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What sleep strategies worked for your DC ?

(13 Posts)
Chundle Fri 26-Aug-11 20:21:55

Dd2 is just 2 has been horrific sleeper since 6 months old and has got steadily worse.
Registrar thinks she's too young for melatonin but is going to check with consultant. She's too young for a full weighted blanket.
She has strict bedtime routine, has small ankle weights place on her body, calming music etc etc. And still it takes an hour to get her to sleep, several awakenings during the evening before we go to bed and many awakenings in the night.

Due to being epileptic I need my sleep and am exhausted as dd1 very full on during the day.

So what did you guys use that worked other than meds?

smugtandemfeeder Fri 26-Aug-11 20:55:24


We have had no success with night wakings or early morning waking. DS is 3 and has NEVER slept.

Some limited success with having a choose board for bed time, with 4 things on it. PJs, Story, Story and Brush teeth.

Before this DS would not brush teeth and would not go to sleep for around 2 hours. He did not ever learn our strict routine that we put in place, he couldnt remember it or understand it.

'Chose board' has 4 laminated photos of DS brushing teeth, reading story and putting clothes on. Each picture is velcroed on to a laminated sheet. DS can chose which order we do the 4 things in. Usually clothes last.

We then tell him we are going to check on something and will be back to check on him in a few minutes. We ask him what he wants us to check on and he always answers with the same response "Daddys fishing net"

All sounds like utter madness and at 2 he would have been far too anxious to let us leave the room. He used to sob and scream and have much more frequent nightmares.

However the visual chose board may make your DD understand the bed time routine. Local Surestart worker made it for me. All laminated.

I have to caveat this by saying that the success of this has coincided with a melatonin prescription but I cant say the melatonin has worked every night and neither has the visual routine. Without either of them we are screwed. We need both.

The other things that have helped have been reading very very sweet happy bedtime stories, making the bedroom a completely empty shell with no clutter, no trinkets, nothing to attack his senses. And a double bed as DS spins in his sleep and needs a big bed to spin in!

I dont think we could have made any progress aged 2 though.

Sorry if this isnt help. We are still struggling here but thought my ramblings may make sense.

Chundle Fri 26-Aug-11 21:01:35

Thanks smug! Dd uses pecs book so a visual chart may work well that's a good idea! I shall get making more pictures!

She gets very anxious when we leave the room and screams a bloodcurdling high pitch shriek like she's being tortured! she likes it if we pick her up and rock her to sleep but she weighs a tonne especially when it goes on for more than 20 mins

insanityscatching Fri 26-Aug-11 21:23:41

Well ds is 16 and has never slept and don't suppose he ever will. We exhausted every method and support given by the psychologist and medication from the paed didn't touch him in fact Vallerghan made him hyper.
It got better for us when we gave up trying to make him sleep and instead taught him to play quietly in a room that was made safe for him.
Sorry if it's not what you wanted to hear though.

smugtandemfeeder Sat 27-Aug-11 09:44:46

Agree with insanity. Work on reducing your dds anxiety in her bedroom as this will have an impact on your ability to sort out the other problems.

We found it helpful to stop trying to force DS to sleep and just get in his bed and cuddle him. This has helped him feel much happier in his room as you would imagine.

He also needs a nightlight which felt wrong as I had loads of black out blinds to keep it pitch black but it just terrified him.

No real solutions I dont think. Slow slow progress.

LeninGrad Sat 27-Aug-11 10:46:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

intothewest Sat 27-Aug-11 12:04:29

Sorry,no advice- When you find out what works,will you let me know !!

Chundle Sat 27-Aug-11 13:11:53

Thanks for the replies guys
Into yes I will smile

twlight Sat 27-Aug-11 13:20:30

have you tried swaddling ? or the sleeping bags ? that worked for a little while for us - also keeping the room warmer as DS had issues with temperature control whilst asleep.

dolfrog Sat 27-Aug-11 14:54:04


We had this with DS2 and I still have it and I am in my late 50s.

The problems start withe the baby or still developing brain trying to cope with various sensory information processing problems and trying to develop alternative compensating information processing abilities to work around our problems.
Some of these compensating strategies can have some serious side effects, such as becoming over sensitive or over distractable, we try to process more information in an attempt to compensate for information disability we have identified.
We moved home when DS2 was 2 years old, and I had to carry him around on my shoulder sometimes until 2.00 am in the morning to get him to sleep.
We had a the help of a Sleep Psychologist (SP), and we had to keep records how DS eventually got to sleep (how I learnt to use a database and spreadsheets lol)

The SP recommendations were in stages
Stage One was to put him to bed, and for me to sit beside him on a beanbag, holding his hand until he fell asleep, so that he felt secure in his bed, and knowing that DAD was there to provide reasurrance when and if needed. (Unfortunately due to my DW and my own APD reading stories from book was not an option)
Stage Two was to begin to move the bean bag further away from DS2 as he felt more secure in his bed and able to sleep, this took quite a few months.
Stage Three to have the been bag or now a chair outside DS's bedroom door and outside of his view and just checking that he was getting to sleep.

This helped us understand DS3.

The real problems never go away and we can always have problems getting to sleep. Some of us have to switch off the human auditory emergency detection system to sleep, so when we do eventually get to sleep we will not be disturbed or woken by any noise or alarms, we are effectively dead to the world when we are asleep. Running our daily coping strategies can usually be tiring enough to enable us to sleep, but not always, which is why I am an night owl, and can sometimes go 30 - 40 hours without sleep which can be a real pain.

During my teenage years I used to fall asleep with my headphones on, listening to Prog Rock, it provided the predictable background noise i needed to help me sleep, no unpredicted distractions.

Chundle Sat 27-Aug-11 15:44:19

Twilight dd gets very hot and is more comfortable when cool. Also she doesn't like her feet to be hidden for some reason so not sure a bag would work.

Dolfrog thanks for the advice I will give it a try. Much appreciated

someoneoutthere Sat 27-Aug-11 18:55:43

I co-slept with DS until he was nearly 5, he is 6.1 now. Until 3, he was up every night at 2, up until 5/6am and used to be up by 8am. He never had more than 4/5 hours sleep until he was 4. He used to fall asleep in the lounge as we could not take him to the bedroom. Between 3 to 4, we took him out for a drive every night and drove around for at least one to one and half hours to put him to sleep. And he was up at least 3-4 nights a week for few hours. We noticed around this time that if we keep him physically active all day, he sleeps through the night and was sleeping for at least 7-8 hours. So we started swimming for 2 hours a day, bike riding at least for an hour/half an hour depending on how long he was willing to do, roller blading for half/an hour, taking him to the park to climb and swing for at least an hour. DS now sleeps through the night and sleeps for at least 10-11 hours in his room all by himself.

Once DS started sleeping through the nights in my bedroom, at first we moved him to his bedroom after he fell asleep as he did not want to sleep in his own bedroom. Then I slept with him in his bed for few months until he was comfortable in his bed. Once he stopped checking for me at night, I put a single bed in his room and slept on it for a month. DS was up few times a night to check that I was there. He stopped checking for me after about 2 months. We had one night in the last 5 months when Ds was up around 3.30, but he was asleep by 4am.

We were never prescribed melatonin, but being in the water for couple of hours makes him very tired and he is asleep by 9.30.

Becaroooo Sat 27-Aug-11 19:23:06

Ds1 (8) has never been a good sleeper (40 mins stretches, early waking)...very unsettled, wakes at least once a night and needs us to be with him...sleeps much better with either me or dh co sleeping with him. I never thought I would be co sleeping with an 8 year old sad Dh can sleep pretty well but didnt as a child but he got much better after medication. We are going to ask the paed about this at his next appt. I have fought medicating him for 6 years but dh and i are exhausted.

Trouble is ds2 (2) is also a very restless sleeper and so we co sleep with him too atm.....

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