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Night time struggles!

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  • howiecram
    replied
    Re: Night time struggles!

    All things considered, it worked! :-) We are still figuring out how to help the boy sleep (I was up for 3 hours the night before with ALL 3 kids (at various times accounting for the 3 total hours awake)! The medicine is really, really working. We have, however, traded one set of sleeping problems for another. I think it can be managed, but it is an adjustment and a re-training. He is waking up at precisely the same time and I can usually get him back to sleep quickly (as in, I feel like I am doing it in my sleep!). However, he was falling asleep so quickly at night that he was falling asleep with the lights on, snuggled next to someone (hearing a story). So, he wakes up and wants the same thing. We had to re-arrange the bedtime to make sure he is falling asleep, alone and in the dark. It also got rather cold at night, and he is legitimately cold. (more blankets!) but he saying "I'm cold" is code for needing that sensory input. I think we will give it another week or so and if it isn't better give a report to the doctor and see what she says (she mentioned when she prescribed it that she would start at one dose, but he may need a higher dose). I know he is also adjusting! I just can't believe he is sleeping 11-12 hours now! This hasn't happened in 2 years?

    Bottom line, when I'm so tired I can barely remember my name, the new list, really, really helped!

    P.s. Edited to add that everyone slept all night! My husband had his day off and we went to the children's museum! All 3 walked for probably 4 hours! My son miraculously stayed awake on the 1 hour trip home! He did have a little meltdown leaving, but it was actually ok! It is so hard providing this type of vigorous activity daily! I am Thanking God this morning for good rest!
    Last edited by howiecram; 10-21-2015, 05:33 AM. Reason: Additional info

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  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: Night time struggles!

    Originally posted by howiecram View Post
    I sit around thinking of 100 things that need to be done, but do 0 because I was just overwhelmed with the 100 things. It was a bit of a "duh* moment and I had no trouble "scheduling" everything. Day 1 starts tomorrow, wish us luck! :-)

    How did this go, Christine?

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  • howiecram
    replied
    Re: Night time struggles!

    Originally posted by HeatherB View Post
    This may have been said but here are some things that help at bedtime (though we still have some unpredictable moments with 4 children, 2 of whom have special needs & all have anxieties/stress they occasionally deal with):

    (1) my kids are sometimes overstimulated by bath time so we start bath time earlier in early evening or alternate nights they get baths. Sometimes we've found adding epsom salts with calming essential oils like lavender helpful.

    (2) We keep toys out of bedrooms b/c my kids with special needs can't handle having to much stuff in their rooms or things they may get distracted by.

    (3) We like to do foot massages with calming oils, we've tried calming music, we've diffused calming oils in advance of bedtime to help them start winding down.

    (4) calcium magnesium supplement has helped one of my children with sleeping/being calmer.


    I'm sure these have already been said but sharing in case they haven't (sorry I didn't have a chance to read the other responses very carefully).

    heather

    Good point about the baths being stimulating (like really good point)! We also try to multi-task so we put them all in the bath together..but that is starting to go over like a lead balloon. You are right though, the nights we don't do baths, seem to be the "easiest". I'm about to remove all toys from their bedrooms too. Originally I wanted a few special things there for "quiet" time but our needs have changed and so have our afternoons, and it is no longer necessary. Due to their skin issues, we do not bathe every night.

    We had been doing a cal-mag supplement, but I didn't notice any differences......but considering adding that in again, actually.

    The last few nights have been better. I was a stickler for the time and made sure we were upstairs much earlier. It took much less time to get them ready and it was like "now what do we do".....they just fell asleep 30 min earlier! I am an advocate for if their is a problem, putting them to bed earlier is almost always the solution. It usually is for us, but occasionally that backfires too!

    Thanks so much!

    Leave a comment:


  • HeatherB
    replied
    Re: Night time struggles!

    This may have been said but here are some things that help at bedtime (though we still have some unpredictable moments with 4 children, 2 of whom have special needs & all have anxieties/stress they occasionally deal with):

    (1) my kids are sometimes overstimulated by bath time so we start bath time earlier in early evening or alternate nights they get baths. Sometimes we've found adding epsom salts with calming essential oils like lavender helpful.

    (2) We keep toys out of bedrooms b/c my kids with special needs can't handle having to much stuff in their rooms or things they may get distracted by.

    (3) We like to do foot massages with calming oils, we've tried calming music, we've diffused calming oils in advance of bedtime to help them start winding down.

    (4) calcium magnesium supplement has helped one of my children with sleeping/being calmer.


    I'm sure these have already been said but sharing in case they haven't (sorry I didn't have a chance to read the other responses very carefully).

    heather

    Leave a comment:


  • armymom
    replied
    Re: Night time struggles!

    I just wanted to tell you that my four kids have zero behavioral special needs (we are monitoring some vision/hearing things) but...that is exactly what bedtime is like around here. The kids are wound up at bedtime no matter what we do beforehand. Actually, yesterday we had another family over all afternoon. They were exhausted and that made the problem WORSE. Chasing and crying.

    Honestly the only two strategies that have helped us are the more out of control they are, the more we intervene. So, if you won't put on your own jammies, I dress you. If you won't sit on the potty, I distract you and then start walking you over there. And sometimes bribe you with chocolate chips when we arrive. The second thing is that I gave up a homeschool only room in order to divide and conquer. Each child goes into their own room. We figured that if they were not willing to be soothed by our efforts at soothing then they had to learn their own process. I spent months sitting outside the bedrooms so that no one could run away from bed and start the chase routin over. They were caught before the door was all the way open and back to bed. We are getting to the point now where most of the time they dress themselves for bed, get a Bible story and go to their rooms with 30 minutes of lights to wnd down and then tuck in. Together they wind up, but alone they have learned to wind down. Mind you this is A YEAR and A HALF later that this is all paying dividends, not some quick fix. In all of this I have discovered that my kids are really light sleepers. They wake up ready to go at 5:30 in the morning. Except the baby (16M) who is just learning to sleep through the night with a white noise machine running all the time. He is up at 4:30 - 5. They disturb easily. THey wake up when a car turns off. They stuggle to sleep in hotels, or near others or....the point is that they are light, easily disrupted sleepers and people, even parents trying to soothe them, don't really help them calm down. But alone in the relative dark, they are doing a lot better.

    I don't know whether these ideas will help much in your situation, but I do want to encourage you with two things. You are not the only one struggling with this and it isn't even necessarily a special needs issue. I mean it might turn out to be, in your case, but even without those issues a child that is bothered by snot, mosquito bites and a plethora of other annoyances is just a child that is going to have a lot more practice to learn to sleep soundly. It isn't that you didn't get the right system and if you did find it and follow it they would magically turn into "good" sleepers like everyone else seems to have. They just struggle more to shut everything out and patience (which is SO difficult when you are SO tired) will be needed.

    Best of luck going forward.

    Lena

    Leave a comment:


  • howiecram
    replied
    Re: Night time struggles!

    Scheduling is by far our biggest hurdle! I find this hard to believe, since this is what I did for a living! :-) However, with 3 little people in tow, it's been hard to obtain. I love, love, love the MP lesson plans, but my "boxed" mind can't get past the M-F scheduling and feeling like it needs to be exactly as laid out (but hubby has irregular work schedule and we don't quite fit the M-F box (we school Saturdays). I finally put the 2 curriculums together (MPK, SCB) and listed all the different boxes. We won't get to everything in B every day, like K, but it is in there more than we were doing before. Instead of by the clock, I first listed everything I wanted to do and estimated the time it takes. I still got a little stressed out, but found about 3 hours of "margin" in our day. (I hope it is enough!). I then wrote in order everything I wanted (or needed) to do. I have no times set. There will be things I want to get done before lunch and if things take longer, then some things won't get done (and that will be ok, since it is in order of importance). I feel like with schedule, I will be checking "my list" not necessarily the lesson plans (I will use them so we do everything in order but will not stress if we are "behind" or ahead) for what to do next. I find the most difficult times are the "idle" times. I sit around thinking of 100 things that need to be done, but do 0 because I was just overwhelmed with the 100 things. It was a bit of a "duh* moment and I had no trouble "scheduling" everything. Day 1 starts tomorrow, wish us luck! :-)

    P.S. medicine really seems to be helping my son. He has gone from right around 10 hours of sleep to more like 11-11 1/2. He's still waking 1x per night. I can get him back to sleep quickly, thankfully. I will check in with doctor in another week or so. His mood seems to have improved and while he still throws fits, he is much easier to rationalize with now (still have some parenting fixes needed here (consistent parenting, etc), likely to help with the fits). I mean, measurably improved though.

    Thanks for all your help and encouragement!!

    Leave a comment:


  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: Night time struggles!

    Good morning, Christine!

    One of the hardest tasks can be separating behavior from special needs. In reality, they often blur. The good news is that remedies can be simultaneous.

    Remedies
    1. Rule out any organic (e.g., sensory, medical) issues and address these wherever they exist, as you have done with the eczema.
    2. Establish a predictable routine and communicate clear, consistent expectations ahead of time.
    3. Deliver swift, fair, and non-negotiable consequences in a steady, loving way. (When all is calm again, provide forgiveness, so restoration occurs.)


    To begin -

    Make a Plan
    You might visit EmpoweringParents.com for suggestions that apply to many children to "normal" children as well as to many children with special needs. Search this link, specifically, for several articles on younger children.

    If possible, do the following:

    1. Hand-pick from the above link a few articles that most apply to your situation.
    2. Print them. Study them with your husband.
    3. Make a plan for implementation of a few new strategies together. Communicate the new expectations and new consequences ahead of time with your children in very clear, simple, and preferably visual ways.


    Document
    If you think you might be pursuing evaluations with any of your children, you might want to implement new strategies consistently for a time. Document the start date, the implementation, and the effects. As you may remember from Simply Classical Assessment chapters, even documentation of ineffective strategies can provide useful information for an assessment. Often a child's lack of response to clear, consistent parenting is a first sign of something requiring more attention.

    Bonus - if you find the consistent implementation of strategies successful, then you and your husband have gained some effective strategies!


    Print and Re-read Posts for Reminders
    See these previous threads for refreshers on other specifics: Sleep Issues

    More Family Suggestions


    Get Together with Young Moms
    Regular in-person playgroups or lunch dates with other moms of young children can often be very helpful. When you say, "My children are bananas," you may very well hear, "So are mine!"


    I hope some of this is helpful. If you can establish order and find harmony in these early years, this will serve your children the rest of their lives.

    Thanks-
    Cheryl


    ClassicalSpecialNeeds.com

    Leave a comment:


  • howiecram
    started a topic Night time struggles!

    Night time struggles!

    I just saw someone post about morning troubles, but we are having a terrible time at night! The bottom line is the kids go bananas! We head upstairs at approximately the same time every night and do the same things. Upstairs, bath (though not necessarily every night), teeth, pjs, stories, bed. Except....we can't get them out of the bath, even with a "ok, 5 more minutes". They get out of the bath and they are running chasing each other. We finally calm them down...but my son, in particular will not get dressed. He literally just won't do it. He'll sit in his room (naked) and play with a toy or do anything besides putting his clothes on. Then, it is time to brush teeth and my youngest two fight us on this. Now, it's time get in the bed......struggling the whole way. It takes about an hour and half to get through the shenanigans....

    The biggest problem is that they spend a lot of time running around chasing one another...even if we just spent the last 30 minutes on a family walk, playing in the backyard or doing active things.

    We've also tried changing it up, going in a room and trying to play quiet games with them...and then doing bedtime routine, but it ends with the same result...everyone running around chasing one another or do anything besides getting ready for bed.

    *editing to add......that I suppose the struggle with my son is not unique to the bedtime. It is equally difficult to get him out of his pjs and dressed.....(and equally hard to get all the children dressed....we have the same running around chasing one another scenario......

    ..oh and we also have trouble getting him to go to the bathroom. I don't have him on a schedule or anything, but if I know it has been hours since he last went and we are, say leaving the house...I would like him to try. Also before bed, I ask him to try and it is very difficult (i'm mindful if he just went recently...but usually it will have been hours since he last went....he tends to go hours between restroom visits). (it's about 50/50 on this, because sometimes he "really" has to go)
    Last edited by howiecram; 10-15-2015, 08:23 PM. Reason: additional info
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