Friday, September 24, 2010

My head banging boy

B has been struggling with night time sleep. For the past couple of nights, I have put him down, like always at 7 pm, following a bath and storytime. Usually, the boy fussed around for a few minutes and then quickly drifts off. No so, lately. He has been sitting in bed fussing, whining, kicking, and head banging until 8:30 or later. Last night, he was banging his head so loudly that I thought some one was outside the house hammering.

I have tried to take a very hands off approach to this new development. Unless the crying/kicking/whining is constant and uncontrolled, I leave him alone in bed. But this head banging just sends me over the edge. It is so loud and sounds so painful that I can't help but go up and grab him for a few minutes until he calms down. I know that this could encourage him to bang his head more to get me to come upstairs, but I just can't help it.

I know that head banging is very normal behavior for sleepy kids, but, man, does it sound bad. In fact, in my research (webMD, I heart you), something 20% of kids do and boys are way more likely to do it than girls. And while it could be a sign of a more serious problem, I really don't think that is the case. I think B is struggling to settle into not seeing his dad (we are officially at the longest point ever with a long way to go), a mom who is too tired to pay him the attention that he deserves, and what appears to be a nasty mix of teething and a growth spurt. This is the point at which J would say that I am projecting my own feeling on him, but I really think that B has noticed the difference in our house and sleep has become a challenge for him. I am hopeful that this will be a short phase, but who knows, it could be until he is 3.

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