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After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On Sleeping

Kyle asked me the other day when Maddie would sleep in her bed all night.  I just laughed. 
Although Maddie has always been a good baby, she's never been a good sleeper. 
I finally came to the conclusion that Maddie will never sleep the recommended 14 hours of sleep for her age group.  And there's only so much you can do when it comes to someone else sleeping.  
We have numerous "routines" we rotate through.  Just when something begins to work really well, Maddie will become immune to its sleep-inducing powers.  
I've made up our own lullaby song to the tune of "Goodnight Sweetheart."  That worked for a while.  
Then we tried the magic lotion.  I told her this was special lotion and when put on it her leg, it would cause her leg to go to sleep.  I would say, "Go to sleep leg, Go to sleep leg, Go to sleep." And would repeat this until she was covered with magic lotion.  That worked for a little while.  
We've also tried "unpacking the day."  While she's in her crib, we talk about what we did throughout the day, detail after detail until she yawns and gives up.  That worked a couple of nights.  
Our go-to routine though is reading a couple of bedtime books and say a bedtime prayer.  
We decided a long time ago to stay in the room until she fell asleep.  We tried the whole leave-the-room-let-them-cry-come-back-in-5-minutes thing and it did NOT work for us.  Not only did it feel completely unnatural, Maddie was so sensitive when we would leave her anxiety escalated to the point of stimulating her to a more wakeful state.  She was far more concerned about where we were and when we would come back than dozing off to sleep.
 So for the last couple of years our nights have consisted of putting Maddie to sleep, which Kyle and I switch off each night.  This could take 15 minutes or up to an hour, depending on the night!  And then Maddie always wakes up sometime in the middle of the night.  Instead of repeating the same ordeal, I just scoop her up and bring her to bed with us. 
I'm sure there's a lot of experts out there who could point out all the flaws in our plan, but you know, it works for us...at least for now. 
I actually remember the first night I had to go to sleep in my own bedroom all by myself.  I was terrified, but my Mom assured me I wasn't alone because I had all of my stuffed animals with me.  That worked for me. And in the morning, I did feel proud of myself for what I had accomplished!
  When Maddie gets older, maybe we'll give that a try.  Just not sure when "older" should be.
  Any suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. our girls crawled into our bed even when they were in 1st-2nd grade. I don't know if it was the warmth of the water bed, or the comfort of being with mama & dad? but, we just let it happen & eventually, they didn't do it anymore. I miss those days. Now my girls are in their 30's & I can remember the feel of their warm, sweaty bodies against mine. ENJOY!