I am caring for a baby girl that is 17 months old. I got her on Dec 4th. She arrived to me with dirty matted hair, yeast infection, Stinky, malnerished, and black and blue from head to toe. She is doing well adjusting to her new home but we are having some troubles. She is not sleeping well at night. She wakes up crying Oweee. At first she wouldn't let me touch her at all at night when she woke up like this. After the first few nights I could talk to her and comfort her till she was awake enough to realize it was me. She's Getting better at letting me comfort her when she awakes like this.
I rub her head and her back and talk to her till she reaches for me. I also have soothing songs on cd that I play for her at night. Tonight she's having a bad night. She hasn't slept more than 1/2 hour at a time. She's letting me caress her and seems comforted when she hears my voice but she can't seem to stay asleep. Has anyone here delt with this situation before? If so what advise can you offer that may help her?
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I agree with Yellowrose. Thank-you for helping. My heart aches to hear of things like that.
A suggestion about sleeping - would it help if you took her to bed fully awake. Talk to her, tell her she can sleep with you, and that no one can touch her but you, and that when she wakes up it will be you who is there for her? She may be having a hard time being comforted at night because of a delay in some type of devlopment, like object permanence? She may forget you exist - out of sight out of mind. If she falls asleep with you she may be more easily comforted.
that makes me sick that people can abuse a child..there was a guy a few hrs from here who got arrested for child abuse..she was only 6 wks old and he smashed her head off a sink and table, shocked her several times with some type of gun and bent her leg back over her head until it broke..he admitted to abusing her since she was born..it made me sick to my stomach..i cried when i heard it on the news...its disgusting how people can do that....may i ask are you adopting this child or taking care of her temporarily?!..i agree with the above poster to ask her if she wants to sleep with you..shes probably scared of people if she is used to be being abused..thats all shes ever known obviously and it probably will take a bit of time for her to trust anyone..just keep on comforting her in anyway you can and be gentle and let her know you are not going to hurt her..if you are keeping her for a while, and she has a room there, maybe decorate it with comforting things and stuffed animals and make her feel safe and comfortable...ive never been in a situation like this so im not sure what advice to offer you...i would say just keep comforting her and give her a little bit of time to earn the trust...good luck to you!
The guy that Sara20 is talking about lives only 20 min from me I dont know how someone can take a baby that small and abuse it I admit everyone gets frustrated from lack of sleep with a newborn and when you cant comfort them but how you can hurt them is beyone me.. I agree with north trying sleeping with her until she gets use to her surroundings maybe she just needs to be cuddled and loved until she gets into your pattern that your not going to hurt her anymore.
wow reading you story brought tears to my eyes. I have a 19 month dd and I work with children from abused home's and just cant understand how people can do such horrible, horrible things to children. EVERY CHILD is just so amazing and wonderful. You are an amazing person and doing a great job.
For the sleeping it may take some time but keep doing what you are doing, give lots of love and attention.
The most important thing for them is security. Like the other post you can try to put her in your bed. Put soft music, sing to her, rub her head, when my daughter would not stop crying I sometimes would give her a bath. the most impotant thing is just being there for her witch you are doing an awesome job. If you have any question feel free to ask.
Are you fostering her? I too have been a foster parent and this type of behavior in an abused and/or neglected child is normal because they have learned not to trust anyone in their world. I cannot imagine how anyone can abuse a child like this. It is SICK! If sleeping with you works, go for it. Will she let you rock her? That may be comforting too. Does she have any type of blankie or stuffed toy she can use for a lovie? How about one of your unlaundered shirts? That might help. Do you use a nightlight? I don't remember if you mentioned that in your post. It sounds like you are doing an awesome job teaching her how to trust again. You have a long road ahead of you because it takes time, but just continue to be consistant in comforting her in whatever way seems to work best for her and she will eventually come around and learn to sleep without fear.
Thank you guys so much for the words of encouragment. She does have a baby doll, a warm soft wubby(blanket) and night lights. I am afraid to sleep with her in the bed with me because she is so restless she tosses and turns. I dont want her getting hurt any more than she already is.
To answer a few of your questions...
Yes we are in the process of adopting her. We have guardianship of her right now. CPS has orders for no contact with the abusers etc.
She will let me rock her to sleep. I hold her for awhile then put her back to bed. She wakes right back up after 1/2 to 1 hour.
She is getting better in many areas every day. It's great to see her changing. I am really starting to think that the majority of the abuse was going on during the night.
For the foster mom...
How long does it take till they stop hitting themselves? She pulls her hair, hits herself in the head, bites herself, and pokes at her eyes when she's cranky. Mostly when she tired. It's heartbreaking.
It really is disturbing to think that people can do this to a little one. She's such a cute, loving little girl. Shes very smart. And gosh the way those big pretty eyes look up at you just make me melt.
It sounds like you are right about her abuse during the night. She is afraid to go to sleep and I think that is probably why she is hitting herself and poking herself in the eyes when she is tired. It sounds like something that is just going to take time as she continues to learn to trust you and it does sound like you are definately moving in the right direction. I cannot give you advise based on experience though because every child we ever fostered was with us due to drug abuse in the home, neglect and/or abandonment in the case of our adopted daughter. I know it must break your heart to think about the things that happened to your little one before she came to live with you. I am glad to hear that her abusers are allowed no contact with her. Keep me posted on the adoption. Adoption is near and dear to my heart. Our AD is one of the greatest blessings in all of our lives!
Will do. The "Mother" is signing the placement docs. on Tuesday evening. Then it's full speed ahead. I am so excited. We already did the fingerprints and Physicals. I also have all the court documents ready to take to the clerk.
It's 10:30 right now baby went to bed at 8:30 and hasn't woke up yet. We played for a good hour before bed time(just her and I). I put her in her bed(playpen) which is at the foot of our bed so she knows we are close, then I layed on my bed and we played together. She used to be very violent with her babys. When she was I would take the baby doll and hold it and rock it and sing to it, then I would kiss the doll on the head and say no hurt baby, Love Baby. Now she mocks me and will rock her baby and kiss it. It's so cute. I also taught her to play with the baby by holding its hands and walking the baby gently instead of throwing it, so she grabs its little arm now bounces the baby and says cauck cauck cauck. We took turns playing with the doll for awhile then she held my hand and played with my fingers for awhile. Then we played tickle games and she was laughing so hard it made me laugh. So cute!
I then rubbed her little back and told her it's night night time and mommies right here, and Mommies not gonna let anything happen to her. She fell asleep and hasn't woke up yet.
She's so darn cute. She's really starting to get attached to me now and it feels great. I love her so much!
I try not to think about what she went through, it's hard not to, but even harder to spend quality time with her with those thoughts running through my head. Dh and I set alone time aside to disscuss those things so I can deal with that without it affecting her. Now that most of her bruises are gone it is easier to deal with.
Anyhow I better get to bed now. Thanks for listening everyone. It does help.
So very happy she is doing so good. I am so happy to hear that the parents have no rights at all, and she is now happy and safe the hardest thing of my job is to actually come face to face with the parents (it makes me sick to my stomach) enough with that.
Enjoy and cherish every happy day with your dd, some days might be tough but the greatest reward is to actually see how much progress they do.
Keep up the good work and keep us posted!
I've got tears in my eyes from reading this story. I'm looking at my 6 month old now and couldn't imagine causing her any harm. She is my life and my joy. God bless you for taking that precious little girl in and keeping her safe. Best of luck to you!
god bless you and your new daughter mommy. wishing you the very best christmas and new year.
i truely believe some people should never be parents to spare children the abuse they suffer. thankfully the world has wonderful people like you. you and your daughter already have the greatest crimbo gift - each other to love
what a beautiful post to read.... you must be so proud of yourself and for her to be growing with trust and confidence.
Its people like you that make the world a little better.
you are both very lucky to have found each other..
wishing you the perfect christmas and a joyfull 2007.