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22 month old struggle to self settle(9 Posts)
Our 22 month has always been good at going to bed and generally would sleep through the night but over last month or so when we put him to bed she lies awake for a long time - we are talking up to 2 hours which makes for a tired child in the morning. Sometimes after 10 mins he will cry and we go in to check on him but we think the biggest problem is ge cant seem to get comfortable and when we watch him on monitor he is constantly moving - rolling across cot, fondling his comforter, rubbing his hair etc. Almost doing anything to not go to sleep. We know of he stopped moving he would prob drop off. Any advice?
How long has he been with you for?
Does he have a nap in the day? Our little one started doing this about the same age and we tried everything we could think if till someone asked of he napped still. we found if we stopped his nap he fell asleep much quicker at night.
I wouldn’t stop daytime naps as sleep is important for little people, especially so if there has been a change in environment. Maybe extend bedtime by half an hour? it sounds like he isn’t distressed by being put down, just not sleepy yet. You could try 5 drops of lavender oil in the night time bath, and of course make sure that she isn’t exposed to any blue light ( tv etc) for at least an hour before bedtime.
My 21MO was the same. Adopted at 9MO and was an absolute angel going to sleep from day 1. Rarely woke and would self settle with no fuss to bed at night and naps. Then we switched to a bed and she was initially fine for about a month and then she got HFMD and a couple of other viruses back to back and ever since this she's basically been a nightmare She learned that she could run out of her bed so now we have to stay with her before she falls to sleep which can be anything from 10 minutes to 2 hours and she rarely now goes the whole night without coming into our bed. We're trying to be strict with routine and don't fuss her too much at bedtime (which she prefers anyway) but we just stay with her and if she requests it put a hand on her chest. Otherwise tbh we're just rolling with it. I can't see anything else being beneficial for an adopted child especially tbh and the reality is she'll not want to share our bed forever and the more you push probably the more insecure she's going to get about it. It's bloody annoying and tiring but it's common to have sleep regressions at this stage. My only advice to anyone in retrospect would be to think VERY carefully before you take the cot sides down.... oh and we're seriously considering getting a superkingsized bed despite the fact it would almost literally fill our bedroom Good luck. Look after yourselves. Hubby and I take it in turns to lie in at the weekends and to sleep on the sofa if needed to keep each other sane. Just remember it isn't forever xx
PS I do think they have a SHARP reduction in the need for naps at this age too. Mine wouldn't cope with no nap but we reduced to minimum 1hour and naptime over by 14:30 latest or she will never sleep in the evening. They don't like being woken up from their nap but try this as it really does help for bedtime
PPS I wouldn't personally leave him 2 hours to self settle at this age even if he seems ok. I used to get twitchy at the half hour mark with mine and if I'm honest I feel that if we'd just stayed with her at an earlier age we wouldn't be having the issues we are now even though she never seemed distressed. They can't always communicate at this age that they need you and you WANT them to need you when they're adopted. Xx
My eldest did a lot of what you are describing, but rather than trying to self soothe, she was trying to keep herself awake as she was hyper-vigilant. Has anything changed at home (one of you going back to work, changing layout of furniture, change in routine etc.) that might have upset him. Alternatively many children will actually sleep a lot due to stress, so it could perhaps be that when he came home he was sleeping more than he would normally because of that, and now he is getting used to being with you he is showing his struggles more obviously.
I found a very boring and rigid routine every night helped. I also stopped trying to rock her to sleep (on advice of psychologist) because, once she had the bottle, giving the body contact of the cuddle was a stimulus to her due to the attachment disorder, and not at all soothing or comforting. Basically being cuddled triggered her fight or flight response. A weighted blanket was a big help so this might be something to look into also. As well as checking for things like colic that might be making lying down uncomfortable (has his bowel habit changed recently eg. time of day, so he might have more trapped wind).
This often happens when a developmental leap is taking place as the brain is too busy processing stuff for sleep. Also I have found that every few months I have to increase the amount of physical activity my LO does throughout the day in order to get her sufficiently tired at night.
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