Monday, July 14, 2008

Why Won't He Fall Asleep?

Some of you will probably hate me for saying this, but Son slept through the night at 5 days old. And by slept through the night I mean he slept 7 hours straight, woke up, fed, slept another hour or so and was then up for the day. We.lucked.out. And we knew it.

On the other hand, he really didn't nap much. It didn't worry me too much. He wasn't a fussy baby. He fussed when he was hungry and that was really about it. And he was alert. So we played and had fun.

I realized that infants usually slept about 20 hours at that age, and ours only slept about 12-15, but hey, the Ped wasn't worried, Son was happy and growing, so I didn't worry.

As he grew up, getting him to sleep become increasingly difficult. And the duration of sleep stayed proportionately lower than the typical child. But different in a way that I didn't expect. I remember growing up getting out of bed, stalling, looking for attention. I remember waking up a lot in the middle of the night, getting reassurance from my Mom and falling back to sleep. Son didn't really do this. Sure, he'd stall and ask for a cup of water, or forget a favorite stuffed animal, but for the most part he really did stay in his bed or the doorway to his room (a favorite place to sleep, don't ask why). It's not like he got out of bed looking for mischief. Yet, he would take 3 hours to fall asleep. He'd stay in his bed, wide awake, talking away and banging his head against the mattress. To the point where this past year we finally started melatonin. Boy do I wish we started that a long time back. Now he falls asleep within 30 minutes.

Once he was (finally) asleep he always stayed asleep. We never really had to deal with the middle of the night wake ups. Although I do remember that when he did wake up, he usually stayed awake. If he woke up at 4 or 5am, he was up for the day.

My siblings kids and my friends kids never seemed to follow this pattern. They all slept and slept and slept at infants like infants should. And they, for the most part, fall asleep when put to bed. However, all my friends and siblings have complained that their kids don't sleep through the night and are constantly waking up, but going right back to sleep.

Hubby and I always wondered which was worse - taking forever to fall asleep - but then falling asleep for the night, or going to bed with minimal issues, but having frequent wake ups in the night.

Earlier this week Autism Vox wrote a post about this study from Translating Autism.

And it got me thinking back on Son's sleep history, and the sleep history of his cousins and our friends kids. I do think that if we all had participated in the study, our participation wouldn't have changed the studies results significantly. And, based on this information, our Son was showing signs of being on the spectrum right from the start. Which, with more and more research coming out, I can now look back and say Wow, that describes Son perfectly - if only we knew that was a red flag back then.

1 comment:

Janice said...

Thank you so much for this post! Interesting.