I’m seeing a lot of posts with moms asking about ideas to help their children get to sleep. Specifically asking about the use of melatonin. I’ll be honest. I don’t like it. I like to exhaust all other available possibilities before even considering the use of over the counter alternatives. So I’m going to give you a few of my favorite ideas for sleep. If you are considering the use of melatonin please, I urge you, to speak with your pediatrician about the use of & dosing for your individual child. It would also help to discuss it with an occupational therapist as they may have other ideas to try first.
My first favorite is the spandex swing. Vestibular movement does lots of things from organizing the CNS to help you focus better to calming the CNS to help you sleep. The different movements provide different feedback. Slowly swinging in a forwards backwards motion and a side to side motion can create the feeling of calm whereas spinning stimulates the body to wake up. The spandex swing does a great job of providing proprioceptive input which is comforting by itself as well as movement combined to help a child get to sleep faster. Many children fall to sleep in the swings before you can get them out. Here us a great example below. Many different manufacturers are out there that make different varieties but they can be created at home with the right supplies also. Example of a store bought one below:
This particular swing is pricey because it’s purchased at Flaghouse which is a professional equipment house for OTs. But in case you’re interested here’s the link: Spandex Swing, Flaghouse at Amazon
This swing can be hand made with spandex (bathing suit material) purchased at your local fabric store & some hardware. You’ll have to hang it from a stud or solid beam in your ceiling. And check the weight of any hardware you purchase for hanging. Carabeena hooks will be one of your hardware purchases. A few of them. They look like this:
And you’ll be tying knots to either side of your fabric to fit these hooks onto your swing. It helps to have extra to adjust the height of your swing as needed. I like to use metal, plastic covered hanging cords for the ceiling to hang the equipment from. They look like this:
They make it longer or shorter depending on your ceiling height. A safety rotational device, found on Amazon is optional.
Heres a link: Amazon safety rotational device
So there’s that.
If you don’t want to hang a swing & would still like to give your kiddo the proprioceptive input & vestibular movement a swing provides there is a device called a peapod by abilitations that is fantastic. Here’s a picture & a link:
The peapod gives you proprioceptive feedback without the need for hanging equipment granted you have the floor space. We purchased ours at Amazon where there is often a sale but be sure to check your size as they come in all sizes and if you have two kiddos it’s well worth the adult size. The link on Amazon is below.