Friday, 7 October 2011

Vivian Vendredi - One Sensational Baby?

Let's do a quick recap, shall we?  Vivian is 10 months old.  In that time, she has slept through the night once, which was a total fluke at like 3 months old.  Since then, we have switched from breastfeeding to formula feeding, started giving her probiotics with every bottle, allowed her to self-feed because she wouldn't tolerate pureed foods, started taking her to a homeopath which has resulted in her receiving her remedy daily, taken her to a chiropractor, used aromatherapy in her room through Scentsy products, and tried basically every possible method of getting her to sleep on a regular basis.  So far, we are still varying wildly between good nights (usually going to bed at about 7:30, waking up at 11ish, then again at about 4ish, then up for the day at around 7:30-8:00) and bad nights (usually going to bed at about 7:30, waking up at 11ish, 1ish, 3ish, 5ish and then up for the day at about 8:00) with seemingly no reason for the switch.

So here we are.  Ten months later and I still don't get a full night's sleep.  I'm so used to it by now, that if I sleep for more than 3 hours at a time, I wake up anyway and feel totally achy because I'm not used to it.  I remember distinctly a couple of months ago realizing that I dreamed one night for the first time in months because I had finally gotten a deep enough sleep.  This wouldn't be a problem, except that I do have to go back to work fairly soon.

So here's my new thought - maybe Vivian has sensory issues.

It's been something in the back of my mind for a while, but it really hit me this week.  I was noticing how much Vivian enjoys getting herself into corners and small spaces - she loves to crawl under tables and chairs.  She also really likes crawling between me and the couch, like it's a little tunnel when I'm sitting on the floor with my back against the couch.  Because on of my mom's foster kids requires deep pressure therapy, I knew that those traits could mean that Vivian needs the same.

I did a little Google researching and came across a few checklists for children with sensory disorders.  Now, I think it's way too soon to start looking at getting a diagnosis, but she definitely did check a lot of boxes on the checklist.  Arching her back, resisting being cuddled, constantly moving, requiring strong rocking, distaste for baby swings and jumpers, inability to control her thirst (alternating between constantly drinking water and not drinking at all), difficulty managing car rides, walking on her tiptoes, fear of loud noises like the vacuum, sitting with her legs in a W position, no predictable sleep schedule, difficulty calming oneself, preferring hugs over kisses...it went on and on.  Yes, I think a lot of these are things that anyone could say "yes" to, and it wouldn't necessarily mean that there's anything wrong with them, but I think it's worth investigating.

So, here's what my plan is now.  Number one on the list is to get her a weighted blanket.  Having more pressure on her while she sleeps (not like putting a dictionary on her back or anything, just the feeling of being buried under a bunch of blankets without the heat of it) is maybe just what she needs to get her to sleep in longer stretches.  I'm currently trying to find someone who could help me make one without it costing an arm and a leg (I've gotten quotes from some places for $80+ for a crib-sized weighted blanket).  I'm also trying to find fun sensory games and toys for her.  I pulled out her IKEA tent that I bought to go to the beach and have it set up in the living room.  She loves going in there with toys, and really loves when I touch her through the walls of the tent.  I also want to get her a water table and set it up with different things like dry pasta for her to dig into and play with.

Who knows, I could be way off base and she may not have sensory issues, or it may be something that she grows out of, I don't know.  But if getting her a heavy blanket is something she needs to help her, then that's what is going to happen.

If anyone has any experience with stuff like this, or is/knows an occupational therapist who has any ideas, let me know!


Playing in her tent


I will figure her out if it kills me.

1 comment:

Joan Crawford said...

This is tough, Ashlie. Good for you for enduring it so well and for searching for an answer. She's a beautiful little monkey! Also, a weighted blanket sounds fantastically cozy :)