No sleep with young children is not a new thing. When they are infants as E is, they eat, poop, sleep and repeat. Some are nicer to their parents and sleep for 3, 4 or even 5 hours at a time and others, like mine are very 2 hour eaters. Coupled with the fact that E, like her brother before her, is extremely gassy. This means that in sleep she wiggles to work the gas out and oftentimes wakes herself up. This makes sleep very elusive for me. Once she’s up, that’s it. We change a diaper and we eat til we fall asleep.
J, even at 4.5 still has a hard time going an entire week without waking up. We’ve since moved on from gas to some invisible leg and foot issue that we have no idea what it is. He cannot tell us what’s wrong. All he can do is cry until we calm him down or it goes away. Is it growing pains? Restless leg? Was it tight tendons ( he’s a toe walker)? We’ve tried iron for restless leg with a little success but not permanent. Growing pains are a possibility but I doubt that’s the cause for it at the frequency he wakes up. We’ve since casted both of his feet to stretch the tendons which helped he tendons but not the sleep. Without a way to communicate to us what the actual problem is we continue to be up at night and continue to guess.
Bad sleep habits are not new in the autism world. Most autistic children have some sort of sleeping issue. Since autism is a brain wired differently it’s not a surprise. I am greatful that during his happy wake periods, he sits on his bed and chatters to himself in a language only he understands. This means I can turn the sound off the monitor and go back to sleep. I am incredibly greatful he does not leave his room and is not self injurious. I know that many families who walk with autism are not so lucky.
I am curious to see how E’s sleep goes as she gets older. I have read that sleep can be hard for cfers because breathing is hard. The fact that she’s a newborn is not helping in the sleep department right now. I’m running on half but I can’t stop running because I have 3 kids and a husband and life does not stop when I’m exhausted.
A is by far the best sleeper. She has her moments but is easy to get back to sleep and she can go weeks without waking up at night. I should mention she’s still in a crib so that contains her for the moment. I dread what nighttime will bring once she’s in a big bed.
I figure I’ll get a good night sleep when they’re all above 18. My fingers are crossed.