Toddler with sensory issues and sleeping

(5 Posts)
mamma536 Sat 22-Feb-20 00:06:51

My 2.5yo has always been a stuggle to get to sleep. He had sensory processing issues, possibly autism, and can't wind down with books, bath etc. DH used to sing to him but that's not working anymore and it's just a case of waiting for him to collapse in bed with exhaustion. Things that worked car and train journeys, breastfeeding and being a carried in a sling. Breastfeeding is not working so well now - if I am tired and try to stop he hits and scratches me. He also is waking more frequently through the night and for long stretches.

So last night I broke and got the sling out again, and after 10 mins of walking and spinning, he dozed off. I put him to bed and he slept the whole night - miracle!

But I'm quite tiny and he's a big, heavy toddler and I really thought we were done with slinging him to sleep 😢. I'm so fed up with using crutches but I can't see another way. Am I making things worse for him by using so many crutches? Or should I just help him get enough sleep in whatever way I can?

Does anyone have any advice to share to a very tired mum.

OP’s posts: |
mamma536 Sat 22-Feb-20 00:09:51

For context, he wakes at 8am, and naps are a hit and miss - mostly walking him in his stroller works but the timing varies from 11am to as late as 4pm, and usually lasts for 1-2h. We can't figure out why he naps early some days, but very late on other days - it's not linked to any activity or his he sleep the previous night. 1-2pm is his ideal nap time. He goes to bed at 9-10pm.

We've honestly tried to make wake-ups, nap and bedtime earlier, but the result is always the same - 11am nap followed by a needing a second nap at 4pm, bedtime at midnight. If we try to skip the second nap, bedtime at 7pm followed by waking up every hour through the night. Occasionally he'll skip his nap completely, go to bed early but again has a very restless night.

OP’s posts: |
mamma536 Sat 22-Feb-20 00:14:32

Just to add that we usually try to get some exercise and activity for him every day. We used to think that we had to tire him out every day with activity to help with sleep. But one of the therapists we spoke to said that as he can't self regulate, it may just wind him up more.

OP’s posts: |
Lesley25 Sat 22-Feb-20 08:20:02

This was my situation years ago too.
No one could understand why I had so many crutches either, but we do what we have to so don't feel bad. You haven’t made anything worse.
When I breastfed I would sit up on the bed at 2.5 and rock him gently I just tapping his bum, this is a crutch you can carry anywhere the tapping lightly. I know there is a sheep teddy bear that mimics your heart beat and vibrates- I can’t remember what it’s called but I’ve heard parents rave about it, this would’ve worked a treat when mine was younger so find out about that.
The routine for bedtime bath boob bed is what I followed. I also dimmed lights around 4pm and started bedtime routine really early around 5pm.
It maybe that he’s losing the nap naturally which will mean an early bed but an early riser, no bad thing.
Dinners always going to be a struggle when he’s tired, I just stuck to the rule of a mealtime every 3 hours without sticking to set breakfast lunchtime dinner time hours.
Do you co sleep with your child? I did and I found that he woke often
When i wasn’t there - looking for comfort, so that’s a different need.
Try and find that sheep teddy bear- it may help sleeping through.
Failing all of that, speak to your paediatrician about melatonin, the smallest dose can help him to fall asleep but won’t keep him asleep but it’s worth a try.

Lillipop87 Wed 26-Feb-20 10:19:52

Oh bless you. You sound so worn out. I don't have a whole lot of advice but wanted to give you my sympathy and reassure you that it won't last for ever I know that doesn't help now but you will get through it. All of mine were bad sleepers but they mostly sleep through the night now apart from our dd who's only five months. Is he in a cot or a bed? If he's in a bed instead of a sling could u maybe lay with him in the bed. The teddy that another posted suggested is called a my hummy they are quite expensive but I've heard all good things about them. My little girl has something similar and she really likes it. Babies love white noise too we often put hair dryer noises on our phones cos that also helps to settle her . I know I'm just suggesting more crutches for you but at the end of the day you do what you have to do to get a good sleep for yourself and your little wishes xxx

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