Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Something I've never written about...

Primo is now 4 and he still doesn't sleep through the night. He slept through the night briefly around a year old. Since then he has never slept through the night. Well, every now and then he does, maybe once a month, sometimes less often.

We have a good bedtime routine and he falls asleep easily at 8 PM, but he doesn't stay asleep. On a good night he's up twice. A bad night means getting up 4 or 5 times with him. He's never up for long, sometimes he goes to the bathroom other times he just runs into our room and one of us gets up and takes him back to bed and he's asleep in 10-20 minutes. We always offer the option of sleeping in our bed, but he wants his own bed. 

I don't know what to do. We've tried Melatonin, but this doesn't help Primo stay asleep. We've tried relaxation/meditation cds for children, rewards for staying in bed, making his room darker with light blocking curtains and no night light. None of this has changed anything. Despite waking up so often at night Primo is ALWAYS up and ready to go by 5:30-6:00 AM!

Over time the problem has improved, in that he no longer has temper tantrums in the middle of the night, so that's something. But last week Mike admitted he was falling asleep at a red light on his way home from work. We need to correct this sleep problem fast. Our quality of life is not what it could be.

Anyone else have this problem? What helped your toddler sleep through the night?

11 comments:

  1. Some kids just need less sleep then average. Going to sleep at 8 is the recommended for the average kid. I would say try putting him to sleep at 9 or 10. If he was grumpy when it was time to wake up then it might be something else, but since he is ready to go by 6 a.m. I suggest a bed time move.

    Other then that I was an early riser and around age 4 my parents just said the rule was to stay in your bed room in the morning till we come and get you and play quietly. I was a good rule follower in general but I imagine you could use whatever consequence he gets for breaking other rules i.e. time out etc for leaving his bedroom when he isn't allowed.

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    1. Until about 2 months ago Primo went to bed at 10 and was always up by 5:45. I had a hard time with the lack of alone time for myself as I was going to bed at the same time as Primo.

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  2. Same issue with no solution. Daughter is approaching 5 and we've dealt with it by teaching her coping / soothing techniques. We basically had to tell her that she's not allowed to wake us up anymore, trying to teach her the difference between a real emergency and her simply being awake. We got her the Fisher Price Glow Singing Sea Horse and taught her to squeeze it when she wakes up ( since age 2). She learned to self soothe with her toys in bed. But if she has a nightmare she's allowed to call for us. But we didn't sleep for 4 years and it wrecked our lives. And she was sleep deprived also!

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    1. Oh I hope Primo is like your daughter and sleeps better by age 5! I'll try the glowing stuffed animal, this is also reminding me that Build A Bear has an option for a talking suffie, we could record our voices, that may help him!

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  3. We use a bear named Scout by leapfrog, you can program the child's name and favorite items to help personalize him. He plays lullabies and games depending on how the child interacts. Our four year olds love it and I often hear scout playing in the middle of the night. We also use a cheap clock with coloring on the face to show when wake up is.

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    1. The clock is a new idea to me. Primo likes the Scout games on his leap pad, so that may help him at night too, thanks!

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  4. We have heard Magnesium is also a very helpful supplement. My son has a disease which one of the symptoms is often little sleep (sleeps from 10ish-4am) and then he is ready for the day. Many of the other moms say Magnesium supplements help a lot. Melatonin just helps kids fall asleep. It also can mess with some hormone stuff. Magnesium helps get a more restful sleep and no messing with hormones. For our guy, he has a room alone and just plays in his room if he wakes up in the middle of the night. He is two so it is a bit different. He is also very delayed in what he understands so we have a safety lock on his door as he has no understanding of the word no or danger.

    I've also heard other moms swear by essential oils to help with sleep. This may be something to look into.

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    1. I'm trying to find some info on essential oils, will try those too. I've never heard of Magnesium helping sleep, will call our pediatrician today!

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  5. My friend once gave me some lavender/serenity essential oils to help me when I was having trouble sleeping and it does work but a caution is that I used it every night and became very lethargic and dopey during the day. After a few weeks with feeling badly during the day and even getting headaches, I asked her why and she thought I had used too much. So if you do use essential oils (doTERRA for example) consider that less is more but it does work.

    I am wondering if your child has sensory issues such as acute hearing sense. My little boy could hear a floor creak a floor below or a bird chirp through a closed window all in a dead sleep which would immediately wake him up. It was almost as if he could hear air moving his hearing is that sensitive, even to this day. Not sure if white noise would help this or aggravate it at your child's age. My son now at 15 years old has to sleep with two fans running in his room to block out sounds. Does your child have ADHD by any chance? I just came across your blog so I haven't read it too much.

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  6. Thanks for the essential oils advice, I'm buying a diffuser today.

    Primo has slept with white noise all his life and he does have sensory issues. He goes to OT once a week. OT has helped him so much in many areas, but not when it comes to sleep. No symptoms of ADHD so far.

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  7. Have you asked his OT for advice? I'm guessing you have from what you said, but maybe he/she could recommend a sleep professional in your area. We've always had relatively poor sleepers, the only thing that has help is a book called "Sleepless in America". It's really good, and you can download it from Amazon. It might not solve the problem, but it could give you new ideas. Hope things get better for you soon, sleep deprivation is NO fun!!

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