Posted by: Jojo | 2007/05/08

Toddler with insomnia

Help - we're exhausted every day as my son who turned 2 last week just will not sleep properly. He is waking up at about 2am and only goes back to sleep about 4 or 5 am. He wakes up and wants to sing and play and generally thinks it's time to get up. We've tried to shout at him, tried lying in bed with him, but then he starts playing with our hair or tossing around. I've tried to just give him a bottle and walk out, but nothing is really helping. I was giving him Cathay Herbal "calm me down", but ran out of it and can't find anyone who stocks it in Durban. Is there any other remedy that we can use to break this habit. It's happening more and more frequently and I don't know if it's because he might be teething or just too much of an active mind.
Whatever it is we can't carry on like this as I'm also 16 weeks pregnant and utterly exhausted at work every day.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Jojo
Firstly, look at his diet, if he eats lots of sugar or colourants, cut that out, as it may be making him hyperactive.

Try and get him into a strict routine at night - bath him at the same time and let him go to bed by 20h00 - keeping him awake too late may overtire him.

Start winding down after dinner. Slowing the pace for yourself and your child will help make the transition to bedtime easier. Reading, singing and quiet play are better than running around. Dads and their toddlers often like a rough and tumble, but do not have them an hour before sleep time.

Keep the before-bed routine short and sweet. Bathing, brushing teeth and going to the toilet shouldn't take more than half an hour or so. Any longer and your child will start getting wound up and you'll start getting frustrated.

Be firm and consistent about bedtime rules.

Leave a book or a quiet toy in your child's bed so he can amuse himself for a little while after waking up. He can't understand the concept of "too early", but you can tell him to stay in his room until the light comes through the window or he hears you say "good morning" (or some other specific signal).

lastly, discuss with your GP - he may be able to prescribe something for your child to calm him down and get him into a routine at night.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Jojo | 2007/05/09

Hi, it is the same son who I thought had bronchitis. Took him to the dr yesterday and he has a chest infection. Definitely teething - back molars and sore throat. Prescribed antibiotics etc. I am a very strict routine person and do exactly what the dr above describes every night. Have had a routine since birth and alway have very little problem getting him to be. It's keeping him down at night - early hours in the morning that's my problem. Last night was a lot better, but think it was due to medication.
However the insomnia is when is healthy mostly. That's my main problem right now. He doesn't eat sweets - doesn't like them much so know it's not his diet.

Reply to Jojo
Posted by: Smiley | 2007/05/08

Jojo, if this is the same son that you suspect has Bronchitis, then you should be worried and take him a Doctor soon. If he can't breath properly at night, he will wake up and try to be playfull and might even get relief from his tight chest by sitting up.

If this is the case, then you should get medical attention for him.

Reply to Smiley
Posted by: Cornel (Smiley) | 2007/05/08

I have exactly the same problem with MY 2 year old daughter! Up and until last week so used to sleep in a Campcot (been sleeping in her own room from 6 months), but I moved her to a single bed. She goes to bed around 19h30, showing definite signs of being tired, but then she wakes up around 23h00-04h00 and wide awake, playing, singing!

I want 2 bottles of whatever CD is suggesting :) just need to get some sleep.

Reply to Cornel (Smiley)

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