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At breaking point with 20MO sleeping(9 Posts)
I'm seriously at breaking point with my 20MO. Up til a few weeks ago I was bragging away that she slept like an angel. However a few weeks ago she had a spout of illnesses and ever since she has been absolutely horrendous. She won't stay in her bed and runs out the minute we've put her in and laughs and finds it really funny. She can be relentless for as long as 2 hours and then she'll keep waking overnight too. We were letting her in our bed overnight but she was just messing about in there too so we now only let her if its past about 5am otherwise we're battling her back into bed then too. As a general rule we've been staying in the room with her and not interacting with her and putting her back in bed but today I'm not gonna lie I lost it a tad with her and gave up getting her back into bed and shut her door on her. Needless to say it only exasperated things and she howled and I could only stand to hear her like that for a few seconds before I went back in anyway. We have a good solid routine which we rarely break which is dinner, upstairs for bath, back down and tidy up her toys in the living room, quiet time for 10-20 mins reading stories and drinking some milk then upstairs to brush teeth then 1 story she chooses and the exact same story every night to finish and we sing her her night night song (a version of twinkle twinkle little star that I made up) she still naps at around midday but this is also a nightmare and most days I resort to driving her to get her to sleep. It doesn't seem to make any difference whether she sleeps for 10 minutes or 3 hours. I'm really at my wit's end and finding it hard to be therapeutic when all my brain is telling me is 'you're taking the p$ss' I'm getting quite close to just giving up on routine and just letting her cuddle to sleep downstairs as I don't see how this is doing any of us any good. My heart is breaking a little right now as I can't shake the feeling that she's trying to tell us that she's unsettled and I feel like we're failing her. Any advice on how to deal with this therapeautically kr just any reassurance that it'll get better would be really appreciated... thanks xx
My LO is adopted btw. We got her at 9MO and she was with one lovely fc until then
Hug and sympathy. This is tough, and there's not always a completely identifiable reason. I found with DD that illness triggers huge insecurity and regression - possibly at a deep level she fears not being cared for, certainly when we are unwell we are at our most vulnerable and that's a scary place to be.
I stuck the very cutest picture I could find on the outside of DC's door - it helped a bit to look at that for a second each time before I went in to deal with the distressed little creature who seemed like a totally different child in the night. It's bloody hard to be soothing and therapeutic when exhausted, but it is the repetition that eventually works and builds the trust that every single time they reach out for you, you will be there.
Hopefully as you get further from the period of illness, things will re-settle. It may be worth doing some gentle theraplay games during the day, to deepen your connection even further and help her feel secure? You could try switching the nap to cuddles on the sofa, rather than changing bedtime? My DC were reassured by knowing I checked on them through the night, so I took photos of them asleep and showed them in the morning.
Lots of adopted children have challenging sleep, but in your situation I have hope that things will resolve, because it really sounds like the illness was a trigger. Try and up the self-care for yourself if you can. Any chance your partner can watch her while you grab a short nap, to try and compensate for the broken nights?
Hugs, sleep issues are the worst and time of year doesn't help.
Young children do struggle to sleep whenever they have a developmental leap and you just have to grin and bear it when those happen. Illness can also have the same effect and things settle back down after a while. As you've identified the important thing is to keep the routine going.
I'd also look at how much exercise she's getting during the day. I've found that every few months I had to increase the level of physical activity my LO does during the day in order to get her to sleep.
We used to do something every morning then I'd drive around until she fell asleep and she'd take her nap on me on the sofa. For night waking at that age, I'd have a cuddle on the sofa and give her a small amount of milk in a baby bottle at the same time. Like you after a certain time in the morning, bringing her in with me was the only way to get her to sleep.
You probably already do it, but the main thing that cured my LO's sleep issue was having a solid morning routine so we'd get up at the same time every morning when the alarm went off and I got her a gro glow clock for her room and taught her we don't get up until it turns yellow.
She also has cushions with photos of us on and we will put things in with her that smell of us.
Finally my LO has a history of keeping herself awake to keep us with her and the only way to combat it is with consistency.
This sounds normal for any child, adopted or not. When my AD went through these phases, I would sit on the floor beside her bed until she was asleep. Then I used to sit further and further away until I could hear her but she couldn't see me. They get better but you have to be consistent and just accept it will take time! These phases are normal.
You could give up on the routine for a bit and still go back to it once she is settled again. If she took medication for the illnesses it might be that in part, still playing havoc with her small system. I agree with a pp about tiring her out during the day. Have faith you will get her back on the straight and narrow! Though it will probably will come and go over the months!
I have an adopted son who still struggles with sleep and a birth daughter who's 3 and a half and she's v similar too.
For us when we go upstairs that's it. So you think maybe the nice relaxing bath and then the downstairs seeing her toys erc might get her het up again?
It is really v shit. My son stopped his naps before he was 2. It dawned on me that battling for sleep wasn't a good thing and we just had quieter time.
Sending you lots of sympathy.
Thanks all. We're still struggling a bit and starting to struggle a tad with her behaviour in general too Defiance about literally everything and refusing to concentrate on anything or listen to guidance. I know it's not really anything out of the norm for a 20MO but I think sometimes the adoption training confuses things. I'm just finding myself trying to decide what to do in certain situations and that makes me inconsistent and then I just get ratty at her coz I'M feeling like a total failure which totally defeats the object of any kindof TP or discipline It's been awful over Christmas too because even though you try to stick to routine etc the reality is you just can't really. I will we all just need to find our rhythm again after she's had some developmental leaps and try and reset the clock a bit. I must admit I'm pretty close to saying let's just forget a routine as such with sleeping until she's really old enough to understand and just focus on getting her enough hours of sleep. I just hope she's happy. That's my main concern She's such a delight and I don't ever want her to lose that spark
Try going back to early bed time routines eg bath, cuddles, bottle and bed. Also think about putting her back into a cot so that she can't just get out and run around - all mine have been in a cot at this age. DD1 was a horrific sleeper until around 3 years of age and the cot saved my sanity.
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