So tonight I am attempting something new in an effort to “reclaim our bed” from our toddler. Although I do love and encourage co-sleeping, he is now 28 months, and after many discussions with my concerned husband we have decided it’s best to get him used to sleeping in his own room. I know it won’t be easy! He was actually sleeping in his crib before we moved, though not for longer than 3-4 hours. He still doesn’t usually sleep for longer than 3-4 hour stretches and can’t fall back asleep without help be it nursing (typically) or rubbing, patting, etc. We’ve been told this is fairly common with children with Sensory Processing Disorder and Occupational Therapy will probably help, though they do still want to do a sleep study as well.
So how’s it going? Well, it started out GREAT! He always knows when it’s bed time because we have a bed time routine. The problem has been he doesn’t stay in his room after. We’ve gotten well-meaning comments like just “making” him stay there, but I’m not quite sure they understand how intense that is for a child with SPD. It’s kind of like saying let’s close you in a room filled with something you fear – snakes, spiders, etc. You aren’t going to eventually submit and calm down – you’re going to continue to have a racing heart, panic, etc. You can’t just tell your body to relax and go to sleep when your senses are in overload. Well, that’s how he feels every time. Horrible, huh? Imagine how I felt when I learned this after doing my research about his sleeping issues knowing I DID try this approach! It was awful, and I felt even worse after learning what I put him through! 🙁
So, I now have a blow up mattress in his room, so I can nurse him comfortably in his room (I tried laying in his toddler bed before and that is definitely NOT comfortable!) and stay with him until he is asleep. I’ll bring him back in here when he wakes up each time. I may not get sleep myself for a while, but I’m not getting much now as it is! Haha He started off falling asleep right away, and I was SO excited! It was short lived, though. Now at 11pm? Here he is:
*Sigh* He’s tried to leave a couple of times, but since I am in here that is one thing I won’t give in to. Tonight is going more like I expected in the beginning, but I know if I stick with it plus with Occupational Therapy (hopefully) starting soon it will get better! For now, I’m thankful for my iPad and this cool app to post to my blog! 🙂