Originally Posted by alixblue
I would love some advice/input regarding my daughter's sleep troubles. She is almost 4 and has slept through the night maybe 4 times in her life. If she only wakes 3 times a night, that's a regular night. 2 wakings is very, very unusual, more than 3 is quite common.
Background: she is visually impaired, and with her condition her eyesight improves until she is around 4 (so around now) and then it decreases just as yours or my sight might. So she was legally blind for a very long time and really did depend on me to get around and navigate the world. But now, she can see fairly well - though not details unless she is very close to things. Also, she's been diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder (very attached to me) and sensory processing disorder. We've seen therapists and OTs, and have made great progress but now seem at an impasse.
She is not as physically active as other toddlers given her vision (playgrounds are very hard, running outside is tough, walking is much less interetsing to her, etc). But she does get out and play, certainly. She eats nutritious, healthy food.
I am looking into having us tested for pyrelle disorder as that seems to fit many symptoms. I have tried taking P-5-P and zinc the last few days and have slept better (I have trouble falling back asleep after she wakes me).
Does anyone have other ideas?
Oh, I should add I sleep next to her (not the same mattress, but the same room. When she wakes, I can usually tell if I just need to 'shhhh' her to relax her enough to go back to sleep or if she needs more - like me stroking her arm or if she'll settle on her own. It's usually an equal mix. She used to always wake SCREAMING (nightmares, I presume, not terrors) and now she wakes and immediately asks, "Mommy?" We have a nightlight in the room so it's not a fear of the dark. Oh and we have a guide dog who sleeps by her too. She loves animals but always asks for me, doesn't snuggle with her dog (as I'd hoped she might when we got the dog!)
Thanks a million for any advice/thoughts. I really need sleep and I want her anxiety to lessen/her sleep to improve.
Hi. Welcome to the forum. Its difficult when a child is having problems. Sometimes more for the parents than for the child. In this day and age, there is a name for every conceivable problem, and sometimes, I think it complicates things even more.
I'm not a child specialist, so all I can do is speculate. Since your daughter was born with minimal eyesight, that is what she knows. Her other senses are probably more accute than others her age as she relies more on them. Add that to the fact that almost everything at that age is new and perhaps some of her distress is sensory overload. She is too young to ask if she prefers close spaces where she is familiar with everything around her, or if close spaces make her feel trapped.
Some things are unexplainable at that age because you can't ask. As a child, I woke my own parents several times a night screaming from nightmares. There had never been violence in my life at that point, and the family structure was sound. My parents never allowed us to see scarey movies or news, yet most of the dreams were about gore and blood. You may never know why she awakens so frequently or has nightmares. Take them as they come.
There is a fine line between being there too much for her and not being there enough. She is in the same room, so she may be waking because she heard you turn over, talk in your sleep etc. Will she take naps alone? Can you encourage independance during the day and use her other senses to locate you? For instance a small bell like a jingle bell tied to your shoe so she knows where you are even when she can't see you.
She may love the dog, but lets face it, you're MOM. The child dog relationship may form a little later. I wish I could answer your question more clearly. The distress is obvious in your post. Put yourself in her little shoes if you can to feel what she does.