Wednesday

The Magic Pebble Blanket.


It's a good thing I love him to pieces because I could smother him when he is snoring and I am wide awake for hours!

THE MAGIC PEBBLE BLANKET....
*Just a note; not as funny of a story, but more an informative one for those of you with little ones that have trouble sleeping whether it be night terrors, waking up often, etc.  If I can help ONE person like someone helped us, then it was worth posting.  xox DG

When I was in my 20s, sleep was simple.  Go to bed at 11pm, get up at 6 am.  Easy.  No one ever messed with me.  I was lulled, for lack of better word, into a false sense of security when it came to sleeping through the night. 
My restful nights took a drastic turn when I was dating Hubs.  Hubs was used to sleeping alone.  The last roommate he had was in an obnoxious Frat House in Boston where he was accustomed to sleeping with one eye open,  his hands clenched for battle at a moment's notice.  Once, while napping at my house, I made the mistake of waking him before we ended up late for an outing, when he woke up with a loud scream and nearly took my head off swinging.  I learned not to wake this sleeping beauty very early on.  Soon after, I found out he had a dirty little sleepwalking secret.  Whenever he slept somewhere new, he would almost certainly end up wandering in his sleep. (Apparently, it started when he was very young when he would sleepwalk to his parents' bedroom, lift up the lid on the clothes hamper, pee into the hamper, then put the lid back down and go back to bed...charming!)

 I found this out around 2 am one night when I woke in horror to find him thrashing about my closet like it was a thick forest he was trying to hike through.  Clothes flying everywhere, nonsense spewing from his mouth.  I tried to talk to him, because I didn't realize you should never try to talk to walking zombies, and I got no reassurance.  Just grumbling and more clothes flying as he made his way back to bed. 

Once we went to  a wedding and stayed in a hotel, where suddenly at 3 am all of the lights were blinding me and he was pacing around like a nut job.  I asked him what the hell was wrong with him and he yelled.."I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING, OKAY?" He got back in bed and went to sleep and I had to get up and turn the lights back off. Scared the crap out of me and from there on, absolutely dreaded going anywhere strange with him.  I'm happy to say though, that when children came along, his sleep manias fell to the side, and made way for new ones.

 In my late 20's, along came Eldest, who hoodwinked us into thinking that all children sleep like he did.  We got comfortable and cocky and had Middler, again, a wonderful sleeper - down at night, up in the morning...ahhh we were so rested back then.  When Youngest arrived, we were full of ourselves, overconfident and certain that we knew everything there was to know about child rearing..just ask us, we had sleep; restful, long serene slumbers that were about to come to a screeching halt.


What we learned after our third child, is the only thing we really knew about parenting was that we knew nothing at all!

From the very beginning something wasn't right with Youngest.  He would wake often, take ridiculously short 20 minute cat naps even as an infant.  He barely slept.  Which means we barely slept.  We wrote it off to him being an infant...he'll sleep through the night soon enough.  Wrong.  By 6 months old, he was sleepwalking in his bed.  More like crawling - but it was odd. Soon it turned to babbling, wandering, craziness in his crib...this went on for 18 months.  He never slept through the night - not ever..which of course meant we never slept through the night either.  We tried everything - white noise, soft light, music, being near us, even crying it out (that was fun!)..nothing worked. 

On his third birthday we thought, surely this will be the year he will sleep through the night! After all, he was about to start preschool - he's bound to be exhausted and just sleep finally!  No. Such. Luck.  Instead, enter Night Terrors.  Holy Smokes - this is as bad as it gets.  Sheer terror, waking up screaming in the middle of the night and there is NO comforting this child, no connecting, no eye contact - nothing.  Night terrors are so awful - the blood curdling scream alone are enough to make you crazy, not to mention the complete disruption of sleep for everyone in the home.  We were frazzled, but hopeful he'd grow out of it.

One day I took the boys to the park where I spoke to another mother watching her son, a schoolmate of Middler, play with my kids.  We got to talking about sleep in general and I made a comment about Youngest's sleep problems.  She suggested I get a weighted blanket.  I had never heard of this before but it helps with sensory processing, and is used very often in calming people with autism, Aspergers, Alzheimer's, Menopause, & any kind of  sleep disorders really.  It is a blanket that has rocks or pellets to weigh it down, it must be 10% of the user's body weight  plus 1 pound to work properly.  I was willing to try anything.  She brought the blanket to school and gave it to me to try.

 Weighted blanket by http://www.weightedblanket.net/ worth every freaking penny.

I put the 'magic pebble blanket' over him and kissed him goodnight and by some miracle (and I will swear to this if you ask me), he slept through the night...and has slept through the night ever since.  The 'magic pebble blanket' is a miracle worker.

You would think that now, at 37, I would be back to sleeping through the night.  After all, the boys are all great sleepers, Hubs has no issues, I have no excuses.  I just can't sleep.  I fall asleep at night, wake up in the middle of the night, think of 30 things I need to do the next day, only to not remember one of them when I do get up.  I think about ridiculous things too, like all of the things I should've invented or talked about inventing but didn't like the caped Batman Backpack, or I start worrying about when my boys start dating, or how we will pay for college, and then it just starts spiraling out of control until I am so exhausted, I just fall into an awful panic filled sleep.  It's just a vicious cycle.

I've heard quite a few people just this week saying that their little one is waking up at night screaming, so I couldn't help but think there is a lot of that out there.  I hope this information helps you get them to sleep - as for us moms - I got nothin for ya but love.... ;)

xo
DG

2 comments:

  1. Wow, a pebble blanket. I would not have thought of that.

    Our kids both had night terrors. Switching the bed to face another direction, putting up a night light, that all worked.
    And both were swaddled when they were babies. Morgan until she was 6 months, Duncan until he was 5 months. That helped them getting a good schedule and gave us a good night's sleep too.
    Only Duncan would wake up at 3 am screaming his lungs out for either a cuddle or a bottle. So I had to get up (coz Beloved did NOT wake up, he never heard Duncan cry!) and fix things. My body went into HUGE-ALARM-CODE-RED-MODE instantly and I could forget about sleep at all.
    Now Duncan sleeps through the night without any problems, but my body still has not turned off the alarm-mode. Enter the melatonine-pills. It's a hormone that's already in your body, but the pills add a bit to it. One tiny pill is enough for me to keep me asleep until my alarm goes off, or the kids decide do ;-)

    I'll remember the weighted blanket though... whoever thought of that?

    ReplyDelete
  2. My son has no trouble staying asleep, but falling asleep was a huge issue. I bought some very small glass pebbles and made one of these for him. Now hes out like a like with none of the tossing and turning he used to have. Amazing the difference

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