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Sleep time(8 Posts)
We are just heading into week three of our placement, sleep time for the first ten days or so was absolutely fine, going to sleep just after seven then waking up around 6:45 each morning, the last few nights have been a complete struggle, she is not wanting to go to sleep at all, we have stuck with the same routine as we know how important this is and we do understand how hard and confusing this is for her but does anyone have any tips to help her and to help us help her! Thank you
Is she going to school? That might be making things worse.
I am not an adoptive mother but I have a child with SEN and three kids and I seem to remember at that stage bedtime started to be much more difficult. Routines didn't work in the same way (and this was with biological children who had had a wonderful bedtime routine since 6 months old) My friend who has adopted said all the routines she had found foolproof for a a 1-4 year old went out the window at 4/5, and she found herself co-sleeping in the main part of the night, and sitting in her daughter's room holding her hand till she fell asleep. Routines just didn't do the trick anymore, child needed to feel secure and parental prescence was the only answer. Her daughter sleeps beautifully - they have now gravitated to a similar bedtime at about 8.30 and she sleeps in my friends bed till morning. I am just telling you this in case you make the assumption that bedtimes for most five year olds, adoptive or not are cut and dried, bath story kiss goodnight. It doesn't necessarily work that way. It gets quite complicated at 4. And school day doesn't help.
Will be confused . may be experiencing separation and loss, can be difficult, new night attire bedding, light, sounds, smell will all be unfamiliar., best too introduce new things including clothes toy's gradual. will be more susceptible too change being at this age. Will get better with time, best too keep old familiar things close too her. Hope this helps a little.
Sympathies, there are lots of sleep threads on here for valid reasons! I can only guess, but my guess is that reality is just hitting for her, that this is long-term and that she's not living with her foster carers any more. Grief, fear, worry, loneliness and most likely all of those in a huge intense way that she is too young to handle so the feelings themselves are scary too.
Parental presence is the thing, as PP said. Lie down together if she will let you (that's too intense for some children, my adopted DD found the closeness scary) or lie quietly where she can see you in her room, and just be quietly there. Some people swear by stroking, or stories, or special creams etc but I think that just keeps you busy while the long work of repetition and trust is being built (still worth doing though if it helps you hang onto a scrap of your sanity). You could try having something that smells of you in her bed - I used to wear a big fleece for a few hours before bedtime then take it off and put it in bed with DD so it was soft, warm, and smelled like me. Do a lot of gentle, simple reassuring in phrases she can learn "I am always here" "it's OK to go sleep now, you are safe" and that can be part of your routine - this has the bonus effect that you can use the phrases anywhere and they never run out (unlike special smelling bath bubbles or having a particular pillow case to hand!)
I would try earlier and later bedtimes incase she is overtired / not tired.
Failing that I found that being in the room but directly engaging with DS was the best thing laying next to the cot, sitting on the chair reading a book or playing on my iPad etc.
When DS came to us the only real contact he would tolerate was outing his cream on so we built on that and for about a year I cuddled and rocked him to sleep and putting him down asleep. Last few months that he has started taking himself to bed sometimes once he has had a cuddle.
Hi there I appreciate our age children are very different but in case it's of any use I just wanted to say we've recently had a very similar experience with our adopted baby boy who is 13ms. It may not translate to your girls age but we found the same. The first few days of placement he slept like a dream, dead on schedule from intros with no issues. Then suddenly out of the blue he started screaming and uncontrollably crying at bed time or nap time and it was like he was a different child. He completely resisted sleep and we had some awful nights where he was up for 2 or 3 hours which was previously unusual for him. I'm not sure we're completely our of the woods yet but he has slept through for the last few nights and is now absolutely fine with his naps again (for now!). It was like he was extremely overtired with no need to be and we just didn't understand. With hindsight I believe some of this was grief setting in and the realisation that foster parents were no longer about. It's so frustrating and maddening when it's happening as you feel like you are doing something wrong bit it may be just an emotional reaction she is getting out of her system. We have so far found a few things helped. Even though it can seem pointless and like it's not working from my experience is absolutely advocate sticking to the routine. I was tempted into thinking that we needed to change things but just persevering despite that with same routine seems to have helped him settle. Maybe it's a trust and predictability thing. That said if he really wasn't sleeping we found that not forcing or restricting him to go to sleep say on our laps worked and that usually he would get to a stage where he just had to sleep as was tired. I found that removing stimulating toys that were noisy or hard and could be thrown and dimming lights worked well as a sleep trigger after dinner time so the last hour and a half of his routine were calm. If TV on we've had it very low volume. Getting him dressed for bed became a bit of a struggle so I now try to do this gradually in stages so it doesn't seem I'm restricting him in one bit chunk or that bed time is a big deal. And to help with my own sanity I have a mantra which I repeat to myself which is "1000 sleeps" which is really strange but it's a reminder to myself that by time my maternity leave is over I will have put him to sleep for naps and bed about 1k times and that every time I do it once more that's one more practice and one step closer to things getting easier which I know they will. Sorry this is probably all very random but I guess what I'm saying is stick with routine despite doubts, trust your instincts about whether they are tired (my partner often thinks he's not when I know he is! I found observing him and learning to recognising sleepy cues like sounds he makes or habits he has has helped me recognise when he is actually sleepy even if he's hyper) And finally if this is an option please do rely on your partner for support at those difficult nights. My partner isn't as confident with actually putting him to sleep but sumx just having him sit beside me while I'm stressed makes all the difference. Hope this helps xx
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