BED TIME IS EXHAUSTING!

by Connie
(Farmington Hills, MI)

MY 8 yr old son will NOT go to bed without me. Every night I have to lay in his bed until he falls asleep. It's not good enough if I am upstairs doing laundry or even on my laptop in his room. He wants me IN the bed with him. Its exhausting especially considering I work during the day, come home and have a ton of things to do in the evening.. (not to mention my other two children). He will stay up until all hours of the night, until I lay with him.


Has anyone else gone through this?? Can anything change/help this? I have tried reward boards, keeping lights on, etc..

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Oct 01, 2013
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Getting better with routine
by: Anonymous

Thank you everyone for your input. Sorry I didnt respond sooner, somehow I missed these messages. We are trying a strict routine, as suggested. We head up stairs 45 minutes before bed time, and we go through the same routine every night. Play in room for 15-20 minutes (he usually chooses to build legos) quietly, get pajamas on, brush teeth, read a book, etc..
It has helped tremendously. We still have nights where he screams for me to come in his room. However, those nights are getting fewer and farther between. It has helped that I leave the hall light on and walk back and forth putting laundry away so he can see me -- occasionally, I will walk in his room just to say " I am still here" -- In the morning, when he has successfully made it through the night, I praise and praise.
Thank you for your input. I am a much happier mom now!! Connie

Jun 22, 2013
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Caution
by: Olivia

I know melatonin can be useful, but I would strongly recommend looking up the possible problems from long term use. Our pediatrician advised us not to use it at all.

May 23, 2013
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melatonin and a 'heavy blanket'
by: maria

Hi I know exactly how you feel. For literally YEARS my son could just not fall to sleep and would be awake for hours. We tried everything, stories, music, massage (which helped a bit) eventually the only thing that worked was his matress being moved to the end of our bed and him sleeping there whilst I lay on my bed every night until I heard him snoring

It got worse as he got older because he would sometimes still be awake gone 11pm and he had school the next day. Eventually me son was diagnosed with SPD along with dyspraxia. He has a community paediatrician and she said that it is common for children like him to have a low level of melatonin ( hormone that is produced at night when it is dark to get the brain to 'sleep') As soon as he started on the melatonin (circadin) along with a 'heavy blanket' that the OT recommended (an iron saturated 10lb blanket to provide 'deep-pressure') his nights have been transformed!!! He is asleep now by 8pm every night and his behaviour and concentration in the day have improved 100%. Our whole family life is now 'normal' during the evenings and we are all a lot happier and more energized. Good luck with everything I hope it works out for you too.

Mar 01, 2013
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Help with bedtime
by: Olivia

I have a 9 year old daughter recently diagnosed with SPD. I have known for years something was wrong. A really big problem for us was bedtime and nap time. Even as an infant she could not self soothe. Over time we were able to come up with a routine. Every few days to a week we shorten part of the routine until the part that requires us is all but gone. It took a couple of years, but now bedtime takes about 10 minutes once she is actually in bed. I will list our routine, you may find some of it helpful. You will probably need to adapt it to your child's ability to tolerate various parts. This routine was found through a lot of trial and error on our part.

We keep the time we start as close as possible to the same time everyday including weekends. A set routine is how it works best. We now start about 30 to 45 minutes before the time we want her to be asleep we give her a 5 minute notice that bedtime routine will be starting. (We actually allowed for an hour when we first started. But as she would allow us to shorten part we slowly adjusted the start time.) We brush teeth (with an electric toothbrush) and get into jammies. We have a sound machine in her room to cut out any other noises that are too much for her. We turn on the machine as soon as we walk into the bedroom. We allow her to read for about 10 to 20 minutes (depending on how long the teeth and getting dress took). This is relaxing for her. At first we stayed in the room, but over time we were able to let her read on her own. When reading time is over we will rub or tickle her feet and legs. Sometimes she also asks for letters to be drawn on her back and she will try to guess what they are. This is the needed sensory input and helps her brain slow down from daily activities. Sometimes we also sing or hum (we now wait for her to ask for it.) Then we tell her good night and turn out the lights.

At first we had to do these things until she was asleep. Then over time we were able to get to a point where she was really drowsy. Now we do them and let her get herself to sleep. Sometimes when she has had a difficult day we will need to go back in and do the rubs and tickles again for a few minutes. But for the most part she is able to now fall asleep on her own.

It is very important that no part of this routine be taken away as punishment or consequences. Remember this is to help your child soothe themselves and also give you the precious time you need. This is not a "reward" to be taken away, but part of a lifetime learning process they will need later in life.

This was a process that took a couple of years. But it was worth every minute once we found what worked for her.

I wish you the best of luck!

Oct 10, 2012
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me too
by: Anonymous

I wish I could help..I have the same problem!!!

Oct 07, 2012
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RE: Bed time
by: Anonymous

Hello! I am a mother to a two year old boy diagnosed with GDD. At first he doesn't like anyone of us near him. but now thank God for the OT and prayers and doing our best to take care of him. He now wants me to snuggle in bed with him. I thank God everyday for giving our son back to us little by little. I know in time he will make more progress and mature in ways. Good luck.

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