Monday, December 3, 2012

14 month old foster child is not sleeping through the night.

Dear Kay,

I have a 14 month old who I am fostering(he is also my great nephew)he's been here 6 months. He is not sleeping through the night,he takes a bottle to go to sleep, we are trying to wean him from but he has always waken a lot at night. We try to let him cry or fuss but he is very stubborn and will do this for sometimes 2 hours. He is in our room in a crib and I think that does not make matters better but we really have nowhere else to put him, we both work( I at home) and have 4 children in school so we lose the sleep along with our youngest who is in room nest to ours. how can we change or help this situation????

Dear Donna;

I have an easy solution. Stop letting him cry. Pick him up and either rock him to sleep or let him get into bed with you until he goes to sleep then put him back in his own bed. Another solution is to do a full massage. A nightly routine will do much to get him calm enough to go to sleep.

I suggest quietly playing with him about 90 minutes before bedtime, then move to a bath, next a night time story, a massage and he should be ready for sleep. Also make sure the room temperature is not too warm we all sleep better when we are slightly cooler (not cold). Start this routine and I bet in no time you are getting more sleep.

Also he isn't being stubborn he wants you to soothe him. He is asking to have a need for comfort to be met. Try and not use negative labels for what is a totally normal response from a child.

If he still does not sleep through the night check the environment to make sure some noise is not arousing him. If he has eaten something that gives him gas, if he is waking because he is hungry (children's stomachs are only as big as their fists).

You have your hands full and are doing a wonderful thing, don't forget to enjoy him and yourself.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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