Sleep is not easy for us. J. wakes up several times a night and asks to be creamed. Because this is so much easier when he lays next to us, he is used to sleep with us. He loves to cuddle at night and of course his favorite place is between me and my husband. The problem only is, that (a) he is getting to warm under the blanket (he is wearing his relatively thick anti-scratching overall at night and eczema children are heat sensitive anyway) and tries to kick it off, resulting in me and my husband getting cold; (b) I am a bad sleeper and J. and I keep waking each other up. So, all sleeping in one bed is just not working for us.
We could finally convince J. to sleep in his own bed, and my husband (and sometimes me) sleeps on a folding bed next to him. This works at least for some part of the night – until J. wakes up and crawls under Papa’s blanket. And it is not that he is just awake for a minute or two and then goes back to sleep quickly after crawling under the blanket. J. has usually a period of light sleep that lasts for 2-3 hours during which he frequently scratches and needs to be creamed around his neck and sometimes also his hands and knees. My husband manages him during this time and is only too grateful when J. finally falls back into deeps sleep next to him. The interrupted sleep is hard on both of them.
Then I had to glorious idea to promised extra reward points to J. when he would stay in his bed all night long. That worked for one night. After the next night I found him again under Papa’s blanket and before he was fully awake he told me that he didn’t want any extra point. Well, he made the conscious decision FOR sleeping under Papa’s blanket and AGAINST the extra points. I guess that’s a 1:0 for J. So, this attempt to do it with positive reinforcement failed, and I didn’t come up with something that would be more tempting than the immediate reward of sleeping under Papa’s blanket.
Now, my big question is: How to sleep train a child with eczema. If he fully wakes up at night and is getting upset because we don’t allow him to sleep with us, he will start scratching heavily, and scratching attacks at night are harder to calm down than during the day. And if he does have a scratching attack, than we surely will hold him until he is back asleep, which is entirely counterproductive and feels like a catch 22.
So, what shall we do? The let-him-cry-and-scratch method is unacceptable. A search on the internet didn’t bring up anything useful how to deal with the scratching at night while sleep training. How do you manage the nights of your child with eczema? How did you manage to sleep train them? Maybe someone has a tip for us?