I've been terrible about checking in lately.  What can I say?  Life is busy.  Especially when you get the flu times two.  Because that's what happens with twins.  Double the love, and double the snots.

Yes, Ryan came down with the flu around two weeks ago.  His symptoms lasted around a week, and exactly one day after Ryan was pretty much back to normal, Aiden's symptoms started.  He is still plagued with a lingering cough, and we took him to the pedi yesterday to check his ears and lungs.  Both checked out fine, and we were instructed to use Benadryl at night to help with the cough.  My sick little ducklings have been oh so miserable, especially at night.  I don't blame them, if I had the flu I would probably fight sleep too.  But at 2am, I do secretly blame them.  Whoops.  Confessions of a sleep-deprived mama?

I seriously feel like I've been complaining about crappy sleep all winter long.  It all started here.  So yes, all winter long.  We ended up separating the boys, which I really didn't want to do until they asked for separate rooms.  I was going to use our extra space as a playroom/guest room, but that plan is now shot to shit.  Ryan got the new room.  We decided to move him instead of Aiden because Aiden was already dealing with so many changes post-surgery.  It took a few nights, but Ryan has finally gotten used to the new surroundings and will sleep in his room most of the night (with about a million and one wakeups...ugh).

Since we moved Ryan though, Aiden has pretty much been sleeping from 7pm-7am.  He puts himself to sleep and if he wakes he usually soothes himself back down.  The only exception is the past few nights where he has woken up coughing pretty badly.  

Ryan though, is really, really struggling with sleep.  He has not slept through the night in I don't know how long.  He has trouble staying asleep.  We put him down anywhere between 7 and 8pm, and he wakes on average about 4 times before midnight.  And recently he will also wake at 1 or 3am, and refuse to go back to sleep for 1-2 hours.  Needless to say this has made for some tired parents.  We've even resorted back to taking shifts, like in the newborn days, so that we can get some uninterrupted sleep.  

At this point we are at a loss.  At first we blamed his sleeplessness on teething, then development, then sickness and then another sickness.  But he is no longer sick and he is still sleeping like crap.  We did some research, and actually found some information about children with CP/special needs being susceptible to sleep disorders.  The theories (or facts, not sure...too tired to read thoroughly) are that children with special needs or neurological disorders have a few things going on:  the part of the brain responsible for sleep may be damaged, lack of mobility may cause restless legs or even body aches & pains, lack of mobility also means that a child cannot get comfortable, neurological damage can cause a child to have issues regulating temperature so they may get extremely hot or cold.  There are more but my memory fails me right now.

So yesterday we began our quest to get to the bottom of Ryan's poor sleep.  Poor kiddo, it really breaks my heart that he is having such issues with something so simple.  Following some advice from fellow moms and in conjunction with some of the information above, we changed a few things about our nighttime routine:

1.  We fed the boys dinner later than usual.  And also offered a post-bottle snack.  I didn't mention above that Ryan has also been waking up at 3am to eat bagels.  So I figure the kid needs more food.
2.  We gave him a nice, long massage while he watched his bedtime dvd.  
3.  We swaddled him.  Yes, we swaddled our almost 18 month old.  Arms and legs out, but tight around the middle.  I read that this may give him some sensory input to help him sleep, so I figure it was worth a shot.  

Overall I would say that operation swaddle me worked.  He went down at 8 and didn't wake up at all until 1am.  Even then, he was easily coaxed back to sleep.  Then he woke up at 3am and of course wanted another frieking bagel.  He fell back asleep around 5:30.  So while it wasn't a complete success, it was much better than it's been.  I think we will continue to swaddle & massage before bed.  Now we just need to figure out how to get more calories into him during the day so he doesn't wake up hungry at night.  

This was supposed to be an update on the boys.  They are both growing and developing, doing some new things.  But it evolved into an way too detailed explanation of sleep.  So stay tuned for tomorrow's post on what's going on with us lately.  


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