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Controlled crying - okay for SN toddler 18 months old?

(8 Posts)
Herecomestheninkynonk Sun 18-Sep-11 06:47:50

So another sleepless night...

Hello to all. DS has a microdeletion, is pump fed and has an apnoea mat which has replaced a saturation monitor over night. He has moderate developmental delay.

The poor little mite spent 4 months in scbu at birth and I don't think he has ever got the whole day/night thing - we have never been able to put him down for naps at set times in the day, despite trying!

We can usually get him to sleep okay at about 7-8pm, and he sleeps well for a few hours, but anytime from midnight - 4am he wakes up, and then will only snooze for a few minutes at a time thereafter. Sometimes he'll play in his cot for an hour or so, sometimes he cries unless someone is with him.

I'm worried controlled crying would be unfair given his understanding, but DH and I both sick and tired of it all this morning after being awake since 3.30 for the fifth night on the trot.... Any ideas much appreciated.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 18-Sep-11 10:34:27


Can you keep a diary, or record of his waking for a couple of weeks and then take it to the GP. There might be an underlying physiological reason and there might be something medical that can be done.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Sun 18-Sep-11 11:37:56

Star may well be right, but all children, even those with SN need to learn how to go to sleep on their own if they wake up at night. How does your DS go to sleep at 7 or 8? Is it alone in his room or do you stay with him? Does he need a drink or some type of comforter? Sorry if you have already done all this, but if he can fall asleep alone and in the dark (maybe with a nightlight) with no drink or comforter he's got a better chance of getting himself back to sleep at 3.00am without needing you there.

Once you've tried all the NT methods you may find that they just don't work for your DS and he just needs less sleep, or there is an underlying reason why he is waking, as Starlight suggests.

Herecomestheninkynonk Sun 18-Sep-11 12:22:07

Thanks peeps.

When he goes to sleep he has a comforter his dummy and lullaby music, the light is off but the door half open with light outside. He doesn't usually need me there unless he's super cranky. He has a pump feed for 3 hours from about 8-11pm, but we can't run it later due to dangers when he wakes up, turns/stands up etc (we used to have an all night feed but whenever he was awake you had to supervise so that stopped about 4 months ago).

I've never been able to convince the medics involved with his care that he is anything more than a bad sleeper, but I genuinely feel that this isn't "normal", so am looking at a way to move forward with it. sad thanks for your support x

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 18-Sep-11 12:55:52

Just a thought. remembering back my ds never did sleep for more than 7-8 hours overnight, and neither does my 3yr old. They always have had bedtimes of 10ish and wake around 6 ish.

Would this help?

Chundle Sun 18-Sep-11 15:01:38

Hi my dd is 2 and doesn't sleep well we have just contacted Cerebra as they have a free sleep service and will do home visits maybe this will help

EllenJaneisnotmyname Sun 18-Sep-11 16:27:10

Maybe he's waking in the early hours (quite normal) and can't get back to sleep without his 'comforter, his dummy and lullaby music, the light is off but the door half open with light outside.' He's been trained to fall asleep with these tools and maybe can't fall asleep without them?

oodlesofdoodles Sun 18-Sep-11 21:11:24

Is he getting all his food during the three hours at night? If so could he be uncomfortable with it?
Has he ever slept for longer than a few hours at a time? Some people only do 'deep' sleep and don't do REM/dream sleep.
Have you tried co-sleeping (I know he's at the age where you want to start thinking about moving the out of your bed)? My very patient DH weaned ds out of our bed at about this age (ds was never officially co-sleeping, just used to end up with us sometime between midnight and 4 am). Co-sleeping for a while might help set his body clock and then you can gradually move him further away.

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