Today I am going to talk about my experience of helping my eldest to sleep when he was a toddler. Reflecting back he had problem with settling down to sleep even though he desperately needed it.
One of the major triggers in causing resistance is the fact that there were too many stimulus in the room for him to focus on.
I made sure that he went into my bedroom as at the time it had hardly anything to get distracted with.
I made sure that the room was as dark as possible to help reduce the sensory of light, as that was a big thing for him. It allowed him to stop focusing and shut down.
He also liked texture or things that weigh him down (he still does to this day and loves a children’s water bottle). He likes warm and physical contact, I don’t know whether it is the smell or the feeling that the was safe.
I made sure that I did not talk to him and had minimal noise. He gets very distracted by minor things so this was really beneficial to him.
I belief that when he layed down on mummy and daddy’s bed he felt safe and knowing that an adult was near by.
I am lucky to have black out curtains so that also helped to reduce light into the room.
This was incorporated as a routine, my son responds well to routine as he knows what to expect. He has positive associates after a trial of getting used to this. He could feel safe and knew that it was ok to go to sleep. I think for him this was a big deal and it allowed him to relax, in turn helped him sleep.
At the time we suspected that my eldest was autistic but could not say for sure. However, I am autistic I used the tools that helped me. I knew potentially he could be so plied these rules I associated with sleep and found had a big impact on his sleep.