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How do you know it is time to contact the Pediatrician about your child's sleep routine/pattern?

My 3 year old is full of issues it seems. :(

Poor baby has had multiple surgeries for tubes/adenoids. She has been small from the get go and is now barely 6 lbs heavier than her 1 year old brother and she is about to be 4.

And since about October of last year her sleep has gone haywire. She doesn't fall to sleep very easily AT ALL. It is typically midnight or so before she falls to sleep. She tosses and turns and has bad dreams. And then she is moody the next day (pretty much all day every day) due to being so tired.

She will take a nap after a fight to get her to lay down, and after she cries because she HATES to have to lay down for naps or bed time. :( She takes good naps of about an hour or more WHEN you can get her to sleep.

Due to it affecting her attitude should I speak to the pediatrician about it a bit more? I have mentioned it to them already quite a bit. They actually mentioned possibly doing a sleep study on her.

Thing is if she has to wear a CPAP mask that will NEVER happen. I sell those and she wouldn't keep it on her face, I just know it.

They told me at one point that I could split a Melatonin (herbal sleeping supplement) into 1/6 and give it to her, but it doesn't help to regulate her sleep. Just finally knocks her out and then she has problems sleeping it off.

I'm at a loss. What should I do?


Asked by Memigen at 10:36 AM on Mar. 4, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • I would definitely talk to her dr about it more...let him know you've been using the melatonin and that it doesn't seem to be helping. as far as the cpap just take it one test at a time...maybe she won't even have to do that test...have you asked her why she doesn't want to sleep at night maybe something is bothering or hurting her when she daughter also has a problem with going to sleep & nightmares (she's had problems with them since she was 6 months old). My doctor didn't help much with it just said I had to let her figure it out. she's finally gotten to where she usually goes to sleep on her own. We started keeping a palette on the floor for her to sleep on if she has bad dreams. She's not allowed in our bed but if she's having problems sleeping or gets scared she comes right to her palette and usually sleeps good. Good-luck I know its hard!!!

    Answer by ramita at 11:44 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • The melatonin will help regulate her sleep if you give it to her every night at the same time for several weeks. She will get used to going to sleep at the same time every night and you can wean her off of it. I had to use it for my son with autism when he was little. But it's not supposed to help keep them asleep.
    If they do a sleep study, she doesn't wear a CPAP mask, but they do have little "nodes" (I don't know what they are called, but I've had one done) on her body.
    Ask the dr, but it sounds like they are staying on top of it and suggesting what they can?

    Answer by missanc at 10:40 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • I think it is past time to talk about sleep. Many things could be going on. The herbal suppliment you mentioned is safe but eventually will not continue to work - if ever at all. It has to do with half life and tolerance in our bodies. Many kids have restless sleep, difficulty going to sleep, and staying asleep. It is not because of poor parenting. For now I personally would skip nap time and focus on night sleep. The first thing they will want to rule out, so I would just do it now, is poor sleep hygene. No television in bed, good bedtime, and routine before sleep. Don't get in a wad if she is up. Let her play in her bed as long as she is quiet and has no distractions. Then document the description of the bad dreams. This can clue professionals in about what is going on. Record as well her energy levels and mood during intervals through the day. Bring info to a specialist. Not just the PCP.

    Answer by frogdawg at 12:13 PM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • I started a firm....and I mean a no bend the rules....night time routine with my daughter. Each and every night you have to do the same thing. We did: supper, baths, book, brush, bed. All of this happens between 6 and 8 every single night. No exceptions and unfortunately that means no evening plans for you until the routine is solid. It worked for us. She now gets into bed, lights go out and she knows she has to stay there and go to sleep. She used to take hours to fall asleep, with us in there, and wake for 2-3 hours during the night and "talk". All of our kids are on the same routine and it is great! After a few months, you can be a little more flexible for special events, but if you stray too many days, the battle will start again. Good luck!

    Answer by khedy at 10:45 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • missanc, I have been doing the thing with the Melatonin for a while now. As I said I work with CPAP's so typically people will do two studies. One you are supposed to sleep without it, and then if they find you have sleep apnea and are desatting in your oxygen levels they will have you return for a CPAP Titration trial. That is what I worry about, if she needs to have a CPAP I don't see her being cooperative. :(

    khedy, my children have been a solid schedule for years since birth. I started it when they were born and even my infant has a specific bed time and they all go down easily but her. :( And as I stated this started back in October out of nowhere.

    Comment by Memigen (original poster) at 10:52 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • Thanks ladies! Frogdawg, most of what you said we already do (such as no tv and such) but I will start to record the happenings. She has taken to not wanting to nap anyhow, so that can easily be taken out to try and improve things since she is getting older. :) She gets really quiet when she is tired but can't sleep (she is so much like me it's funny sometimes because I do the exact same thing, lol). Last night I asked her if she was okay and she shook her head yes, I asked her if she had bad dreams and she didn't respond (meaning no, because it's either yes or nothing at all when she's tired, lol), I asked if she just wanted mommy and she said yes. So I held her, stroked her hair for a bit and loved on her. :) I then asked if she was ready for bed and she finally went and laid down.

    Comment by Memigen (original poster) at 12:24 PM on Mar. 4, 2011