AbezAbez Is... 50% White, 50 % Pakistani, Muslim Hijab-wearing type female, Daughter of Momma, Sister of Owlie Wife of HF, Momma of Khalid, a special little boy with Autism, and Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair, Writer, Graphic Designer, Editor, Freelancer, Blogger, Inhaler of Chocolate
Right Brain Left Brain Islam poetry
Mortal Wounds BebeFiles Husbandfiles

My sister, De Owl

My Husband, who never updates!

Mona, who I don't visit enough

Hemlock, who I don't hug enough

Baji, the orginal robot monkey pirate

Prometheus, who buts brains to blog about Autism

Socrates, a blogger with Asperger's

Jo, a funnier Autism mom with a great blog

Autism Watch-  for logic-based information

ASAT- Assosciation for Science in Autism Treatments

Quack Watch- for current news and info on all sort of medical treatments

Expat Women Blog Directory

My Cousin- really, he's my cousin.  Wish he would update more.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Bebefiles: A change of tactics

So we managed to stick to sleep training for ten nights- ten nights of screaming and then collapsing out of exhaustion, and as Khalid screamed and bounced for 2 1/2 hours last night, I had to admit that his sleep time wasn't improving. Supposedly, letting the kid cry it out is the fastest method- and results take 3-5 days, tops. Ten days in, and Khalid miserable and cranky all day, and HF and I both rapidly losing hope, we have changed our approach.

I'm not sure what we've changed it to though. All I know is that this morning at 6 am, as I was quietly eating cereal in the kitchen to make up for no dinner last night, Waleed brought me Khalid. I was confused. I did a double-take. Then I scooped my poor, miserable, puffy-eyed, pink faced bebe up and put him, not in his crib, but to sleep. And he went to sleep and woke up happy at ten am. Today, Khalid is himself for the first time in such a long time. He's exploring, he's giggling, he's chasing and being chased around the house- compare this to how he'd been lately- stressed out, tired, and miserable unless actively distracted. Today is a vast improvement.

Have we thrown in the towel? I don't think so. But I know I cried all over it last night (as well as HF) and used it to wipe my nose a few times. This morning, I took down the curtain I'd put up around Khalid's crib so he could learn to sleep 'on his own.' Tonight, well, I'm not sure what I'm going to do tonight. We have options.

What I would like to do is remove the absolute terror that Khalid now perceives his crib with before I try to teach him to sleep in it again. I know from experience that this involves taking one of the sides off and pushing it against our bed so that even though he's sleeping in his crib, he's got me next to him. Then, after a week or so, I can start putting him in the crib after he's already fallen asleep. Right now, even taking him in the vicinity of his crib sends him in to a panic, and I've tried before to put him in it (asleep) before getting him used to it, and the result is not unlike an instantly awake, very afraid, and desperately clingy 35-pound barnacle.

That's what I would like to do, and I think I will. A different option is to put Khalid in his crib at bedtime, and then sit beside it (without making eye-contact, without speaking to him or soothing him in any way) while he fusses it out, still unhappy, but at least slightly reassured because he hasn't been left alone. I'm sure that may be effective on its own, but following the ten nights of terror, I think simply me being there won't be enough to help him calm down and sleep. His crib is a source of serious stress for him, and on top of that, he's developed separation anxiety to the point where he panics if I leave his sight. He thinks he's going to be left alone again.

Yes, I feel guilty enough to keel over and die. Yes, someone shoot me now.

I know he needs to be sleep-trained, and I know that it'll be hard work no matter what we try. I just pray we're doing it the right way and we're not traumatizing the poor barnacle.

Please remember us in your duas. Tonight is yet another night, let's see what comes, InshaAllah.


At 27/12/07 7:33 PM, Blogger Aysh said...

Assalamlikum Abez,

Err... a belated Eid Mubarak. :D

Hmm.... yep... it's hard work getting a kid to fall asleep.... in his crib. I was reading your post and thinking, 'Ya ALLAH!! If I dont toughen up and put my baby in his crib, I might end up like you'. I know how hard it is to actually put your baby in the crib. I get sepration anxiety (rather than him )if I leave him in his crib even during daytime!

You are in my duas sis. InshAllah, Khalid will learn to sleep on his own. You just have to preservere and keep focussed. Try making bed time fun for him or try getting him a small bed. You know the kinds that look like small cars and all. You'll have to spend a little but it will be less traumatizing to the kid. Who knows, he might actually enjoy sleeping in a car or a boat.

Best of luck!

At 27/12/07 9:49 PM, Blogger baj said...

wish i had some wise words of advice, but we are still keeping zp in our bed until he falls asleep around 9 and then moving him to his crib. he gets up anywhere between 0 to 3 times a night but usually immediately falls asleep once tp goes in there to shush him. then, at around 530 or 630, he stands up and won't lay back down until we bring him back into our bed. such little tyrants we are raising! i'A, the next ones will be more mellow!!!

At 28/12/07 9:23 PM, Blogger wayfarer said...

I feel for you...

I had ld sleep trained when he was a baby and it was awful. When we were travelling and moving he got used to sleeping with me and wouldn't go near his crib. I gave up and just let him sleep with me now. He's comfortable and secure, it's recommended in Islam from what i've been hearing (do a search for family bed in islam) and i just didn't have it in me to make my kid cry again.

What I am trying next is getting him a big bed for his room. I hear this helps so i can go to sleep with him but then can leave and the plan is that he'll eventually stay there. I know he'll wake up and come climb in with me but eventually he will stay.

It seems everyone has issues with sleep. I know we get very little around here but one day they will no longer want to sleep with us. It's only for a few years...insh'Allah you guys get what's best for you worked out. It is truly one of the hardest things. salaams.

At 29/12/07 12:46 PM, Blogger Mona said...

subhanAllah. you're in my du'as. i don't think you have any reason to feel guilty. you're doing what you think is best for Khalid and you and Waleed.
May Allah SWT make it easy for you. Call if you need a hand with anything, okay?

At 29/12/07 4:47 PM, Blogger A said...

He's won another round. Best of luck to mom. :))

At 3/1/08 11:51 PM, Blogger baj said...

any improvement? we've started trying a new approach with zp - put him in his crib when he's sleepy but tp sleeps next to him on a twin mattress on the floor. night one has gone pretty well. we'll see what tonight has in store for us...


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link


Expat Women - Helping Women Living Overseas