Monday, July 27, 2009


I am getting frustrated with E.'s sleeping habits lately.  We will do everything we can think of to get him ready for bed; snack, bath, book, brush teeth, jammies, prayer, singing, night night I love you kiss.  We will put him and S. to bed around 9.  He will be wiggling, moving and wandering around his room for several hours.  Last night he didn't go to sleep until midnight.  We go in and discipline him if he is out of bed, making loud noises or disturbing S.'s sleep.  But we usually ignore him otherwise.  In the past we have tried rubbing his back, sitting next to his bed, singing, etc.  

This morning he woke up at 7 am.  That is only 7 hours of sleep for a little guy!  He is cranky and whiny so I laid him back in bed after a potty stop and a few minutes of interaction.  After the whining started I laid him back down.  Now he has woken S., they are both in their beds.  S. is making sounds with his mouth, E. is yelling "NO!" at him.  They have been doing this a lot lately, especially in the car.  I don't know what to do.  S. is so happy and is just being silly, not too loud .  E. is just being RUDE!  He will shout "NO" over and over and over again.  For hours.  

E. won't always take a nap, but if he does it will take him 2 hours to fall asleep.  We only make him lay in bed for that long if his behavior is unbearable.  Most days by lunch time it is! What to do?  I thought about giving him a sleep aid at night, but after doing some research on melatonin and young children, decided against that. I talked briefly about his behaviors with the OT at his evaluation but she didn't offer any suggestions (still haven't heard back from her). Wishing E. could get more sleep, he is a growing boy, still small for his age (S. is 21 months younger that him and they are almost the same size).  Is it a phase?  Can I get through this?
Amount of 
Sleep Needed

of Sleep

Sleep Developmental 
(3 - 5 Years)
Total Average:
11 - 13 hours

Naps usually end by 5 years; nighttime fears may emerge
Consistent sleep/wake time and bedtime routine

Tips for Preschoolers

  1. Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule
  2. Follow-through with a bedtime routine every night
  3. The child should have the same sleeping environment every night.  It should be cool, quiet and dark and without a TV
  4. Watch for difficulty breathing, unusual nighttime awakenings, chronic sleep problems, and behavioral problems during the day.


Sarah & Crew said...

Ugh. . sleep issues are so tough! I'm sorry that you are going through this.

Atticus was a horrible sleeper at first. Very similar to what you are describing. Then we read the suggestion to put him to bed earlier rather than later. Like super early (I think like 6 pm-ish.) We thought it was nuts, but we were so darn tired we were willing to try it.

And it worked. Really well. He would fall asleep. Hard. And sleep through the night. He would still nap until age 2, and then by 2.5 there was no nap, but he was still going to bed by 6:45, and completely asleep by 7. It was something to do with catching him before he hit too many "Second winds." If they get too overtired, it is near impossible to put them to sleep. Atticus would be hitting a second wind each night around 7, 7:30, so I think that is why the early bedtime really worked for him.

I find this also works with Paloma, who does not nap. If she does nap, we're basically screwed for the rest of the day. But on normal days, she is in bath by 6:20, being read to by 6:45, and zonked by 7:00. It takes her about 2-4 minutes to fall asleep. But, if we wait too long, again, she'll catch that second (or third) wind and we're in for a long night.

Anyways, I hope you find some sort of solution to let you all get some good sleep! Being a walking zombie mommy is no fun at all :(


kayder1996 said...

I hoped over from some other blog. I'm sure you have tried to flesh out the reasons behind his behavior; it sounds like you're striking out on the reason as well as a solution. And tired kids make cranky kids which make cranky moms! We have used two floor pillows on the foot of our bed as a "if you wake up in the middle of the night spot." I don't know if having a second spot for him to sleep might help but it might be something to try. Our spot is in our bedroom because we wanted our kids to feel like they could always access us. But even if you set up a small spot somewhere else you could use the "You may sleep in your bed or in this spot but you may not wander around the room." It would give choice but not allow your kiddo to control the situation and wander. It might also give you a way to keep him from disturbing your other little guy. Just a thought. Hope that you find a solution regardless so your poor little guy can get a good night's rest.

Laurie said...

I read your post earlier & didn't leave a comment. As I was browsing some blogs I have book marked; I found one that really hit home & I wanted to share with you. I am glad I found it.

Kathy Kangas said...

I was looking at your fundraiser on HAH and came to your site this way. I have something you might like to try to help E go to sleep. A warm bottle of milk. Sounds so simple but it actually addresses several things. If you rock him while he has it, you are giving him baby time which he may need emotionally, but also milk has a small amount of a chemical also found in turkey that induces sleepiness. Does E appear to be having nightmares? It could be he sorts out abuse and neglect in his sleep, thus making sleep not a good thing. Kathy Kangas,