Halima and Farid Jaggoe have three children: daughter Aliyah (9) and twins Xavi and Yaïr (7). The boys have developmental delays. A concrete diagnosis has not been made but it is likely that there is an abnormality in the DNA which causes them to have intellectual disabilities and difficulties with stimulus processing. They recently started sleeping in a CloudCuddle.
“On the outside you don’t see anything about Xavi and Yaïr. But from the age of two we noticed that they behaved differently than average,” says Halima. At the age of 2.5 they go to care facility Reinaerde, where they undergo several tests in day care to find out what is best for them.
Out of bed all the time
Sleeping goes pretty well for the first four years of their lives. But the switch to a – larger – toddler bed throws a spanner in the works. “That was really a tipping point,” Halima explains. “The kids were getting out of bed at the drop of a hat, couldn’t find any rest. It took until ten o’clock in the evening before they were asleep. The youngest in particular stayed awake longer and longer. He often woke up at five or six in the morning, sometimes even earlier, between four and five. The last few weeks he had so much restlessness in his body. That also worked its way into the day. He became busy, fussy, restless.”
Solution for poor sleep
“The children would regularly come to us at night and continue sleeping in our bed. No matter what we tried, they always managed to ‘escape’ from their own room. They started to enjoy getting out of bed more and more. Until a few weeks ago, we first put the boys in the stroller until they fell asleep. Then we would put them to bed. But that didn’t help anymore. We had to come up with something else.” Father Farid searched the Internet for solutions and stumbled upon CloudCuddle.
Not much faith in bed tent
“To be honest, I didn’t have much faith in a bed tent because we had already tried so many things and because the kids were so clever at coming up with ways to escape. The CloudCuddle site says that the bed tent is less suitable for children who keep dropping their full weight against the side of the CloudCuddle. I thought: our kids are probably going to do that. Nevertheless, we requested a trial week.”
Sleeping better from the start
“When the children were not at home, I set up the CloudCuddles. First I watched the instruction video – I find that easier than reading a manual. The set up was quicker than expected. Just attach it to the mattress, inflate, done. I lay down in it myself for a while. It’s like a mosquito net, nice and private. When I got home the youngest wanted to go in immediately. He didn’t know yet that he wouldn’t be able to get out himself so I was curious how he would react to that. Already on the first day he just laid down quietly. He was not smiley and busy like usual, not panicky. Sleeping was better from the start.”
The evening to ourselves again
“It was very crazy for my husband and me. Until recently, we were up until ten o’clock at night trying to keep the kids in bed and asleep. Now we have the evening to ourselves again. And at night the boys can’t come to us. That gives us all much more peace. In the beginning, I was very nervous that Xavi and Yaïr couldn’t open the zipper themselves. As soon as they were asleep, I opened the zipper anyway, so they could get used to the new situation the first few nights. But that was soon no longer necessary.”
Weekend away with bed tent
“We decided to purchase a CloudCuddle for both children. The oldest may not need it as much but since the twins sleep in one room, it’s important that the boys both stay in bed and get a good night’s sleep. We plan to use the bed tent every night. During the trial week, we even went away for a weekend together. That also went well. In the bungalow we rented there were two box springs and the bed tent fitted around them.”
Reimbursement bed tents applied for
“We have submitted an application within the framework of the WMO. We have to wait and see whether we will be reimbursed for the bed tents. The occupational therapist who treats our children helps us with this. With an indication, we might be able to get the reimbursement. We think the CloudCuddle is a good solution for Xavi and Yaïr. We have considered a bed box but it would make a lot of noise and keep them awake. We are waiting to see if we will be reimbursed for the bed tents.”
More peace for the family
“Our daughter now naturally wants one of those beautiful bed tents too. Fortunately, she understands that her brothers really need them and that she herself can sleep in a normal bed. Aliyah has of course experienced our daily struggle around bedtime. She also has more peace now. I would recommend other parents to try out the bed tent. Even if you think the situation is hopeless: try it!”