Many orphanage-raised children will have pronounced self-stim/self-soothing habits like rocking, head shaking or banging, ear fiddling, or sucking on lips or fingers. These do fade with time, but may still show up in time of stress.
• The body tends to cool off at night, and people sleep better in a cooler environment..
• Warm baths followed by cool bedroom may help this process along.
Does my child have a sleep disorder?
Courtesy of Dr Mindell, the following list of sleep problems may indicate that your child has a sleep disorder. If these issues are present, if sleep issues are getting worse not better, or if you’re at the end of your rope, please talk to your health care provider.
1.Loud snoring, noisy breathing, or breathing pauses while sleeping
2.Breathing through his mouth while sleeping
3.Appearing confused or looking terrified when he awakens during the night.
5.Rocking to sleep or head banging when falling asleep or during the night (ed: actually very common in orphanage raised children, and thus only a problem for them if severe or persistent)
6.Complaining of leg pains, “growing pains”, or restless legs when trying to fall asleep at night
7.Kicking his legs in a rhythmic fashion while sleeping
9.Frequent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
10. Sleep difficulties leading to daytime behavior problems or irritability
Sleepless in America: Is Your Child Misbehaving...or Missing Sleep?
by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers
by Elizabeth Pantley (her site has sleep logs and other useful info www.pantley.com/elizabeth/)
Sleeping Through the Night, Revised Edition: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep by Jodi A. Mindell
For Dr Davies’ thoughts and reviews on these titles, visit www.adoptmed.org/sleep-books/
Dr Julian Davies, MD, is a pediatrician specializing in adoption medicine at the Center for Adoption Medicine at the University of Washington. The clinic performs pre-adoption consultations by telephone for families adopting from abroad or domestically. Also, it provide post-placement evaluations and ongoing pediatric care at their Seattle clinic. In addition to working at the FAS Clinic and counseling pre-adoptive families, Dr. Davies is also a primary care pediatricians in the Seattle area and over half of his patients were adopted. He thinks he has the coolest pediatric job around. To see the most up to date version of this article and find other wonderful resources, visit www.adoptmed.org.