Would’ve thought they could all be so related?!? In my experience, incredibly so. It’s also linked to weening!
Joe had terrible gas in the night up until 2 1/2yrs and would rely heavily on me (and my boob) to relax enough to let the gas out and go back to sleep. At first I didn’t realize that this is what was causing him to wake up. I just thought he was a ‘bad’ sleeper. He’d wake up, some nights, screaming from the gas. He didn’t even need to have a lot of it stuck for him to over-react like this. So needless to say, my sleep was dependent on his sleep. We both had a hard time. Because of this, weening seemed impossible to me. He never would take a dummy or a bottle from birth. It was only me he’d accept.
Then, something amazing happened. Well, two things really. Firstly, once Joe started wearing the weighted jacket and getting some Proprioceptive input during the day, he started weaning himself! I always knew he was only suckling for comfort and to relax and ‘reset’ himself after about 1 1/2yrs old, not for nutrition necessarily. He wouldn’t just suckle through the night, but during the day as well. The jacket gave him another way to ‘reset’ himself. The only time he’d use me, then, was if he had gas stuck in the night (which started to decrease) or, was sick in the night and was in a bad way. Daytime suckling just naturally dropped off!! I’d tried to ween him before the introduction of the jacket but he just was NOT ready. I just gave him what he needed, feeling it was the right thing to do, even in spite of some people telling me he should be off ‘it’ by now. A ‘normal’ toddler, yes, maybe? (Who am I to judge?!) But this kid was was a rule book unto himself. I was flying solo here, and my intuition was my best guide.
Another thing I noticed at the introduction of the jacket was that he’d poo when I’d put it on him. Sometimes within one minute of wearing it…. Hmmm. Interesting corrolation I thought. So I used this to help him in advance so he’d have a better sleep at night.
Through months of using Proprioceptive intervention, joe still ‘stims’ (he is only 3 and 4 months old) but significantly less than he did 1 year ago. We have come a looooong way in 12 months. But I’ve noticed his visual ‘stimming’ increases dramatically when he’s needing to poo. Giving him extra Proprioception and opportunities to get visual stimulation makes this pass a whole lot quicker and he ‘comes back to us’ much faster.
Their sensory needs cannot be ignored. Working with them rather than against them is a much more effective approach in my experience so far. There are always reasons behind the behaviours and if we are gentle and observing we can discover the reason behind it. We can help them get their needs met. We can also make it fun and turn it into a game!
Joe’s sleeping habits have settled and sleeps anywhere between 10-12hrs at night. His sleep patterns are a mathematical equation 😳 we ended up dropping naps out altogether because he’d just go to bed later and subtract it (down to the minute) off his night sleep. I used to be able to calculate exactly what time he’s go to bed based on the precise time he’d wake up. I still can, basically, though he’ll throw me curve ball now and again. Mainly if he hasn’t done enough bowel movements that day and needs to get one out before bed lol. It really is like that.
The other thing that helped joe sleep (and everything else for that matter) was changing his diet and working on his digestion. This is a big subject, so I’ll save it for my next topic….. Thanks for reading, feel free to share any similar experiences in the comments below xx