Autism and Preparing for a Sibling: Phase 3 Upping the Ante and Possibly Losing Sleep

In may last blog about preparing my son J for his new sibling, who should be here in a few weeks, I spoke about helping J understand why a baby would cry and what we can do to help that. I felt that J would be better prepared for the challenges to come, armed with this knowledge.

While in a brainstorming session with two of J’s service providers a good question was raised. How about the middle of the night? How will J respond to hearing one of his triggers, the sound of his little brother crying, at 2AM? Unfortunately one of the realities of Autism is that we have to worry about things most parents might leave to chance, but from concern came strategy. Better to find out now while the little bambino is still safe in mommy’s belly. So this Friday when I woke up for one of my many bathroom breaks from sleep, I played a recording of a newborn baby crying, at full volume.

I played it twice in the space that the crib is and baby will be for accuracy. Nothing. I checked in on J, he was still sound asleep. I expected him to wake up screaming or to come running in my room very upset, but nothing, not even a creaking sound from his bed. I went back to my room and played it two more times, this time from the distance of my bed, like the baby will be when I am nursing. He stayed asleep, it looked like he adjusted but the sound didn’t wake him up which was a very comforting discovery.

I’ve been playing this sound bite sporadically throughout the weekend and although it seems to get him a little nervous he is tolerating it more and more. On another note, the recording also didn’t wake up my husband who was in the same room and right next to me, but one challenge at a time 🙂


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