Author Topic: Re-training advice 19 mo  (Read 519 times)

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Offline mulvia

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Re-training advice 19 mo
« on: January 20, 2017, 06:46:02 am »
Hello and big hugs to all the sleepless mamas out there!
I think there's a dreadful combination of factors going on with my DS (possibly SR, SA and a little bit of the flu - I should add that I'm pregnant again and I think that's also a part of the problem) and he has started not wanting to let us out of the room when he goes to sleep. First only BT, now also naps. He wasn't a good IS from the start but we've worked very hard to remove any associations (first with us staying then with paci) and he had become really good at going to sleep by himself after we told him we're leaving and we'll be back if you need us. Now as soon as we say the words, even if he's been quiet and relaxed through the whole routine and he's the right amount of tired, he grabs at our hands or face and doesn't want to let us go. It happened a few nights, then it got better, requiring us to go back in and resettle but still going off on his own.
Since a couple of days it's gone downhill, he jumps up when we move even if it looks like he's already asleep, and worst of all he started running out of bed and getting out of the room while he just used to complain or cry but still lie down. He sleeps on a floor bed. Being that he is a bit sick we thought of giving him a bit of a break and staying with him in his room until he's asleep, but we'd really like to not create new association with us staying. Also I thought maybe we could explain that's something we can do when he's sick and try to revert back when he's better... I know about WI/WO and I thought it could help, but since he started this running out of bed business it's pretty much impossible to get out without having him freak out and follow right behind us. Should we delay any retraining till he's well again or keep partially 'enforcing' our system? I am considering gradual withdrawal but I'm wondering if this will create the new association before we have to then remove it. Has anyone had a similar situation and had success with one or the other? Thanks to all!

Offline Scottishmummy

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Re: Re-training advice 19 mo
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2017, 13:54:28 pm »
Hi

There is a big developmental leap & sleep regression around this age, which combined with illness could all be contributing to your BT playing around.

I know some people who lie on their child's floor to get through sleep regressions or illness. I do sleep on my som's floor if he is really ill. The trick is to stop before it becomes an association, or at least to be aware that it might become an association and to be prepared to re-train after it passes.

I do think WI/WO would be most suitable approach for ST when you are ready to do this. If he follows you, I think you just have to take him back to bed, try to keep interaction gentle but minimal e.g. just one set phrase (I use "sleepy time") & keep putting him back to bed with only this and walking out and repeating until he settles.

As I say, up to you whether you want to do this first or whether you want to try staying with him if he's ill or needing you there. At some point I think WI/WO will be your most effective option but up to you when you want to start it
"Touchy/Spirited" DS


"Textbook" DD



Offline mulvia

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Re: Re-training advice 19 mo
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2017, 19:56:42 pm »
Thank you for your advice! We also lie down next to him if necessary, so I hope we will manage to stop before it's too late. Can I ask, when you say you sleep next to your son when he's ill, do you stay with him to start with until he's fallen asleep or just if he calls for you at night and needs comforting? Have you had to re-train and did you use WI/WO?
It seems already a bit better (although the last couple of times he was so tired he actually fell asleep before the story/song was over so I feel like that was cheating ;D) - he's not frantically grabbing at my neck anymore and is satisfied with some light pats or just a hand on his chest. His whole schedule seems to have gone out of whack though, with EW making him OT at lunch time, and a resulting earlier nap which today ended up being too short anyway. I tried for an earlier BT to make up for that so fingers crossed.

Offline Scottishmummy

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Re: Re-training advice 19 mo
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 20:30:35 pm »
I hope he gets better soon & catches up on sleep.

My DS always falls asleep himself but when he's ill, calls me into his rooms so much that it's easier to stay there than keep going back and forth!

Hope you get a long night to get him back onto his usual routine.
"Touchy/Spirited" DS


"Textbook" DD



Offline mulvia

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Re: Re-training advice 19 mo
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 07:42:46 am »
Thanks for your wishes...not doing so well. Physically he's better so in order to stop the association that he's already made with us staying until he's asleep I decided to try WIWO. My DH was home for nap but couldn't do it - DS would just not stay in bed for him, standing in a corner facing the wall. The rest of the time he screamed. At BT I did it for an hour (DS constantly running out of bed and trying to get out of the room, me holding the door and going back in after a while to bring him back to bed, pat him a bit, leave. He jumps up as soon as he hears me moving (you know those ankle clicks??) and bangs on the door to get out. After an hour I managed to leave but even though I said again 'mummy leaves now' I'm suspecting he had already drifted off so is it a success..? Same scene repeated for 3 hrs this time from 2 to 5 am, with pretty much the same ending. I noticed that if I just leave and stay out he seems to calm down after a while (have to keep the door shut though otherwise he's out) but at that point he's standing by the door so I doubt he would go to sleep. I thought about moving his floor bed closer to the door so he doesn't have to cross the room to get back, but do you still think WIWO is the way to go or is it just making it worse? Thanks for any suggestion...

Offline Scottishmummy

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Re: Re-training advice 19 mo
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 22:10:37 pm »
Oh gosh, that sounds really hard. The WI/WO sounds difficult for you all,

Could he be going through a sleep regression? I know lots of LOs are harder to get to sleep when going through this.  Not sure what to suggest... Maybe it's worth trying gradual withdrawal if WI/WO doesn't feel right?
"Touchy/Spirited" DS


"Textbook" DD



Offline mulvia

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Re: Re-training advice 19 mo
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2017, 19:22:39 pm »
Hello again! It certainly didn't feel quite right...it was turning into a seemingly mean mixture of letting him scream a while and then taking him back to bed where he relaxed, exhausted...just to jump up and scream again as soon as we were out. We are now trying gradual withdrawal, it's certainly easier on everyone. At the moment he needs us to stay until he's asleep, when I do I try to sit not so close to him and to minimize contact (however he does sometimes need to have a hand placed on his chest to relax). I think though, for the most part it's probably due to separation anxiety. He's really clingy with me and sometimes he starts screaming even during the day as soon as he learns that i'll be leaving shortly. Last night we tried to have DH doing the whole bathtime routine on his own and then putting him to sleep, no problems. He still woke a couple of times but when DH went to resettle he was ok, when I went in the next time he got really anxious about me leaving again and even if I stayed for an hour he wasn't able to fully relax. Also, tonight we though I might try to stay for the start of the bath and then leave, but he's sounding pretty upset right now since I left the bathroom...so I guess at least we have a bit more of an idea of why this is happening! Hopefully with gradual withdrawal we can reassure him and get him back on track gently..

Offline Scottishmummy

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Re: Re-training advice 19 mo
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2017, 08:04:57 am »
Sounds like GW suits you all better. Let us know how you get on xxx
"Touchy/Spirited" DS


"Textbook" DD



Offline mulvia

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Re: Re-training advice 19 mo
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2017, 20:13:58 pm »
Hello again! Thought I'd share the GW is helping, at least in the 'going to sleep' department (we can now sit away from his bed and kind of walk out singing his BT song), and at least a couple of times he was still moving after we left so there's hope he wasn't completely asleep yet ;) He still has NWs, at least once per night - they seem to increase if I put him to bed and/or take him back to bed when he gets out of the room during the night. With DH he seems to relax a lot more and often just wakes up that one time with longer sleep in between. Go figure. Anyway, now that we're getting back a bit of confidence at BT, nap refusal has also kicked in. He's never been a big day sleeper, so his day is a bit longer than average I guess:

WU 7/7.30, sometimes a little earlier since this 'crisis' started
S 13/14, anything between 1 and 2.5 hours
BT 20.30ish

A couple of times he's resisted or refused naps altogether, only to fall asleep in the car when we take him home (he's with grandparents while I'm at work). This is usually around 5 pm so I never really let him sleep more than 30 minutes to avoid BT havoc..would you agree with that? He's just soooo hard to wake and cranky when he does, I'm concerned I'm messing with his wellbeing!
We also tried for EBT but never worked well. Either he did everything he could to not get into bed until the usual time (you would swear he knows exactly what time it is!) or he did go to sleep but then woke an hour earlier and was up for the day...not great either.
I have read in another post that this refusal may also be linked to development which is indeed progressing fast these days - when it rains it pours, right?  ::)

I guess at least it feels the worse has passed and now we're just trying to ride it out and keep being as consistent as possible.
Thanks for the words of advice and especially for lending an ear (or two)!