Daughter doing harmful stimming when she's in her crib

Page 1 of 1 [ 10 posts ] 

Mouka
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 19 Apr 2020
Age: 33
Posts: 47
Location: Stoughton, WI

09 May 2020, 6:37 am

So whenever I put my daughter down for the night or for a nap, she sits up in her crib for hours screeching, doing echolalia, pulling out her hair, and this thing where she puts her legs between the crib bars and kicks really hard until she has bruises all over her legs.

I know this is harmful stimming, and that she only does these things when she's confined to her crib. When she's out and about she does her usual stims of spinning on the floor, stacking books into towers, and lining up cars. I'm thinking of moving her to a toddler bed early, even though she's still a little young for it. Is this a good idea?

I'm asking because I know when I feel the need to do harmful stims, it's usually when I don't have access to my usual things that I use to stim, so maybe this is the case with her? If she can leave her bed at any time to self-regulate, in my mind it would help her fall asleep faster and cut out the harmful activities. So in my mind, it's a GOOD thing. HOWEVER, when I read articles online about small children and sleeping, everyone says to remove toys and such and to keep the bedroom as a place for sleeping, so they know it's time for sleep when they're placed in the bed.

So I'm not sure which way to go? Should I follow the things written by the experts, or my own senses as someone who's also autistic? I really don't want to mess up her sleep pattern.


_________________
"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life." - Cpt. Picard


timf
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Oct 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 510

11 May 2020, 8:51 am

Has there been a recent increase in this activity?

She might be needing less sleep and engages in these activities because she is restless.

Experts often disagree with each other. Their insights might be helpful, but it is still in your hands.

There are strong opinions for both scheduled sleep times and random sleep times. If you follow one, you may want to experiment with the other.

Experimentation is often the best way to find strategies that are effective.



Mouka
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 19 Apr 2020
Age: 33
Posts: 47
Location: Stoughton, WI

12 May 2020, 5:14 pm

I've tried both setting a bedtime and just letting her choose when she goes to bed. But she could be dead tired and practically falling asleep standing up, but she still feels the need to do the kicking and hair pulling before she actually gives in and goes to sleep.


_________________
"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life." - Cpt. Picard


timf
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Oct 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 510

13 May 2020, 9:28 am

Experimentation will probably be the key to finding a workable strategy.

If she has adopted this routine as part of her going to bed ritual, you may wish to attempt to introduce a new ritual such as hugging her tightly while singing a going to sleep song. This might provide a contact intrusion and serve to introduce a new (and less harmful) ritual.

Certain patterns of behavior might be seen as rituals to establish a sense of control that help keep anxieties at bay. If this is the case, attempting to find replacement rituals could be a strategy.



Juliette
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,568
Location: Surrey, UK

13 May 2020, 11:07 am

I had three autistic children, each very different, but in all cases, ensuring they were worn out and truly ready for bed seemed to be the answer. Routine was key and all important. There’s always the possibility of teething, illness, ear aches etc that may not be picked up on straight away too. So, if there’s a change in behaviour, this is always something to be aware of.



jimmy m
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Jun 2018
Age: 71
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,883
Location: Indiana

13 May 2020, 2:39 pm

Many Aspie children like weighted blankets. It provides a level of comfort. There is something similar for infants. It is called swaddling. When an infant is put to bed, many times the infant is wrapped tightly with a blanket immobilizing the arms to keep the infant thrashing around at night. Dr. Harvey Karp is an American pediatrician and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and wrote “Happiest Baby on the Block” describes the technique he uses to calm a crying child and prepare it for sleep. "You need to be imitating the mother's womb.” One of the techniques is swaddling. Swaddling recreates the snug packaging inside the womb and is the cornerstone of calming. Swaddling keeps your baby's arms from flailing and prevents startling, which can start the cycle of fussing and crying all over again. It also lets your baby know that it's time to sleep. Swaddling is not hard to do, but you do need to learn the proper technique to make sure swaddling will be safe and effective. To swaddle correctly, wrap arms snug—straight at the side—but let the hips be loose and flexed. Use a large square blanket, but don’t overheat, cover your baby’s head or allow unraveling. The idea is to wrap babies snugly so they won't try to wiggle out of the swaddle, but leave enough room at the bottom of the blanket for them to bend their legs up and out from their body.

Another suggestion is to have a night light in the infants room. Dark can be rather scary.

Contrary to myth, babies don’t need total silence to sleep. In the womb, the sound of the blood flow is a shush louder than a vacuum cleaner! But, not all white noise is created equal. Hissy fans and ocean sounds often fail because they lack the womb’s rumbly quality. The best way to imitate these magic sounds is white noise. Another form of therapy is to replicate these soothing sounds. For example there are CDs that contain specially engineered utero types sounds to calm crying infants and boost sleep.


_________________
Author of Practical Preparations for a Coronavirus Pandemic.
A very unique plan. As Dr. Paul Thompson wrote, "This is the very best paper on the virus I have ever seen."


Mouka
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 19 Apr 2020
Age: 33
Posts: 47
Location: Stoughton, WI

16 May 2020, 2:17 pm

These are all good ideas to try, thanks!

I was thinking of trying a weighted blanket, because they do help me, but I guess I’m afraid she might bring it up over her head in the night and suffocate. Not sure if this is something to actually worry about? Weighted blankets don’t seem very breathable but I’m guessing I can find some that are.


_________________
"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life." - Cpt. Picard


Jakki
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,870
Location: Outter Quadrant

16 May 2020, 2:30 pm

Mouka wrote:
These are all good ideas to try, thanks!

I was thinking of trying a weighted blanket, because they do help me, but I guess I’m afraid she might bring it up over her head in the night and suffocate. Not sure if this is something to actually worry about? Weighted blankets don’t seem very breathable but I’m guessing I can find some that are.

GOOOO weighted blankets ,, sorry am older aspie but recognized this sensation early on .. it really makes a difference. most aspie need to have a peek hole to see out . i do not know why but it is how it goes there has to be air even under a weighted blanket . Commendations on your discovering this precious piece of aspie lore , unknown to most ppls and even aspies themselves , if not understanding sensations well , themselves.


_________________
Female
Diagnosed hfa
Loves velcro,
Quote:
whereever you go ,there you are


starkid
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Feb 2012
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,392
Location: California Bay Area

30 May 2020, 1:15 pm

Maybe she just doesn't like the crib; she doesn't necessarily need her toys and other regular stim material. Just try letting her sleep outside the crib.

I would not try a weighted blanket on a child that young/small.

You don't necessarily need a bed at all. You can put off buying one at least until you have some idea about whether it will work. Humans (babies included) have slept on floors for thousands of years. I've slept on the floor for years and it's great (and preferable to a bed). The firmness of the floor may even help her.


_________________
Masculinity and femininity are made up of gender roles and gender stereotypes; they are social constructs, not personal traits. No one is masculine and no one is feminine.


PoseyBuster88
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

Joined: 17 Mar 2019
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 242

02 Jun 2020, 7:39 pm

You've probably already found a solution, but if not...

Perhaps try moving the crib mattress out of the crib onto the floor. No danger if she falls off, and you can just make sure her room is toddler proof (outlets blocked off, no furniture she could tip over if she tried to climb it, etc.). If you have trouble keeping her in her room, you could install a tall baby gate in the doorway.

I would not recommend a thick or heavy blanket without checking with her doctor to see if it is both age appropriate and appropriate for her development (which could lag behind her age in some categories). You could also ask the pediatrician about stretchy thin pressure blankets...you can google them. Basically a spandex "sock" that goes over the mattress, and when the kid is inside it, the tension provides pressure similar to a weighted blanket. It would also keep her from rolling out of bed, since it's like she and her bed are sharing a sleeping bag...? Hope that visual makes sense.

Also, there is no big reason to keep toys out of her crib as long as they aren't choking or smothering hazards. I'd let her have a few. Worst case, she stays up a bit later playing.


_________________
~AQ 32; not formally diagnosed.~