Febrile Seizures – Dangerous? Or Just Scary?

A few weeks ago Logan came down with a fever. He was fine at bedtime, but when I went to take him to the toilet a few hours later, he was burning up. That was the beginning of a very long night.

Logan woke a lot, calling for water, cuddles, blankets, etc. At one point it seemed he had been calling for a while but I was so tired I didn’t hear him. He wet his bed and I had to change him and the bed while he fussed about feeling cold. Just as he was settled, he yelled again and told me, “The castle is rising!” I should have realized then that his temperature was high, but my tired state had fogged my brain and I made him go back to sleep.

At 5:30 a.m. his yelling woke me out of a sound sleep. I dragged myself to his bed again and asked what he needed. It took a minute for me to realize that he was freaking out because he was having a febrile seizure. His body was shaking, his muscles were tense, and he was scared. It wasn’t the first time this had happened, so I was able to keep him calm by talking to him until the seizure stopped.

The commotion in the kids’ room had woken everyone except Scarlett by this time. Lila was asking what was going on and why Logan’s body was shaking like that. After what seemed like a few minutes, but probably wasn’t more than a minute, the seizure stopped. Glad and I got Logan cleaned up (he had wet himself, normal during a seizure) and back into bed. We gave him some paracetamol and put a cool cloth on his forehead to help bring the fever down.

Daddy lay down with Logan while I tried to get Lila to go back to sleep in my bed. Logan was delirious and kept talking nonsense. (Later in the day he told me his bed had been rising off the floor and he thought he had been dreaming while awake.) Once the medicine kicked in and he was cooler, I took his temperature and it was still 103F. I can’t imagine how high it was during the seizure!

This is the second or third time Logan has had a febrile seizure. Had I not read about them shortly before it happened the first time, it would have freaked me out.  Febrile seizures are generally not dangerous to a child’s health. They are usually caused by a rapid rise in the temperature of the fever. They occur in children between the ages of 6 months – 6 years, and are more common in boys than girls.  In most cases, a medical exam afterwards is not necessary, unless you notice that your child doesn’t seem like themselves after an hour or more, or the fever doesn’t go down after you’ve given them something for it, or if the seizure happens again during the same illness.

Some tips to remember if it happens to your child:

1. Breathe and stay calm- it is scary but not dangerous.

2. Make sure they can’t hurt themselves while their body jerks around. Don’t hold them, but stay close until it ends.

3. They may or may not lose consciousness during the seizure (Logan didn’t).

4. A seizure normally lasts between a few second and 5 minutes, but can go as long as 15 minutes.

5. The child may wet or throw up while it is happening. If they throw up, make sure they are lying on their side so they don’t gag on the vomit.

6. Once the seizure is over and your child is cleaned up and calm, you can give them whichever OTC fever-reducing medication you normally use. Make sure to follow the body weight dosage listed on the bottle and measure out carefully. A cool cloth on the forehead helps too.

This is only a rough listing of things to remember. I suggest you read more on febrile seizures so you can be well-informed and prepared should they ever happen to your child.

Medline Plus – Febrile Seizures

MayoClinic.com -this link has a lot of information on them, spread over several pages. Click the link at the bottom of each section to make sure you get all the pages.

Has your child ever had a febrile seizure? What was your experience?

Finally! My Kids are in Their Own Beds – All Night!

I recently moved all the kids back to their room. Logan and Lila had slept in there regularly and Scarlett had been in our room, but with the end of summer and the onset of monsoon and cooler weather, I felt it was time to get them back to their own room.

One change was that Scarlett would be there too. Now that she was weaned and sleeping in her own bed through the night, I felt she was ready to move. I know I was ready for it. Ha. So I packed up the small crib all my kids slept in as babies, and Scarlett began sleeping in the larger toddler crib that Lila had been using.

It began well, with all of them staying in their own beds at night, but by the end of the first week, Logan and Lila began sneaking into our bed again. The reason wasn’t so much that they wanted to be with us, but that they were hot. Even though it was cooler, nights were still 29 deg.C. I wanted to put the AC on for them, but I wasn’t sure if they’d be ok with a nightlight and the door closed.

But I knew the only way to keep them out of my room was to keep them in theirs, so I introduced the nightlight. They were hesitant until they saw that they could see well in the room, once their eyes adjusted to the dim light, of course. They loved it, and from that night on, they have not only stayed in their room, but they have also all slept through the night! Success!

Now that the rain is actually here (it was late this year), nights are closer to 22 – 24 deg.C., but I still use the AC. The fan doesn’t cover the whole room so having the AC on and the fan off ensures a cool (but not cold) room, and a better nights sleep for them all.

I still find myself waking up several times a night, out of habit, and I sometimes run to see if any of them are up but they are always sleeping soundly. I wanted to sleep all night myself, but now I have decided to use the time to work on night potty training for Lila. Tonight is her first night without a diaper. Let’s see what happens.

Getting Scarlett to Sleep In Her Own Bed

Little Miss Independent wants to do everything herself.

In my last post on Scarlett’s weaning I mentioned I’d be working on getting her to sleep in her own bed and that I’d let you know how it went. This is me letting you know. Ha.

Truthfully, it was easier than I expected. Her crib is right next to my bed. That was to make it easy for night time feeds. I could just reach in and take her out and I often did so in my sleep. When I made the decision to wean, I also started not taking her out of the crib when she woke for water. I’d give her a drink and a hug and then tell her to lie down.

I think it was only two or three nights that she made a fuss, and after that it has been no problem. To help her get more used to sleeping on her own, I also put her in her bed both at nap time and night, instead of patting her to sleep on my bed as I had been doing. She actually reached a point where she didn’t want me to pat her and if she was on my bed, she would get up and try to run, so confinement to the crib worked.

I honestly don’t know the exact length of time this took, but I believe it was only a few days. Now, at nap I put her in her bed and stay in the room for the few minutes it takes her to fall asleep (unless she had already nodded off in the highchair). At night, into the crib she goes and I stay until she is asleep. When she stands up, I remind her to lie down, sometimes a few times, but she is usually asleep in about 5 minutes or so.

During the night now, she wakes once. I give her the sippy cup, she drinks alone and sometimes falls asleep with it in her arms. Lately I wake to find the cup thrown on my bed or the floor, so at some point she wakes again, drinks and throws it out. Ha. At least I’m getting more sleep these days.

Now to work on keeping the other two in their beds all night. Again! Hopefully it will be easier this year.

Potty Training 103

Previous two parts can be found here and here.In this post I want to talk about nighttime potty training. While I had some experience with daytime and naptime training before my kids came along, I had never done any nighttime training and didn’t  know where to start.

The thing that propelled me into starting Logan into nighttime training was that he started to outgrow the diapers and I couldn’t get a larger size. I had actually wanted to start him around his 3rd birthday, but I waited because Scarlett was born then and I couldn’t pick him up for a few months, so Logan was 3 years and 4 months old when I began. He was staying dry all night most of the time, so that gave me the courage to take him out of diapers.

At first I took him to the toilet at least twice a night, then eventually it went down to once. Most mornings he woke up dry, though I did notice he was more likely to be wet when it was raining or cold. He doesn’t stay covered so well (many kids don’t) and though I dressed him extra warm, he would still pee.

Now that the weather is warming up, he is mostly staying dry again, and I have even had nights when I would forget to take him and he would wake up dry. He often comes to our bed in the night, and if I happen to be awake (nursing the baby), I tell him to go on his own and he will. But if I’m not awake, chances are that either he already wet or will wet … our bed. And it is always on daddy’s side. Ha.

With Lila I may wait longer before starting her nighttime training. (She is 2 years, 9 months now.) Up till now she has only woken up dry a handful of times, so she is not yet ready for it. One bonus I have with her is that pull-ups are now available here, so I plan to use them during her training time.

The way I see it, you have two choices: either keep your child in diapers/pull-ups until they are dry all night, every night, or take the time to get up in the night and take them to the toilet until they can either do it themselves or until they no longer wet in their sleep.

I don’t think there is a perfect way for night training; I am still learning as I go. I also feel it is important to separate daytime and nighttime training. They are two separate things and will be learned at different paces, so, even though I know it is possible for a child to be completely daytime trained by 2, it could take a few more years before they will be nighttime trained. It may not, cause I have heard of children picking up on both quickly, but it more likely will take that extra time.

If you do want to go the waking-them-in-the-night method, then here are a few things I have learned.

-Pick a time to focus on it and go for it. Take the diapers off and don’t look back. (Though you may like to try using pull-ups since they are easy to pull up and down, and if your child does wet, you are spared the bed change.)

-Talk to your child about it. Tell them about your plan and get their ideas too.

-Make sure you start at a time when your child’s home life is stable and they aren’t facing any other big emotional issues like starting school, a new baby in the house, sickness, or any other situation that could cause them emotional upset. Trying to potty train during such a time can make it harder and the chance of them succeeding will be lower.

-If you are going the diaperless route, be prepared for wet beds. Invest in a good plastic sheet to keep the mattress safe, and keep extra sheets and pajamas at hand so you don’t have to hunt for them in the dark.

-An idea I read about somewhere was to make the bed in layers with several plastics and sheets on top of each other. That way, when one is wet, you just have to take it off and the next is there, ready to go.

-You may find it helpful to set an alarm for yourself so you will actually wake up to take them to the toilet.

– I find it debatable whether curbing liquids in the evening works or not. Some people sware by it while for others it makes no difference, so you may have to experiment and see what works best for your child. Since we live in a hot climate, often the kids will want water at night, so I give it to them. I’d rather they need to pee than feel thirsty.

-If your child is a very deep sleeper and doesn’t wake up when you get them up, you may have have to actually wake them for them to pee at all. With Logan, I would stand him in front of the toilet and would have to shake him awake or he would just flop around, sometimes trying to sleep on the toilet.

-Very important – don’t punish them if they wake up wet in the morning. They were asleep when it happened and didn’t do it on purpose. Just reasure them that it isn’t a big deal and help them get cleaned up.

Mommies, we need your success stories! Please share what helped you when night time training your child and at what age you started and by what age they were staying dry all night.

Early Morning Thoughts

I don’t know how long I’ve been lying awake now, nor do I know why I’m so wide awake, but it is 4 in the morning and I can’t sleep. While lying in bed my mind has been working overtime. I can’t stop it no matter how hard I try. I just can’t sleep. So I’ve given up. I’m awake and I might as well do something constructive.

I’ve had many thoughts pass through my mind over the past hour or so. Mostly though, I’ve thought about the blogs I read and why I like them. Each one I’ve chosen for a different reason, so I thought I’d list the reasons here.
First there are the blogs written by memebers of my family. I do like to know what my family is up to and how their lives are (since none of us are good letter writers, this is a good way to do it), but the fact of the matter is that they are the worst bloggers. Some of them have not

(at this point Lila woke up, so I went to nurse her and now she too is awake)

updated their blogs in over a year. I think most of them prefer facebook as a way of connecting. While facebook has its uses, it is not useful for writing and expressing your thoughts. I only use it to keep a connection with family and some old friends, but all my important stuff goes here. I’m considering deleating some of their blog links since it is obvious they don’t use them, but then I don’t know if I should.

Next there are a few that belong to friends. I read them because I know the people who host them, not necessarily because I find them interesting, though some are.

And then come the ones I read because I like them. Even these fall into several categories. One would be the ones I read but rarely or never comment on, simply because they have so many followers that my comment would be lost in the shuffle.
You’ve probably noticed I have a lot of “mommy blogs”. I like these because they help me feel I’m not the only one who is having a tough time being a mommy and we all have our good and bad days. I also get ideas and insight, or maybe just a few laughs from them. I enjoy these ones the most.
Some of these blogs attracted me because of their unique layout and design, others because the content is always interesting, and others because I find the person writing them to be interesting – they transfer their personality to their blog and that makes reading it all the more interesting.

Lila is begging for my attention now. She tries to carry on a conversation with all the coos and gurgles and sounds she knows. I don’t recall Logan trying this hard to communicate at this age. She acts like she is really saying something and she expects that I understand exactly what she is saying. It is so cute.
She walks very well now while holding my hand, and a little by herself. Of course she tires easily and will get down and crawl more often than not, but I think by her birthday she will be walking well on her own. Right now she is staring into the fish tank. It facinates her. She loves animals just as much as Logan does, maybe even more so.

I just hope she doesn’t make a habit of getting up this early in the morning because it is out of the norm for me. She did the same thing last night, spending a whole hour awake, talking and playing. Tonight she is quieter but also more wide awake. What a day we are going to have. I may need more coffee than normal.

Sleep, Baby, Sleep

Here is a cute one of my little boy napping. He sleeps so well when tired, sometimes up to 3 hours at a time during his afternoon nap. I was going to take this picture because he had his arms above his head but by the time I got the camera out he had put them down.

He is also sleeping better at night, usually only waking up once or twice for his bottle. He takes a water bottle mostly but once a night he wants his milk bottle, so I have to get up and go to the fridge for that. It is too hot to keep it by the bed without it going bad, so I don’t get to sleep through the night yet. And I won’t. Baby is due in 8 weeks and I definitely won’t get a solid nights sleep then. I am debating whether or not to wean Logan from his milk bottle before the baby comes. I won’t want to try to do it when the baby is here but I’m not sure if I should do it yet or not. He has on two occasions not even taken the milk bottle in the night but that is a far cry from being weaned from it. I’ll have to do it sooner or later but I still can’t decide if I should do it now or not.

It’s not that the weaning in itself is so hard, as I used a method of watering down the milk ounce by ounce to wean him of the last one. (He used to take two and sometimes three milk bottles. Now he just has one around 2:30 in the morning.) But I feel that he is hungry in the night and needs the milk. On the other hand, I don’t want to have to get up to get a bottle for him in the night if I am trying to nurse the baby. Well, I’ll make up my mind on this soon enough. Until then, enjoy your nighttime bottles, Logan, cause you won’t have them much longer.

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