no problem going to sleep after a little while vocalizing to himself.
However, I do those sorts of things when we're working together at his home and he's unable to calm down enough to focus on the tasks at hand. We'll jump together, I'll swing him like doing the Lindyhop, where he hands from my hands or arms and sways himself back and forth with feet on the floor, I'll spin him around as fast as I can, etc. After we do this for a few minutes, we sit down at the table to work. That way it's out of his system and he feels more together and can focus.
We have a routine we do every night with my ds, and it involves lots of sensory input in the form of joint compressions and lots of gross motor movement. He likes to climb the stairs, and that's really good sensory imput, so we have him climb the stairs every night as part of his going to bed routine. Once he's upstairs, we let him run around up there for about an hour, and about the last 15 minutes, we read lots of books. Then it's bath followed by dim lights and jammies and a massage. Then we nurse/rock to sleep with a classical music cd. We also do epsom salt baths every 2-3 nights or so.
Now, what is this melatonin spray? I didn't know such an animal existed...link me, please!
Haley (2.5) has trouble sleeping, too. It's gotten much worse lately and is driving me batty. We tried the melatonin pills but she won't tolerate them in her mouth. Spray????? Please do share details.
And thanks to all of you for this discussion. I'm going to try a few new things tonight. I've been letting her jump on her bed, climb the stairs and roughhouse. Then we have a nightime routine (story, singing, prayers) and she sleeps with a weighted blanket. Tonight we're going to try bouncing and swinging as well. We'll see...
Thank you all for the help!! Lights and music don't work, they rev her up more. I will do more sensory things during the day (we just got a sandbox so that should help some) and make sure she gets her tumbles out as part of her bedtime routine so when she is in bed then she will want to settle some instead of doing it all in bed. I would love to try just pressure like spandex but so far she only tolerates cotton and soft clothing, and it has to fit just *so* not too loose and not too tight, that is so hard! She has a fit if she has loose sleeves or pants, but gets upset if it's too tight also.
I really do appreciate all the ideas, it gives me a few things to try.