Toddler bedtime routine - advice please! — Scope | Disability forum
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Toddler bedtime routine - advice please!

gigglersmum Member Posts: 7 Listener
Hi. My little one is nearly 2 and has recently become a big challenge at bedtime. He has spastic quad CP but seems comfortable enough when sleeping and doesn't appear to have muscle spasms or discomfort once asleep. He's generally been a pretty good sleeper as a baby but has always been given a lot of comfort and help settling - he has a dummy & needs me to sit with him whilst he falls asleep. The problem is that he won't (or can't?) settle himself. He will drop off to sleep at bedtime in his cot without too much complaint provided he knows I'm sitting next to him but as soon as I try to leave the room he wakes up and throws a huge tantrum. He is vocal and will shout 'mummy, mummy, no, no' to maximum effect whilst crying. He's also waking up very regularly and needs myself or my husband to sit with him before he'll go to sleep again. On the one hand I recognise that this is likely 'typical' toddler behaviour and if he didn't have CP I feel I'd be more inclined to be a bit stricter and insist that he learns to sleep alone. But as he can't roll over and is entirely dependent on me I feel that leaving him to figure out how to sleep on his own is asking a bit much of both him and of me. So, what to do? Any tips? In some ways I feel I should just respond to whatever he needs but I'm concerned that if I don't tackle this he'll be dictating what happens at bedtime for years to come and we'll get into real problems with sleep (he is very strong minded!). I was wondering if any parents with toddlers with quad CP have introduced successful bedtime routines?


  • imogen37
    imogen37 Member Posts: 61 Listener

    I feel your pain,looking after a child with CP is a lot harder than looking after a healthy one, so come evening you'd just want to sit down and relax.

    MY son also has quad CP, can't roll, sit etc. He is now 3. he has always been a terrible sleeper, but he used to have a lot of spasms during the night. he has made a lot of progress thanks to Advanced Biomechanical rehabilitation, and as he has physically advanced his sleep has also got better.

    But we also had to work on sleep. Things what helped were homeopathy for falling asleep. Or try aromatherapy from either bodyshop or neil's yard. My son loves an old teddy; this has all sorts of smells of time on it so he does not feel alone. Or try giving him one of your t-shirts to cuddle, preferably one you have had on for that day. Melatonin from his doc can help with falling asleep.

    As your son used to be quite a good sleeper, maybe it helps to look back and trying to identify what worked in the past and try them again, but you have probably done that.

    Sorry I am probably not much help, but would be happy to answer any questions.
  • Maxianne
    Maxianne Member Posts: 6 Connected
    have you tried gradual retreat? You have said that you have to go back in the night when your son wakes to sit with him, this is because he will need the same circumstances as he had at the the beginning of the evening. With gradual retreat you will move across and out of his room over the course of several weeks.


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