Ever since Lennon was born he was a horrible sleeper.
He would wake up constantly, I’m talking every 30 minutes to and hour, for a bottle. Yes, a bottle. Not a boob. We didn’t have the luxury of breastfeeding for any mom shamers out there. I’ve heard plenty from you already on my instagram. And, just for good measure:
After that, it just became a habit.
A bottle … to put him down.
A bottle … if he woke in the middle of the night.
A bottle … if he started crying.
The bottle was basically mommy and daddy’s pacifier. It was how we kept our sanity. It was how we got any sleep.
And now, we’re paying the price.
Lennon is so dependent on his sippy cup at bedtime he goes into absolute panic mode if he wakes and there isn’t one nearby. That said, we usually have 3 cups at the ready bedside. And I change A MINIMUM of 3 diapers every night while he sleeps. A MINIMUM!
I know we did this to ourselves and this habit should have been broken a long time ago, but the fact is – it wasn’t. And now we’re screwed. Sleep training an autistic 3 year old is basically impossible.
Have you ever looked into hiring a sleep training specialist? Some don’t even offer options for toddlers and those who do typically charge more. Honestly though, it might be worth it.
But it gets worse.
What I described above (3 cups and 3 diaper changes) is a good night. Lennon and I co-sleep (quiet mom shamers!) He more or less sleeps through the night and reaches for a sippy cup on autopilot. I wake when I notice moisture (Yuck!) and that’s when I diaper change. I get sleep in 1-3 hour increments.
If daddy sleep with us it’s beyond worse. Lennon won’t sleep through the night, he wakes, he cries. The same cups are used and diapers are changed but there is crying and much worse sleep for myself and Kenny. I think it is because both Kenny and Lennon generate a ridiculous amount of body heat, but that’s just a guess. So Kenny doesn’t sleep with us and it all falls on me to deal with these wretched nights.
Once upon a time …
I tried to break this horrible sippy cup at night habit. But there were so many REALLY BAD nights in doing so that I was basically the walking dead. I wasn’t functioning as a proper human being. I had no breaks, a full-time job, and an autistic son to care for when I wasn’t there. I was too tired to deal so back to sippy cups I went.
We’ve tried … Melatonin. It seemed to help put him to sleep quicker, but he always woke soon after and was wide awake. WIDE AWAKE.
We’ve tried … Baths at night to soothe him. But, one thing you should know about my kid is water DOES THE OPPOSITE of calming him.
We’ve tried … Cuddles in lieu of sippy cups. He was NOT A FAN.
We’ve tried … Essential oils. Make ZERO difference.
We are open to suggestions.
Have a sleep consultant you love? Let us know.
A magic food that induces sleep? I want to hear about it.
Until then, one very tired mama is signing off.