Category Archives: Sleeping habits

Where did the past 5 months go?!

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So sorry about the lack of posting, honestly, life got the best of me and I wasn’t taking too much care of myself. As a special needs mom, well ANY mom, one thing that should not be forgotten is one’s health.

I ignored some pretty nasty health problems, as a result became pretty sick and lost over 30 pounds due to a Gallbladder full of sludge. I finally bit the bullet and had some testing done.

Thankfully I haven’t had my Gallbladder removed (yet) but if it gets as bad as it was, I will. For now, I’m eating MUCH healthier. I’ve cut out almost ALL junk food and soda. As long as I don’t eat fatty foods, I symptoms stay at bay and I’m okay.

The kids are all doing good. Joey’s sleep training was a success! He will now stay in his bed most nights until 5:30am, some mornings even later! He no longer comes into bed with us in the middle of the night so that’s a plus!

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Joey at an Aquarium recently, he LOVES fish!

Our New Adventures in Sleep Training

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Joey’s sleep patterns at night have never been good, he wakes up 1 or more times a night and has always ended up in bed between me and my husband using us as his our personal kicking boxing practice bags while he sleeps.

At a recent appointment at our local Down syndrome clinic, when the doctor asked about his sleep, I broke down in tears and explained our battle with Joey at night. He didn’t think Joey has sleep apnea since he had a negative sleep study done five years ago, he thought it was more Joey’s autism and behavioral issues pushing through. The doctor suggested we see the Behavioral Sleep Psychologist at CT Children’s Hospital in the Sleep Center. Up until that appointment, I had no idea such a specialist even existed! Thankfully the wait to see this new doctor was less than 1 month.

At our first appointment at the Sleep Center, I had no idea what to expect. The Behavioral Sleep Psychologist walked in, sat down and started asking questions, and BOOM, my exhausted emotions got the best of me and I started crying as I started explaining our nights with Joey.

Her first suggestion was that we try to start “sleep training” Joey. She feels he never left the “infant stage” of sleeping and that he still wakes up at night just like an infant does. She then started explaining how we’re going to train Joey. She wanted my husband and myself to take turns every other night sleeping in Joey’s room next to his bed and to lock ourselves with him in his room so he couldn’t wander around the house at night and end up in our bed. Every time he was to get up, we were to ignore him and see if he would put himself back to bed and only intervene if he was at risk of hurting himself or being stubborn and not going back to bed.

Of course, directly after the appointment, I went a sporting goods store and bought a cot to put in his room. That evening, I put a hook and latch on the boys’ bedroom door to lock us in at night and explained to Aiden that if he needs to go potty, just to wake us up to let him out at night, lol!

Night one was pretty much a disaster. I don’t think I slept more than 1 hour at a time. I didn’t realize how restless of a sleeper Joey truly was at night! He tosses and turns the entire night! When he got up for the first time around 1:30, boy was he mad when he couldn’t get out of his door! He started yelling and growling then flicked on the lights. I sat up and told him to shut the light off and get back in bed, which surprisingly he did ! It took me a few more times cuing him to go back to sleep but he did for like 30-45 minutes at a time until 6:30am when I finally gave up and unlocked the door. exhausted

The following week, I met again with the Behavioral Sleep Psychologist, and told her how restless he is at night and how Joey keeps ripping off his blankets in frustration. When she said, we need to find a way to keep him from ripping off his blanket and perhaps we should consider another sleep study. We both sat there and brainstormed regarding the blanket situation. Since he doesn’t have the fine/gross motor ability to put his blankets back on his bed, she suggested perhaps some sort of a handle on his comforter and warmer PJs at night to lessen the need for as many blankets.

After the appointment, I went to work where I sat at my desk and pulled up Pinterest on my computer and searched “Autism bedtime” and I found a link for Homemade Stretchy Sensory Sheets! I quickly showed my husband the link and he agreed it was worth a try! So off to Joann Fabrics I went where I bought several yards of “stretchy fabric” and things to make the handles for his comforter out of. A few nights later, one of my dear friends came over and helped me sew Joey’s new sheets. I also had the bright idea to use industrial strength Velcro and attach Joey’s comforter to his bed so he can’t pull it off his bed as easily!

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As for the sleep study, it was a very long, hard night for Joey and myself. Lots of tears were shed by Joey as we struggled to get him hooked up to all the wires but thankfully the study came up negative so we’re not dealing with sleep apnea, it is a behavioral issue.

So far, we’re only a few days into his new sheets so I will be sure to keep everyone updated on our newest adventure/conquest to keep Joey in his own bed at night and eventually be able to sleep back in my own room at night. This is going to be a long process but I know will be worth it later on. Until then, I just need to keep on swimming…

 

Duck and cover!

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Well the annual stomach bug has entered our household and it’s latest victim is Jojoe. I spent the night with him out in the playroom bouncing between the sofa and the recliner. The poor kid is miserable!

This is one of the frustrating parts about Joey when he’s sick. If he doesn’t feel good, he won’t eat or drink. It’s times like this that I wish my kid would eat a popsicle or jello, but it’s one of the downfalls to his sensory diffilculties eating. Praying we can keep him hydrated and out of the hospital.

Thankfully a few hours ago, he finally fell asleep on the sofa with me but of couse like this…

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Sleep? What’s that?!

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exhaustedIt’s been a long 10 years of sleepless nights. When Joey was a baby, for the most part, he slept through the night. As he got older though, his sleep patterns changed. He started waking up in the middle of the night and ending up in our bed.

The hubby and I have tried locking him out of our room, which sometimes works after he bangs on our door or turns on the lights (which unfortunately sometimes wakes up the Leah & Aiden), we’ve tried putting him back in his bed (which means one of us needs to wake up enough to move him), we’ve tried weighted blankets, we’ve tried leaving the lights on. I could go on and on with things that we’ve tried.

Heck, I even took him for a sleep study a few years ago, which did show a very MILD case of sleep apnea. Part of me is starting to wonder if I should take him back for a second sleep study to see if anything has changed. There’s always that thought or fear in the back of a special needs mom’s mind, “is there something causing this behavior/habit with my child?”

And to make it worse, in his sleep, he has to either have a leg draped over mine constantly be directly laying up against me. Even in his sleep, his sensory issues come into play. When he’s in bed with us, I sleep in 15 minute intervals. It’s getting exhausting, truly exhausting…

And with that being said, today has been a lovely first day back to blogging, starting to get my new page set up, after several years being away. I’m excited to see what’s in store for Raising Joey but it’s past my bed time, good night everyone!