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Issues sleeping!

(14 Posts)
Claifairy Tue 01-Jan-13 21:46:45


I have asked for advice before on this topic which was great but we have now reached a new level of not sleeping!

Our little man has been with us for nearly 11 months now and attached brilliantly. The social workers were happy but understood we had issues at night and were supportive.

Up to last month our only issues were that I had to be with him till he fell asleep - this could take up to an hour but had got better recently - and that he would wake up crying everynight and need soothing to back to sleep but we thought we had cracked this as we just had to say 'love you night night' and off he went again.

However, now he does go to sleep quickly but wakes up about 1/2 hour later crying for me and won't settle unless I stay with him. He keeps saying 'I like you' and 'I'm scared' and gets into a right state. He can fall asleep quickly again and be snoring but by the time I reach the stairs he is screaming for me again and this is repeated over and over again till I go to bed and have to sleep with him to get any sleep at all! I have been in bed for 1/2 hour so far as just too tired fighting after a late night last night!

I have a feeling it's due to Xmas as he got told last Xmas about us and was being prepared to meet us. He is only 3 so is probably confused by his feelings too.

I suppose I am just looking for ideas of how to break this pattern and give him the additional reassurance that he needs during the night as he shows no signs during the day and is happy to go to Pre-school.

He is presently kissing me and telling me how much he likes me. He also needs to be touching me constantly to resassuee himself I am still there!

I hope this makes sense as on phone and can't see back what I have typed!

Thanks Claifairy

BlackSwan Tue 01-Jan-13 22:35:13

Our nearly 3 year old, who isn't adopted, has recently started complaining about being scared, and wanting me with him at bed time... we even had one night where a bad dream or something 'scary' in his room sent him into an inconsolable screaming fit. He wakes about once a night saying something scares him and wanting to get into my bed.

All of this is to say, perhaps it's just a regular childhood phase, perhaps magnified as he is still settling with you. Have you got him a night light? That could help a bit. Sleeping with soft toys seems to distract ours from his fears a bit too.

Much respect and admiration for you being an adoptive mum btw, you sound like a very caring mum - lucky boy.

Claifairy Tue 01-Jan-13 22:55:45

Thanks Blackswan.

He did have a night light and the landing light on which worked till Nov but now has to have his bedroom light on.

Emotionally, he is slightly delayed and could just be going through the terrible two's as his hearing has amazingly disappeared when you try to ask him to do anything, stop running or come back but can hear chocolate perfectly well!

I suppose I never had the sleepless night bits and am exhausted with all this and lack of sleep! He only went to sleep about 15 mins ago after pleading with him and reassuring him.

I asked him if he was sad about anything and he answered 'Mummy going' and then started talking about his foster carer so it could be a mixture of age and working through all the changed in his short life.

I also think sometimes as an adopter I look into thinks too much instead of thinking of his age so it is great to see non' adopters experience!

Claifairy Tue 01-Jan-13 22:57:42

My little man is the one to admire as he has been through so much in his short life and is such a happy, caring little soul!

Maryz Tue 01-Jan-13 23:16:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Devora Tue 01-Jan-13 23:20:50

My 3 yo dd has been the same for the last few months - refuses to sleep in her own room, has taken up residence in our bed, is scared to be alone (no matter how many nightlights, doors left open etc) and cries whenever she wakes.

I think it's a normal stage for any child - my birth child also became scared of the dark at about this point - but with adoptive child there is always the worry that an unsympathetic response may fuel other insecurities and deeper traumas.

I am trying to sleep train very slowly and gently. I won't now lie on the bed with her (before my own bedtime) and when I go in to comfort her I do so quickly and leave before she is asleep. Next step is to get her to go to sleep on her own. Once she is confident sleeping on her own in our bed, then I will incentivise her staying in her own bed. Maybe I'm a wuss but that feels the only way I can handle it. Friends with birth children think I should just stick her in her own bed and leave her to scream it out, but that feels unacceptable to me.

Claifairy Tue 01-Jan-13 23:40:32

Thank you for your advice. He did come downstairs the other night and put himself to sleep next to me on the sofa going off quicker than ever and for a prolonged period so maybe it is just the touch/reassurance of me he needs at the mo.

I do worry that some of my actions may actually cause more harm than good as not knowing the full extent of his previous experiences with bf I think I over compensate when I see the terror on his face when he can't find me when he wakes up.

I guess I imagined he would be more secure now as this is the longest he has spent in one place in his short life! especially as all other aspects are going so well.

I'll try some different ways over the next few nights to see which works best for him and make sure I have the strong coffee ready for me in the mornings! Thank goodness I am still on leave at the mo so we can work through this!

Italiangreyhound Wed 02-Jan-13 10:51:16

Hi Clarify I've only started to read this I can't recommend it all and it does refer sometimes to children from institutions because it is from USA and quite a few people from USA seem to adopt from overseas.... BUT it does seem to make some sense.

PLEASE only read in the light of all you already know about your little one and in the light of any advice you have received.

If anything is useful, I am glad, if it is not useful or helpful, please ignore.

My little one is no adopted and still comes in our bed aged 8 so I am sadly no expert sad but I do sympathise with you.

Italiangreyhound Wed 02-Jan-13 10:52:08

My little one is not adopted so my issues may be different but I do sympathise.

Moomoomie Wed 02-Jan-13 11:16:58

I agree with Maryz.
With an adopted child a good attachment is the key. If you have that everything else is easier.
I would, and still do, take the pressure out of going to sleep.

FireOverBabylon Wed 02-Jan-13 11:24:09

Claifairy, I've just started a thread in Behaviour / Development, here. Does it sound familiar?

My DS isn't adopted, so this may just be a 3 year old thing, particularly if you thought your DS was settling well.

MissFenella Wed 02-Jan-13 15:05:02

DD2 is similar to this (just 3). This is what works for us.

I have started playing her a Justin Fletcher album.
She loves him and gets comfort from listening to it and knowing Justin is keeping her safe while mummy and Daddy are out of the room.

Now I can pop it on and leave the room. I am usually in the other room on the net though so she understands I am close. After a few songs she is settled again and nodding off.

She also loves having 'technology' being used for her grin one up on big sister I feel wink

Claifairy Wed 02-Jan-13 17:10:14

Liking the idea of some music in the room so will look into that.

I am just going to go with what he needs and try and relax about it all!

Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions

MissFenella Wed 02-Jan-13 20:34:33

Claifairy - I asked for help here too about sleeping and yur plan of just going with what seems best worked for us too! i think once you relax about it, they do too x

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