Sandman Updates

You may recall that we were having some serious sleep issues at our house. Lots of waking up, lots of middle-of-the-night TV, and not nearly enough sleep for Hubby and I.

Well, you guys, the lovely people inside the computer, left me about a million suggestions and Hubby and I started working our way through them. We also paid a visit to the pediatrician to make sure he didn’t have swollen tonsils which can lead to sleep apnea.

Well, tonsils were fine and so we started experimenting. We seemed to have found a solution. We’re still not in perfection land, but waking up an hour later or falling asleep later is more the problem as opposed to waking everyone up at two wanting to party.I MUCH PREFER getting up an hour ahead of schedule to trying to keep a three-year-old happy at two in the morning.

So! What was the solution? Really, it was a combination of things. First of all, we have become re-dedicated to our nightly stretch. Each night we spend at least twenty minutes slowly and thoroughly stretching out Charlie’s hamstrings. I’ve heard from several adults with CP that cramping during the night can be a problem, so we figured a good stretch might help with that.

The other major thing we changed was eating. We now feed Charlie a pretty sizable meal right before bed. This goes against what a lot of people might suggest, but the kid has such a voracious appetite, it seems to be working. He eats two eggs (or the equivalent) before bed every night. I swear, we should get some chickens because egg consumption is getting crazy around here.

In addition to these two big changes, we’re also putting him down about half an hour later. He goes to bed incredibly late for a preschooler (nine o’clock), but every single member of my family is a veteran night owl, so I can only assume that he’s taking after my side of the family.

So that’s where we’re at–not perfect, but SO much better than before

boy looking at camera

Charlie's winter eczema has returned

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On a related note, Hubby and I have decided that Charlie is now old enough and healthy enough to sleep in his own room. Since he was born, he has always slept in our room. When he out-grew his co-sleeper, we put a crib mattress on the floor next to our bed, bumpered it with some pillows, and there’s he remained for probably the last two years. I know there are a lot of people who would be horrified by this, but kids with epilepsy have a nasty habit of dying in their sleep, so I was always really worried that something might happen to Charlie. After a couple of years of uneventful sleeping, I feel pretty good about moving him to his own room although it will definitely have to be a gradual process. I’m still trying to decide on whether or not we need a “baby” monitor.

One of the things we are already doing, however, is getting Charlie more comfortable in “his” room. Before now, it’s just been a place where I keep his clothes, craft supplies, etc. We’re rarely in there. So I went and bought a TV at a thrift store and put it right down on the floor in his room. Let me tell you, my kid loves a TV and he loves buttons. As far as he’s concerned, there’s little in life as awesome as a TV that has all the buttons in reach. We’ve got it hooked up to a DVD player which we leave running during the day, so all he has to do it turn it on and the fabulous Mrs. Rachel Coleman will appear to sing him songs. It’s as close to paradise as this three year old can get.

And this (omigosh, if you are still reading, thank you) has led to my most-favorite Charlie development yet.

Charlie can now move from room to room.

I have done almost everything I can think of to encourage Charlie to be a little more independent. He is able to get around, so my ultimate goal is for him to be able to move from room to room–even if that means he commando crawls all over the house. I’ve tried all sorts of things, but he has remained stuck.

Enter: his own TV.

The other day he was in the den, listening to his iPad, when he caught sight of the TV in his room, which was still on. Wouldn’t you know he just crawled right into his room? And later, he crawled back into the den! I announced this on Twitter and got like no response. I can only assume that the rest of the world has no idea how long I have wanted this to happen. Also, how many doors this opens for Charlie. He can go where he wants!

We’re still a long way from moving about the entire house, but I’m fine with small victories.

Boy crying

Charlie did NOT want to go on a bike ride

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Comments

  1. GO Charlie!!!! That’s awesome! When Stephen was first crawling (at 17 months, finally!), he was scared to go from the carpet to the wood/tile floors, and vice versa. And THAT kept him from moving around the house. I was SOOOOO happy when he finally got brave enough to venture beyond his small area. Now, of course, he runs all over the place, which is fine, except when he sneaks upstairs into his dad’s office to try to play with the computer…

    And I also wanted to tell you that at 4 years old (next week – EEK!), we still have a baby monitor. Mostly, it’s because we have a multi-level house, and I can’t hear him when I’m downstairs during naptime without it. But, since he did used to have sleep apnea, it really gives me some peace of mind. Nothing wrong with that!

  2. Go Charlie! I totally get the importance of those victories that seem so small to other people but are HUGE to you. :)
    And I hate winter ezcema!!! My oldest son has such sensitive skin! I had to edit the crap out of our Christmas pictures. I found a cream at our Target that so far has worked wonders. Cleared up some spots on his face & back in days. And it smells yummy. It’s California Baby’s Calendula Cream. You can find it online too. I actually have a prescription for a steroid cream that I haven’t even had to fill yet. Yippee!

    • I’m going to have to look for that. Our big problem is that he’s a hand chewer, which means an open, drooly mouth which means eczema is WAY worse.

      • Has his OT mentioned a chewy necklace? Ours made one for Stephen, because he chews on his shirt sleeves (and he’s been doing it aLOT lately – hopefully that means something big is going to happen soon!!). He only has it at school, although I’m going to ask if we can keep it over the holidays, but his teacher said it has really helped a lot!

        • My son is a chewer too & drools still (he has a lot of sensory issues with his Autism/adhd). I just got him a necklace from this site… http://www.chewelry.ca and so far, he loves it! The clasp is a breakaway, so no worries about choking himself. They sell them on Amazon also. About $20 with shipping. :)

  3. Yay for Charlie and you!

  4. Yay! Go, Charlie, Go! Explore that house!!!

  5. Katy, this is huge! Congratulation’s to you all!

    Watch out, lock those cabinets, put in the electric outlet plugs and child proof your home! How awesome is that!

    Go Charlie!

    • I know, Lisa! He’s starting to open drawers too, but luckily he just opens them–can’t really get to the contents.

  6. MelissaInk Designs says:

    Great news on all ends!

  7. getting around on his own is a HUGE milestone. He is becoming more and more independent!! That teary picture is just heartbreaking!! But the other picture… OMG, he looks so grown up! Cutie pie!!

  8. WOW! That is HUGE! Way to go Charlie! Guess he just needed the right motivation to get moving (and don’t they always do things on their terms and not ours?). How wonderful! So glad the sleeping thing is getting better. Hope the transition to sleeping in his room goes smoothly too. Love the pics too – it is sad to see him in tears, but man, what a cutie! He really does look more and more grown up every time you post a pic!

  9. We’ve been having awful sleep issues at our place, too… this is nothing new for Sophie but the last couple of months were especially horrendous. Still haven’t solved it though. It’s really awesome when both kids are up at the same time. Her nurse pracititioner seems to think Benadryl is the answer, but I feel like that might be a band-aid to a bigger problem. To be continued…

    And hooray to Charlie for getting around more! If I were on Twitter I would have responded. That is awesome news!

  10. WTG Charlie! Great job on getting him to explore his surroundings! Any way that you can make it happen is a good thing! And that last picture, oh boy…heartbreaker there…not want to go for a bike ride? Hugs, but he is even cuter when he is having a moment..

  11. So excited to hear he is moving from room to room. For kids who are non-verbal I know many parents look to mobility as a form of communication. Go Charlie Go! Also have you gotten to try a Kidwalk for him yet? I have a couple students who are older than Charlie and not as mobile who took off running (almost) there first time in it.

    • Beth, I’ve been sitting on the waiting list to use the Kidwalk for about a million year. Finally they called me–and it’s right in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. Can’t do it! I’m going to try some places in the City and see if any of them have some time available.

  12. I’m not in the twitterati but crawling room to room is HUGE. Hooray for Charlie. And yay for you getting more sleep. My kids have been pretty good but my aging dog and nagging health issues consipired against me this week – you have my deepest and most sympathetic sympathies.

    • Lord, my pets can cause the biggest sleep issues. They wake us up repeatedly, start playing games at five a.m. They’re lucky they’re cute because otherwise, they’d be out on street!

  13. Hooray to Charlie for moving around more!!!! That is HUGE!!! So happy for you all. Would like to say another hooray for getting more sleep! As for the baby montiors, my son is two & I still use them. My son was very ill following his open heart surgery & I was paranoid that something would happen in his sleep…..so when he was a few months old, I started using one of those Babysense V infant movement monitors, in addition to my video montior. Thankfully, my son is much healthier now, but I still turn those monitors on every single night. :)

    • Yeah, I think I’m definitely going to do some kind of monitor–although I haven’t figure out what kind yet!

  14. That’s such great news! I love all the developments at your house these days!! Progress, progress, progress. :)

  15. Wow, you’re just full of fantastic news! I don’t know which is better–Charlie crawling from room to room, or Charlie sleeping better through the night. They’re both AWESOME! I am so happy for you guys, and so proud of Charlie!

    • Short term, the sleep is great. Long-term, changing rooms is probably more of a life-time achievement. Either way I’m happy.

  16. Wow! What great milestones! Moving into his own room, crawling from one room to another and back again, sleeping better. Sounds like Christmas came early in your house :-)

  17. So excited for you and Charlie!!! What big things are happening at your house lately—it’s awesome! And I’m sure it’s a little scary to have him out of your room, but I bet it’s also nice to get your room back…..?

    CONGRATS! You are such a terrific mama!
    πŸ˜‰

    • I would love to have my room back! It’s actually my husband who has trouble parting with his little man.

  18. Wow, I’m so glad he’s sleeping better for you – don’t worry about putting him down ‘late’ – if it works for you, it’s what’s best for your child & your family! :) As far as the monitor, again, if it makes you more comfortable – then get done & don’t worry about it being a ‘baby’ item! :) Love your perspective on everything & how much you know & love your son! :)

    • Thank you! I think you’re right on the monitor–who cares if it’s a “baby” item? Especially if that baby item gives me peace of mind.

  19. Go, Charlie! It’s fantastic that Charlie can move from room to room now. Also, congratulations on figuring out how to help the nighttime sleeping issue. Enjoy your sleep and your mobile cutie!

  20. THIS.IS.HUGE!!! Fantastic crawling news!! Maybe you should just put the TV on the floor in a random room, just so he can see it. And then put it where he can’t see it so he has to go find it!!
    I remember when E crawled…it took FOREVER. We had to move her hands and feet (while holding up her trunk) for MONTHS before she got it. You wouldn’t know it today, though.
    That is so exciting for Charlie and your family! I am squealing with joy (and I’m NOT a squealer!)!!

  21. This is great news! Im so glad the sleeping is getting better and he moved into his room, such great progress and Im sure more is to come!

  22. Hooray for Charlie! I’ve just found your blog. I followed the link on no time for flash cards. I do think he looks like a Charlie. If I’d gotten your tweet I totally would have hoorayed! We still get the giggles from seeing our guy move about independently and now move furniture around. When it takes a while for your kiddo to do things that other people kind of take for granted, it is so much more amazing I think!

  23. Oh and PS our five year who sleeps on a bipap is still sleeping in his toddler bed next to ours. Our big progress was actually pushing the beds apart. πŸ˜€
    He actually is doing well also…probably time to be thinking about a move…