Jump to content
AllNightLong

Our 2.5 year old has sleep regressed so badly he's a danger to himself

Recommended Posts

Ellie bean
1 hour ago, marple said:

 its actually sad when they are all grown up

 

 

Perhaps but when they sleep alone in their bed all night it’s freaking FANTASTIC and not something to regret 

  • Like 5
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
melanieb530

Does he have any disabilities or developmental delays that could be relevant? 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
~Jolly_F~

Are there other things that concern you?

Like PPs have suggested it may be worth seeing a paediatrician. 

For us the sleeping was directly related to ASD! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jenflea

I was wondering if maybe proper melatonin might help. I know some people who get the gummies from iherb in the US, quite cheaply. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
feralisles

It sounds like your son has become really anxious around the whole issue of sleep.   He's not choosing to behave like that, and probably feels pretty miserable from being so overtired, but is too wound up to be able to break the cycle.  The recent move hasn't helped.

I had non sleepers, and the worst of them was later diagnosed with anxiety disorder and ASD.

For us, physical activity helped enormously.  Hard for you in Melbourne at the moment, but the more you tire his little body out the more likely he is to relax at the end of the day.  We used to do long hikes with ours (at 3 they could easily do 20km up and down hills, no exaggeration).  Swimming worked well too, an afternoon in the pool usually meant a good night ahead.

We avoided any naps during the day, and any mental stimulation such as screen time in the evenings.  After a bath and dinner, I would announce that I was tired and wanted a rest, and would invite DD to lie down with me if she wanted.  Not to sleep, just for a "rest".  I would take a big pile of her books to my bed, and invariably she would join me not long after.  We would read a few stories, then I would tell her my eyes were tired and I needed to close them for a few minutes.  She was welcome to keep reading to herself if she wanted, if she got up I would ignore her and just tell her I was having a rest.  She would generally keep coming back because she wanted my attention, and the only way to get it was to come to bed!  Eventually she would fall asleep.  I would have to stay there until her sleep deepened, as all hell would break loose if I woke her by getting up too early, but at least she would sleep.   

It only worked if there was no pressure on her to actually go to sleep, and if she was physically tired.  Like you, we found the more forceful methods ineffective and actually made things worse.  Getting her to relax was the key, and also trying to get her to sleep before she was wound up to the point of complete irrationality.   

Good luck OP, it's a hard slog.

 

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CrankyM
48 minutes ago, ~Jolly_F~ said:

For us the sleeping was directly related to ASD! 

All the sleep stuff related to ADHD and anxiety with my kid here... The kid only had two modes, asleep like the dead or full tilt. He used to go full tilt until he'd random fall asleep, in places like floor. The kid still seems to prefer anywhere but a bed. Why the floor is nicer to sleep on then the bed I can't understand.

Many others have given you some good ideas. In our case, once medical stuff had been ruled out or fixed (tonsils and adenoids removed at 2), we had to focus on other stuff. I'm wondering if you have tried white noise, or quiet background music? Also some kid's need more sensory input to be happy and comfortable to sleep. My youngest needs this. He only ever slept well with a heavy blanket or with someone in bed with him. If you son feels comfortable enough in the car seat because he can't move much have you thought about maybe trying something like a lycra sheet? They are not cheap unfortunately, but they give kids this nice tightly tucked in feeling that some kids associated with feeling calm. https://www.thetherapystore.com.au/product/lycra-bed-sheet/

I would also work on ways to wind down. It really sounds like he is easily overly stimulated which can be worse when over tired. We moved almost everything from the kid's bedroom when they were little because of this. It was a bed and wardrobe and that's it. This means no scary shadows or anything. And nothing to stimulate them. A quiet audio book and things like cuddles and quiet laying down before bed. And then we would gradually withdraw. And I'd literally sit outside the door and then put them back each time. No engagement in conversation just a quick cuddle and "Shh, sleepy time. I'm tired, R is tired. Sleepy time." Some nights it would taken almost two hours doing this but it got better. Somewhat (we did crack and use melatonin when sleep went right out the window around 4 and he was waking every 30 mins and taking 2 hours to go down. My child does have ADHD though and sleep anxiety. After these were medicated sleep was fine.)

I hope it improves for you. Oh and cutting the nap might help.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
marple
3 hours ago, AllNightLong said:

Ok just to show how difficult he is - I have done every single thing you mentioned here. None of it works. Bed rail, sleeping next to him, sleeping with us. I mentioned in my post that I'm happy to do all these things but he resists every single one.

Oh ok I didn't realise that. He won't even sleep snuggled up in bed with you? Yes that is quite difficult,  speak to your GP and they may give you  a referral. Didn't know you'd already dropped the nap. Best wishes with it all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AllNightLong
2 hours ago, feralisles said:

It sounds like your son has become really anxious around the whole issue of sleep.   He's not choosing to behave like that, and probably feels pretty miserable from being so overtired, but is too wound up to be able to break the cycle.  The recent move hasn't helped.

I had non sleepers, and the worst of them was later diagnosed with anxiety disorder and ASD.

For us, physical activity helped enormously.  Hard for you in Melbourne at the moment, but the more you tire his little body out the more likely he is to relax at the end of the day.  We used to do long hikes with ours (at 3 they could easily do 20km up and down hills, no exaggeration).  Swimming worked well too, an afternoon in the pool usually meant a good night ahead.

We avoided any naps during the day, and any mental stimulation such as screen time in the evenings.  After a bath and dinner, I would announce that I was tired and wanted a rest, and would invite DD to lie down with me if she wanted.  Not to sleep, just for a "rest".  I would take a big pile of her books to my bed, and invariably she would join me not long after.  We would read a few stories, then I would tell her my eyes were tired and I needed to close them for a few minutes.  She was welcome to keep reading to herself if she wanted, if she got up I would ignore her and just tell her I was having a rest.  She would generally keep coming back because she wanted my attention, and the only way to get it was to come to bed!  Eventually she would fall asleep.  I would have to stay there until her sleep deepened, as all hell would break loose if I woke her by getting up too early, but at least she would sleep.   

It only worked if there was no pressure on her to actually go to sleep, and if she was physically tired.  Like you, we found the more forceful methods ineffective and actually made things worse.  Getting her to relax was the key, and also trying to get her to sleep before she was wound up to the point of complete irrationality.   

Good luck OP, it's a hard slog.

 

Yes I entirely agree with you; he has anxiety around sleep.

I can relate a lot to what you had to do with your kiddo. We have often had to "trick" him into bed. Talk and talk and talk until before he knows it he's in bed - but with the iron clad routine he felt a little safer, then I'd sing and high tail it out of there and he did adjust. There was a good 6 months where we'd do the same thing every night no problem and he'd put himself to sleep in his cot after singing to himself or chatting away in there. So just like you said; getting them to relax. Except right now that's impossible and he's older and smarter and sees through everything.

I have GAD. My husband struggles with restless legs very badly. I suppose ADHD is a possibility too. I know ASD presents differently in different children but he really doesn't fit the descriptions.

Or maybe he's just struggling right now because of a bunch of developmental leaps on top of endless lockdown on top of moving house.

We have a referral to a sleep specialist and I'm going to call in the morning and beg for the earliest appointment.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PocketIcikleflakes

I know you've been to the GP for a check up but having gone through ENT issues with two kids I'd recommend ignoring the GP and going to a specialist ENT. No GP was worried about either kid but both of mine have had greatly improved sleep since having oversized adenoids taken out and grommets in for persistent low level ear blockages and infections. 

Also maybe talk to someone about trialling antihistamines. DD gets full blown hay fever now but previously she'd get just enough reaction to something to get post nasal drip that would stuff up her head and give her bad quality sleep.

Once sleep quality improved then bed time and length of sleep improved.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AllNightLong
4 hours ago, melanieb530 said:

Does he have any disabilities or developmental delays that could be relevant? 

The opposite. He's either right on track or a "ahead" of milestones, though by this age the range of normal is obviously wide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Prancer is coming

It is hard, isn’t it? And what works for some won’t work for others.  I tried so much stuff too - laying in the bed, the floor, bribes, consequences, massages before bed.  Mine would scream even when I was snuggled up next to her in bed.  And people imply cosleeping always works and it most certainly doesn’t!

 

A few things from me that may or may not help.  I feel mine got into a routine of drama at bedtime.  It was only some 2 years later we had a long family holiday with a younger sibling thst I did not want woken.  So she would be up later and often watching tv (in her own bed but usually sharing a room with us) so as  not to wake the sibling and it was like we broke the routine.  At the end of this holiday we also moved back home after several years away.  I do wonder if I was happier/less stressed/dad was around more/family was around more a s if that made a difference.  But I certainly was not unhappy or thought I was stressed at the time.

 

she later got diagnosed with Coeliacs (some 3 years later) and I do wonder if maybe some of the screaming was pain.    She has 2 brothers with ADHD but she does not have any diagnoses and her sleep and toddler behaviour was a million times worse than the boys.

 

She climbed out of her cot at 18 months which was a giant pain and when things went down hill.  When her bro out climbed the cot before 2, I just set the cot up next to the big bed.  Thst way if he climbed out, it was onto the bed and quite safe.  He became quite skilled at climbing out in his gro bag!
 

I would be less hung up about the need to nap.  Some kids need less sleep than others.  Toddlers tantrum over anything.  See if a day of no naps is worse than nap days.  You might get a huge afternoon tantrum, and see if thst is better than a painful bedtime.

 

Lastly, don’t go it alone.  It you are struggling, go to the GP, health nurse or parenting centre.  I slogged through alone and achieved nothing.  Recently my son’s paed prescribed melatonin and I was surprised as I did not think his sleep was thst shocking.  But it was so amazing for bedtime to take 15 minutes rather than 90 minutes.  Can’t tell you how good it felt!  I would not self medicate my child and not suggesting you need meds, but just trying to demonstrate that often you do not realise how bedtime issues are taking over your life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...