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Going to sleep issues
Stopping thumbsucking

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#1 mibi

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

DS7 and DS5 are thumbsuckers. DS7 is much more "attached" to his thumb (if he's not doing something with his hands, he is sucking his thumb) DS5 is not too bad - mostly watching TV and going to sleep. But after getting a $6000 quote for DS7's orthodontics, we are going tough with using thumbguards in a bid to stop the thumbsucking. I know it's a bit late for DS7, but we are hoping we can get DS5 to stop before it's too late.

The problem is the boys share a room and since we have been using the thumbguards, the boys have been beyond TERRIBLE with going to bed. PReviously they have always been great. Hardly ever had any issues with them coming back out, or not settling down. Now they seem to think every night is a slumber party, and are up talking, laughing, making their bedroom into forts, just mostly mucking around. I figure they just need some time to work out new ways to settle themselves down, but they are just driving me nuts. And their daytime behaviour is becoming worse and worse because they are both overtired. And of course, DS7, who has always been an early riser (6-6:30am) is now waking up at 5-5:30am, so he is losing sleep at both ends. We do read stories and have a chat and a prayer at bedtime together and then I tuck them in, and previously they would settle down and be asleep within 10minutes. Now its taking 2+hours.

So does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to help them establish new winddown/self-settling techniques????

#2 niggles

Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:43 PM

I'd suggest a reward for learning to go to sleep nicely with the new thumbguards. It's a big habit to break and some motivation might help. Let them each choose something they can have after two weeks perhaps?

My DD gave up her dummy recently at 4 years old for the promise of her favourite Transformer (see Laserbeak below wink.gif). Because she's still quite young we gave her a magic crystal she could hold on to and laid with her for the first few nights helping her concentrate on her breathing to relax. We gave her a reward after her first nap, then after her first night without a dummy and then another one after a week without it. Each of these little milestones made her feel more confident that she could sleep without it. She was quite distressed the first night thinking she couldn't do it but by the second night she was really proud of herself and just needed a bit of extra comfort.

My niece gave up her thumb at closer to your boys' ages with the thought of a new bicycle at the end of the process. My sister sat with her and held onto her hands for the first week to help her get through it.

Good luck with it.

#3 Liadan

Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:14 AM

Have you thought of giving them a comfort item to replace the one that you "took away"?

Worked for my sister for her boys.

don't belong here, came in through recent topics

Edited by Liadan, 03 December 2012 - 12:15 AM.

#4 mibi

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:59 PM

DS7 has 2 rewards going. They get a stamp on their reward chart in the morning if they have a good night. This reward chart is used for everything (good behaviour, doing chores, doing extra jobs) and every 10 stamps they choose something out of the reward box. When they get 50 they can choose a big reward. When they finish the chart (100) they get a really big reward. They are nearly up to 80 and when they get to 100 they get skylanders, which they are both hanging out to play. DS7 also has a reward chart with his speech pathologist and also the promise of a double sided light sabre from us when he gives up his thumb altogether.

They both also have special soft toys they take to bed, although these are strongly associated with the thumbsucking. DS5 only sucks his thumb when he has his special bear.

Of course tonight I had a meeting so DH put them to bed and they were fine for him. Typical! Although DS7 managed to get his thumb free so that probably helped.

#5 Domestic Goddess

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:13 PM

QUOTE (Liadan @ 03/12/2012, 01:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you thought of giving them a comfort item to replace the one that you "took away"?

Worked for my sister for her boys.

don't belong here, came in through recent topics


I was thinking the same. My DS used to suck and chew on many old t-shirts of mine. Never sucked his thumb and never had a dummy. Being breastfed  for 15 months, he just loved the smell of mums skin close to him. It turned into a full on habit for over 1,5 year and recently he started waking up at night asking for a drink because sucking and chewing the dry and rough fabric gave him a dry mouth.
So I replaced the shirts with a "chewy tube" that I bought from http://www.sensorytools.com.au

He has taken well to it and now no longer wakes up with a dry mouth. He even has had a few nights without anything now, so hopefully this means he no longer needs these aids to sleep.

#6 mibi

Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:11 PM

THANK YOU Domestic Goddess for that link. A friend of mine has been talking to me about "the traffic jam in my brain" i just hadnt had a chance to check out the site.

She has done a couple of the seminars-she has a SN son and we often talk because her son has is very similar to DS7, although we've never had a diagnosis of any SN for DS. He does have some "eccentricities" and the thumbsucking is part of an overall oral fixation.

Edited by mibi, 03 December 2012 - 10:17 PM.

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