Ep. 5 Chewing Mystery and Sleep Training - Reagan
Reagan is trying to figure out a peculiar reaction her son Charlie has which is creating drama in her home. Charlie "freaks out" every time he hears or sees his sister Avery chew. He covers his ears, he has to leave the room, and sometimes, he gets aggressive with Avery. He only reacts when his sister is chewing.
Maribeth tries to solve the mystery by digging into Charlie's history. She asks questions about his digestion as a baby, his sleep patterns, and his reaction to loud noises. She concludes that it sounds more like anxiety than a sensory issue.
She asks Reagan if Charlie has ever seen Reagan choke or spit up. Reagan recalls that when Avery was a baby, Charlie saw her spit up and throw up sometimes. This leads Maribeth to make an informed conjecture that Charlie's behavior is caused by an underlying anxiety about his sister choking.
Maribeth suggests desensitizing Charlie to the chewing by talking about chewing, swallowing, eating, etc. She also suggests reflecting on his reaction as it happens and using "I wonder" questions to help him think about and process why he is having these reactions.
Reagan is also having problems with sleep training and bedtime. Reagan and her husband put Charlie to bed in their bed, carry him to his room, and then at some point in the night he will wake up and return to their bed.
Maribeth suggests that if they are not co-sleeping, that they need to put Charlie to bed in his own bed. In order to dissuade any fear he may have when he wakes up in his room, she suggests to play in his room during the day and do nurturing things like cuddling in his room at night to make it feel like a safe place. She tells Reagan to stay in the room with him at bed time and progressively move her chair out and reduce the time she is in there day-by-day. The key for Reagan will be consistency in a process that will take several weeks to work. "Consistency equals security."
This is the third part of a three-part series from a group recording.
*Apologies for the sound quality this episode. We're still learning!
Thank you to Jabberdogs for your support of this episode.
Printable Sleep Training Reminders
Reagan is struggling with consistency in bedtime routine for Charlie. It's tough to remember all the dos and dont's of sleep training. Print out these sleep training reminders so you can stay consistent while you help your children learn to fall asleep on their own.
Fill out the form below for a free printable sheet to download.