Some children find it difficult to sleep because they cannot get comfortable, or their muscles spasm in the night, or they need help to turn over every few hours.
- There are many different sleep support systems. Ask your occupational therapist for advice.
- Cushions held in place with Velcro can offer useful head support.
- Onesies stop setting cold if they are prone to throwing covers off in the night. Or try duvets shaped like a sleeping bag for a cosier night’s sleep.
- Never place babies or young children on their tummies as this increases the risk of cot death.
- Children who cry a lot at night, and on waking may have sensory problems. They may go from a state of deep sleep to being wide awake without the drowsy middle stage. It can be very unsettling for a child, they may feel insecure or like they are floating. Weighted blankets and vests are worth trying.
- The Cerebra Centre for Neurdevelopment Disorders offer sleep practitioners who can offer advice.
Capability Scotland offer a factsheet on Sleep Problems
“I find sensory difficulties are often overlooked. It is very common with premature babies. Part of our job is to work out ‘why does the child do this?’ Is it a motor or a sensory issue?” Petra Mikeskova, Occupational Therapist