Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Sleep Issues -- They Just Keep on Coming

When will the sleep issues end for her??

Tonight as I tried to put her to sleep, she arched her back, pushed me away, yelled, settled and repeated. I put her in the bed, she got up over and over and over again, with me putting her back down, rubbing her back. I left the room; she went nuts. Kevin went back and as I type she is throwing an all out, first class hissy fit.

She still wakes up a minimum of two times a night, usually three or four. She still wants two bottles a night, usually at 1:00 or so and again at 5:30.

She has had recent night terrors where she is screaming, crying, yet not awake.

What do I do? What causes this? I'm just beside myself. I guess I should go up and help.


Jennifer G. said...

Sorry little Ellie is still having sleep issues. It could just be that she is still in a transition phase; it may last a long while with "institutionalized" babies. As for wanting a bottle at night when she no longer needs one: Emmerson did that sometimes too. One thing that helped was gradually decreasing how much formula I put in the bottle for her. Gradually reducing the amount decreases the length of time they are awake and decreases their dependence on that comfort item. It wasn't long before E. wasn't needing it anymore. Does Ellie have a lovey? Encourage her to latch on to something, such as when cuddling with her, when feeding a bottle, reading books, when she's stressed, in the stroller, and bedtime of course, etc. Give it a name and encourage her to turn to it for support and soothing whenever there's an opportunity. That helps E. a lot and she can go to sleep on her own. Does Ellie have a nightlight? Consider something like a TykeLight, which she could also hold and play with before bedtime. Emmerson loves hers. Putting it on is part of our bedtime ritual, and in the middle of the night, it ensures E. isn't in complete darkness if she awakes. Hang in there. Hope some of this helps!

Margaret and Tom said...

Milana had/has issues with sleep too...for a long time she was up two to three times a has finally settled down the past 2-3 months to one time a night. I figured as a first time parent maybe it was Tom and I that did something wrong as far as spoiling her too much or not letting her "cry it out" but maybe it is something to do with the care they were used to at the orphanage given that Ellie and her were at the same place. All I can say is it will get better...Milana is usually only up once now and usually goes right back to sleep and no longer needs a bottle in the middle of the night...but she did for a LONG time. Hang in is so exhausting, I can't remember many things we did this past summer/fall because I think I was sleep walking half the time :) Email me if you get any good ideas from friends on how to deal with it because I could definitely use some more tips still.
:) Margaret

Shannon said...

I'm so sorry Ellie has to suffer through this (and you guys, too). It took about 1 1/2 yrs for E to settle into a sleep routine. He, too, started having night terrors about 6 months after he came home. Patience and love will get her through this. I am not a proponent of "crying it out", especially with post-institutionalized kids (just my opinion). Keep reminding yourself that this WILL pass - you are strong people and while the lack of sleep is really difficult, you will make it! :)

Hilary Marquis said...

I'm so sorry...I feel your pain. Tyler had terrors as a little guy. One thing that a doctor recommended was that if he was having them at a specific time of night, to wake him up a little while before his "scheduled time" for a terror. That might be of some help :) Hang in there. Ellie is not your typical baby, her first months did make an impact on her, and you can't necessarily handle her the same way you would've with Josh. Call if you need me!

Jeanne said...

Sorry you are having these difficulties. I think Jennifer above has some very good suggestions. Having lovey items really helped my son learn self-soothing. Also, gradually switching formula for water at night is a good idea for her dental health.

Rachel said...

So sorry, Maria!! The only thing I can think of would be a humidifier if you don't have one. We just got one for Scarlett to help with her coughing at night (allergies) and it has definitely helped, though she didn't have sleep issues. I know she is really attached to her lovey and has a hard time sleeping without it (something Alex never really got attached to and we never actually encouraged with him, but hey, whatever works for each kid).

I agree with Jennifer about her not needing a bottle. I like the idea of decreasing it slowly. She may just need it for security, to know she'll get it when she needs it. If she takes two a night, maybe just give her one...the other time she wakes up just hold her, change her if she needs it, etc. She'll be mad at first, but will probably get over it in a week or so. Again, no clue if it works just throwing it out there.

Good luck!

The Stahnke's said...

Sleeping issues are the worse! We finally got Andrew to the point that he just lays in his bed and goes to sleep without anything from me, but he has been home over a year. I never gave Andrew a bottle from day one in the middle of the night. I knew he was getting enough caleries through the day, and he was gaining weight faster then anyone I have ever seen. Having said that a child who isn't adopted shouldn't need a bottle in the middle of the night so I would start with weaning her from that first. It sounds like she is wakeing up out of habit. One thing with Andrew that helped was giving him some baby cereal before bed and that helped fill his belly, and he seemed to wake less. Do you have a routine before bed time? Will she let you rock her to sleep? I worked with Andrew forever with that, but I wanted him to feel safe enough to fall asleep in my arms and then I would place him into bed. Then a few months ago the transition was quite easy. I just rock him for about a minute, tell him it's time to go to sleep and he lays right down and within a few minutes he is asleep. Also are you waking getting her up when she is having a night terror? Andrew had these every hour or so when we brought him hom, but the psychologist said to never wake him, he has to work through that himself. Eventually about six months later that stopped, but I myself had the sleepness nights myself. For some reason I was thinking when I got a baby from an orphanage that he would sleep really good for me because they were not use to getting anything in the middle of the night. Wow! was I ever wrong! I hope it gets better soon.