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Is this a sensory issue?

595 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  lactationlady
My 12mo dd wants to be held all of the time. This is not a recent thing, this is since birth. It has improved slightly, to the point that I can put her in her exersaucer for 10-15min at a time 2-3 times per day. I also spend 15-20min per day on the floor with her, working on her PT/OT "homework". She naps usually twice a day for 30-45min (occasionally it is longer) and wakes crying every time. Other than that, she is in my arms or dh's arms the rest of the day and sleeps right up against me at night. If I put her down (or if she is in her exersaucer too long) she cries hard, not just fusses. When she was younger (until 6-7 months old or so) she would cry hysterically within 2-3 minutes of being put down. My OT thinks it's just the way we parent
: . I wonder if she could be tactile hyposensitive. What do you all think? Anyone else have a child like this?

ETA: She has Kabuki syndrome and children with KS almost always have various sensory processing issues. The only other thing we have seen so far is an aversion to being laid on her back. Once she has been on her back for a minute or so, she is okay, it is just getting into the position that she doesn't like. She closes her eyes, scrunches up her face and locks her legs straight out. Oh, I almost forgot - she hates sudden loud noises, but I know some NT kids do too.

My other two were parented the same way and neither wanted to be held constantly. They were perfectly content to be put down to play several times per day, with the exception of the normal "clingy" periods that all babies go through.
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I'm sure some more knowledgeable mamas will chime in, but your dd sounds exactly like my ds. He's almost 20 months now and still extremely "clingy". No official diagnosis, but I've worked with enough SID/SPD kids over the years to know he fits the mold. Thankfully he's on the mild to medium side of the spectrum which is why so far I've just been working with him on my own and seeing good results. We are just now beginning to seek outside support for specific issues.

However, I would never jump to diagnosis based on just one aspect of behavior. Are there other things that make you think she might have sensory issues?
Yes, my dfs (10 mos old) is exactly like that and has been since birth. He does have SPD and we work with an OT. I think it's the warmth and pressure that is calming for him. A weighted blanket has helped him sleep during the night, but he still wakes often. He can't take a nap unless he's in my arms and when he wakes so startled, I can quickly put my hand on his chest and the warmth and pressure helps he go back to sleep immediately. He can't sit independently at the meal table for longer than 10 min now. The OT thinks that when he's on my lap, the pressure of my hand holding him on it and the warmth of my chest on his back, probably helps, too.

As for the OT thinking it's probably your "parenting style," I'm sorry that was said to you. I definitely have had those comments from family and therapists, too and I agree,
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My DD has SID - she is a sensory seeker. And she has been the same way since birth. She actually forced me to become an AP parent LOL

It is NOT the way you are parenting - that's total hogwash. I'm so grateful now that I "gave in" to my DD and did the AP thing and let her be held, co-sleep, etc as much as she wanted. It has been SO helpful now that she has "entered the system" for treatment. Everyone talks about how loving and secure she is. I shudder to think what damage I might have done if I had forced her to be more "independent". Her teachers are very accomodating of her need for touch!

Count me in DD (now 6) was like that and to some degree, still is, she still spends a LOT of time in my lap. I don't think we were able to put her down at all that first year. I have also had my share of therapists say that it is the way I parent....her neuro says that is bull.
Thanks so much for all of your replies. It is good to know that I am not alone, I am not crazy and I have not spoiled my dd.

This is one of the reasons why I am glad Rebekah came along at this point in my life. I am much more patient and less easily swayed by the opinions of "professionals". There is no substitue for an informed parent and mom-to-mom support.

Now for the questions - some of you mentioned a weighted blanket. Can this be used by a 15lb infant? I am thinking she might really like this. She slept fairly well this winter snuggled next to me with heavy blankets pulled up to her chest. Maybe the reason she is not sleeping so well now is not just teething, but the fact that the heavy blankets are gone now in favor of a light sheet and blanket. Hmmm.....
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Yes, I would try the weighted blanket. Some on this board have recommended the formula of 10% of child's weight plus 1 lb for the blanket to weigh. FWIW, though, when I told our OT about this formula, she never heard of it
:, if you could borrow different weights from your OT before investing in one, that would be good. I hope it works out for you and your dd
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our dd is just like this - even the loud noises thing. she has williams syndromeand it seems universal that for the first year or so there is some form of "colic". i think it is sensory issues. my dd sleeps much better with me rubbing her back or tummy, and i am in the process of making her a light weighted blanket (i think i'm just going to do several layers of cotton knit or other soft/heavy fabric).
I'm not sure about a weighted blanket at that age--I'd consult an OT on that. Given the description though I wonder if swaddling might be even better for her. My seeker of hugs and cuddles and holding loved swaddling. Miracle blankets might work at her age and might be worth a try (she may hate it too...I don't know how it would be to start at 12 months).
I would consult a professional before doing a weighted blanket at that age too, but you might be able to get that weight with just a normal blanket since she is so little. Just use a cotton blanket instead of something that has down or fake down in it. I would think swaddling would be good if they allow it.

If they have a certain "spot" that helps them calm (if you put your hand firmly on ds' chest he calms right down), you might see if you can put tighter clothing around that part of the body. Also, maybe a stuffed animal that is a bit heavier might help.
Thanks mamas. I am going to talk to the OT about it when she comes next week. I tried just putting a heavy weight blanket on her last night but she just woke up mad and sweaty!
I think I better find out more about this before I try anything on my own.
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