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Prenatal drug exposure and sleep disturbances

(19 Posts)
Cassie9 Tue 13-Mar-18 05:55:39

FtA baby was exposed to various drugs in vitro. At first I thought his sleep pattern was typical for a baby but now I'm beginning to think there is more to this. He'll go ten hours with no naps. Sometimes he's up half the night. He fights sleep despite being tired. Does anyone have any advise? I'm exhausted and starting to struggle.

JustHappy3 Tue 13-Mar-18 13:06:22

So i'm wincing thinking how sleep deprived you are right now. flowers
I don't know the ins and outs of the drug effects side of things. Hopefully someone will be along. But if not get referred now. It sounds extreme. Go to gp and demand it.
But asthat will take an age - focus on you. How are you going to get some sleep? To recharge before you start looking at things like sleep hygiene etc. If you have a partner can they take a day off work - it's that important.

thomassmuggit Tue 13-Mar-18 22:50:26

Which drugs? It's difficult to get answers, because there cannot be any RCTs on illicit drug use in pregnancy, for obvious reasons, and even case-control studies are difficult, because often these children aren't in ideal circumstances! The BUMPS website has common drugs, and a round up of studies.

In terms of practical help- how old is baby? Do you have a sling, so even if baby isn't napping, you can do things? Do you have a partner to share the nightshift? You must get some rest yourself! Is baby distressed, or just not a sleeper?

Cassie9 Wed 14-Mar-18 20:05:44

Thank you. My mum looked after the kids while I got some rest. Amazing how much abit of sleep can make you think more clearly. Cocaine, methodone, cannabis, anmetamine, sleeping tablets.
Nine months old. Not distressed when initially wakes but does become distressed if doesn't get attention and gets bored in cot. Hasn't liked going in the sling for a few months since he became mobile. Sharing night shift with husband rarely works because he is partially deaf. I'll have a look at Bumps thank you.

thomassmuggit Wed 14-Mar-18 21:13:44

That is quite a cocktail.

So, when he wakes, he shouts to get your attention? Why would he be able to get bored in his cot? When would he be in his cot awake?

So, does he need the naps? Is he actually tired? Is he distressed that he can't sleep?

Is there a vibrating, noise sensitive, alarm your dh could use? A hearing impaired mum would be expected to sort something, not opt out! Ensure he does his fair share, he can do time in the day when you have a nap if needed.

fasparent Wed 14-Mar-18 22:12:51

Would look into sensory issues , perhaps get a refer to OT, if this is the problem there are ways of managing and interventions,
Some sensory issues that effect sleep , are light , sound, smell, fabrics,
mobiles , labels on clothing, all these and more are common in such children, though will grow out of eventually.

Cassie9 Wed 14-Mar-18 22:20:11

When he wakes in the night he'll chatter a little while. His cot is bare as that's advised to reduce the risk of SIDS. He does have a mobile that plays music and projects on ceiling but he soon gets bored then starts to cry. As soon as I pick him up he'll stop crying. After a few minutes he then wants to be down on the floor to play. The usual time that happens is between 1-3am. At his age usually two naps during the day would be typical. Yes he is tired and gets irritable and distressed during the day when he has been awake long periods of time. I'm worried he really isn't getting enough sleep. I think your right I need to talk to oh about doing more to help. HV is sorting out a referral to a team that deal with sleep.

Cassie9 Wed 14-Mar-18 22:26:01

Fasparent do you think I should stop using his mobile? Could it be hindering sleep rather than helping? It's reassuring that you say he could grow out if it! He's made amazing progress it's really just sleep that concerns me right now

thomassmuggit Wed 14-Mar-18 22:54:25

I don't understand why being bored in a cot, and wanting to be picked up is a problem? Lots and lots of babies don't like sleeping alone.

Babies don't read the books, and don't know they're supposed to have 1-3 naps. Will he sleep in the pram for a nap? Or being rocked? Or in the car? It sounds like this isn't first baby, but plenty of babies don't go nicely in their cot to sleep, sleep through, and then wake up happy in their cot and just wait for you to go through. Obviously you and the HV both feel this is outside the normal spectrum, though?

thomassmuggit Wed 14-Mar-18 22:58:11

Obviously, the drugs may have an impact, but that's not going to influence the management much at this age. At the risk of sounding 'all kids do that', I do recognise you and the HV feel this is outside normal spectrum, have you read the sleep board on here? You'll find many, many babies who wake in the night age 9 months!

bostonkremekrazy Wed 14-Mar-18 23:06:34

Just to make you feel better - my birth child stopped napping in the day around 9 months unless I bfed for up to an hour lying together on my bed....I was lucky if DC stayed asleep for 30 mins!
DC woke several times in the night - about every 2-3 hours.....and would only settle back to sleep if bfed. This continued until I weaned age 2.5 years. At this point the GP referred to a pediatrician.
DC was under the care of the pediatrician til starting school age 4.9 this september.
Still not sleeping all night - wakes around 3 or 4am - comes into my bed, if wakes me I put back to bed, if sneaks in quietly i don't wake up.
Basically - sometimes some children simply don't sleep sad the paeds could find nothing wrong....'bad genetics'....my husband is terrible too!

On the other hand my FAS babies over sleep terribly - 12+ hours a night - and 2hour naps in the afternoon.

Can you put some toys to the side of the cot - the plastic ones that attach on the side? that way he'll have something to keep him amused when he wakes. Do you let him play in the cot in the daytime? or do you keep it for sleep only?
I tried to let DC know that the cot was a nice place to be....I do let my babies have a few small snugglers inside the cot with them after 6 months, the SIDs risk drops then (plus mine were all on coni monitors etc)
Sometimes when i was desperate a walk in the pram was all i could do to keep sane in the afternoon when DC needed to sleep, and I needed a mental break!
I hope it improves for you....

Cassie9 Thu 15-Mar-18 02:13:24

Perhaps your right thomassmuggit and I'm wrong to assume it's the drugs and all babies are different. I couldn't agree more babies rarely are textbook and I don't expect babies to sleep through. My three year old still wakes in the night some nights. But the amount of sleep he has does concern me. When he wakes between 1to 3am that's him up to start the day. He then won't nap until early afternoon where he'll sometimes only have twenty minutes. That's six and a half to eight and a half hours a day when babies his age on average have 14 hours. Taking him out in the pushchair is usually how I manage to get him his afternoon nap. I'll check out the sleep board thanks.
Bostonkremekrazy the fact you survived the sleep deprivation gives me hope. Sometimes I do sit him in his cot with a toy while I nip to the loo. Perhaps I should keep it just for sleep. Think ill try getting him a snuggler too. Thanks.

JustHappy3 Thu 15-Mar-18 12:23:51

I'm glad you got chance to recharge a little. It's awful when you're so tired.
Was there any alcohol as well as the drugs - because fas kids don't always sleep well either.
My own advice would be to focus on getting him back to sleep in that drowsy, first waking up window. Which would mean cosying up in bed with you. I do this - it's truly knackering in some ways but i'm better at doing that than playing in the middle of the night.

bostonkremekrazy Thu 15-Mar-18 12:31:35

Cassie I encouraged mine to sit and play in the cot in the day while I was pottering upstairs. The paediatrician said it may encourage DC to feel safe in the cot knowing mummy was nearby. She said fold clothes on the landing while baby could see me but be in the cot etc..
I tried everything they suggested, DC was happy to be in the cot inself, just didnt sleep in the thing!
But yes i survived with no sleep - still do some days...you will get through it...but it is hideous while it lasts 💐

Onceuponatimethen Thu 15-Mar-18 20:14:11

I don’t have adc but did have a birth dc who struggled with sleep as a baby.

I eventually decided dc was overtired and strung out so every few hours I took out in buggy until slept, which was often not more than 35 minutes at this age. Think was sleeping 2-3 tines per day and this age. I realised I was putting to bed earlier than needed and so I moved bedtime back to closer to 9 pm. Baby woke up several times in night 2-3 times but would go back to sleep after If rocked in sling. Then was awake from around 5 am.

This dc now at junior school and still doesn’t need as much sleep as usual for his age.

torenovateornot Sat 17-Mar-18 13:08:49

OP I think it is fine to progress things via HV as well as trying new things at home, so do both. A few ideas though you may already have thought of them:
- you need more sleep so can you sleep when your dc sleeps? It would mean you would get around 6 hours at least. This is how many mothers cope with newborns and though your dc is older maybe desperate measure for desperate times! If you are not getting enough sleep your dc might be picking up on your panic which then makes it harder for them to relax and sleep
- another idea for getting your dc happy in the cot is to read to your dc with the side of the cot down, so you are right next to them, and they can play with cuddly toys at the same time, maybe after bedtime just before sleep, both the reading and the sound of your voice might sooth your dc and make the cot and sleep and rest and bedtime all good things
- the drugs in vitro may have had an effect but remember that at 9 months your baby's brain is in very, very early stages of development and that the stimulation and soothing your baby gets from now will help wire it up in a positive way. It is definitely worth reading up about neuro development in years 1 - 3 if you haven't already. I really think there should be a government pamphlet on the subject given to all parents!
- along the theme of the above, google activities to do with 9 months babies to get lots and lots of ideas to stimulate and tire your baby out while awake (and again, easier for you to do if have had enough sleep!)
- lastly think about diet, if you are using baby foods maybe try cooking yourself and liquidising, and make sure your baby is full enough

Good luck!

torenovateornot Sat 17-Mar-18 13:10:53

And that should have been "affect" not "effect"!

fasparent Sat 17-Mar-18 15:30:01

Sorry late replying, things i mentioned have too try at this age its finding out what works. have experienced many baby's from birth with such problems most should disappear with time, lots will depend on level of
exposure of drug's.
Some may have a high pitched cry (like a seagull) can impair the vocal chords, could speak with a slight squeaky voice not too bad for girls.,
only will effect a very few children.

Cassie9 Sun 18-Mar-18 07:47:15

Thank you. Looks like I have a few things to try and some reading to do

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