Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

battle of wills with a 5 year old

Posted by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 6:09 AM
  • 11 Replies
My 5 year old ds has recently (maybe 3 months ago) started waking up at 4 in the morning. From the beginning I have told him to go back to bed, it's the middle of the night. Sometimes he gets so upset (mostly loud whining) it wakes his brother, then they are both awake. I made the rule that if he wakes up before the clock says 6:30 he has to lay in bed quietly and play with the stuffed animals he brings to bed. That worked for a while, but I know he is staying awake most mornings from sometimes as early as 3. The trouble is, I can see ot starting to cause problems for him. He is very emotional over minor things, he is arguing with his brother a lot more than usual, and a lot of times he gets weepy and irrational at bed time. I have tried adjusting his bedtime both earlier and later and even after two weeks of the new routine it doesn't help. He doesn't get a lot of sugar, he gets plenty of exercise and play time. There haven't been any big changes in the house. The night light he has is not overly bright, I have tried playing soothing music, Tv time is really limited. It almost feels like he is doing it because I don't want him to. I don't know what to try, it is just not like him to fall apart like this. I worry a lot because my husband and I both have people in our families that have Manic depressive disorder. My husbands brother was known for not handling things well as a child, and is Manic depressive. I'm starting to worry this could be the beginning of it for my son. I need some advice please, anything I could try to get him to sleep a little bit longer so he can have a better day again. I know I may be over reacting, but I was wakened at 4 and I'm really concerned for my ds.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 6:09 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
JoeMax
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 6:37 AM
Bump
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
PinkButterfly66
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 7:18 AM
1 mom liked this

He's not getting enough sleep.  Have you thought about melatonin?  You can get it in liquid form (online) and can start with the lowest dose to find the dose that is right for him.  

ali840
by Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 7:42 AM
Really good idea. I would start with this.

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

He's not getting enough sleep.  Have you thought about melatonin?  You can get it in liquid form (online) and can start with the lowest dose to find the dose that is right for him.  

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
CatFishMom
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 8:56 AM

I wish I had advice for you but all I can say is I go through the same thing, just not quite as extreme. We put my four and a half year old back to bed and as far as I know he goes back to sleep. I hope you find a solution!

CindaMurdock
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Melatonin was 1 of my 1st thoughts as well.  I have similar issues with my 2 & 4 year olds, just not as regularly.  My 2 yo (foster/grand daughter) is in therapy for her emotional outbursts & in ability to "regulate" herself.  What our therapist has us doing is giving her "blanket time"......set out a blanket in a quiet area (same spot all the time) with QUIET toys (blocks) & books.  Set a timer.  The child sets there quietly playing without interuption or interatction with others for the duration of the timer, giving the child "quiet time" to help keep them calm & "regulated" for the day.  Start at 5 minutes & gradually work up to 20 minutes.  We do this both as a part of our regular daily routine AND at the first sign of "de-regulation" (whinning, pouting for not getting her way, etc.).  It really seems to help her mood and emotional state afterward.  Maybe it is something you could try for a while with your ds to see if it helps HIS emotional state during the day, which may help him sleep better at night.

Another thought I had was eliminating his afternoon naps, if he still takes them.  Maybe he would sleep longer at night if he no longer naps during the day?

JoeMax
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 1:25 PM
He hasn't mapped since he was about 3. I do enforce quiet time every day, but it doesn't seem to help. I have considered melatonin but wasn't sure it would be safe for him. Guess I will ask his doctor at his check up next week.


Quoting CindaMurdock:

Melatonin was 1 of my 1st thoughts as well.  I have similar issues with my 2 & 4 year olds, just not as regularly.  My 2 yo (foster/grand daughter) is in therapy for her emotional outbursts & in ability to "regulate" herself.  What our therapist has us doing is giving her "blanket time"......set out a blanket in a quiet area (same spot all the time) with QUIET toys (blocks) & books.  Set a timer.  The child sets there quietly playing without interuption or interatction with others for the duration of the timer, giving the child "quiet time" to help keep them calm & "regulated" for the day.  Start at 5 minutes & gradually work up to 20 minutes.  We do this both as a part of our regular daily routine AND at the first sign of "de-regulation" (whinning, pouting for not getting her way, etc.).  It really seems to help her mood and emotional state afterward.  Maybe it is something you could try for a while with your ds to see if it helps HIS emotional state during the day, which may help him sleep better at night.


Another thought I had was eliminating his afternoon naps, if he still takes them.  Maybe he would sleep longer at night if he no longer naps during the day?


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
JasonsMom2007
by Platinum Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 1:34 PM

I've been told not to give meletonin.  I you start researching there are no long term studies on its safety.  It is something naturally produced by the body but it's a hormone.  Would you start giving him any other hormone?

I would try some lavender oil in a difuser or something similar.  

JoeMax
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 5:58 PM
Thanks for the tip. I would never give anything without talking to his doctor. I actually have had a lot of doubts about melatonin, so I may decide against it.


Quoting JasonsMom2007:

I've been told not to give meletonin.  I you start researching there are no long term studies on its safety.  It is something naturally produced by the body but it's a hormone.  Would you start giving him any other hormone?

I would try some lavender oil in a difuser or something similar.  


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
maureen813
by Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 9:01 PM
I am a clinical therapist working within a large outpatient community counseling center. My caseload includes twenty four children ages five to sixteen years of age. Sleep disturbance is fairly common in children and could be caused by so many things but please stop worrying about bi-polar illness ...no longer referred to as manic depression, which can be diagnosed in children but would require many additional symptoms along with insomnia. I would consult your pediatrician and also I could refer you to a few books that may be helpful. Good luck....stop worrying.
brittany208
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Is he getting adequately worn out during the day? The week that my DS was off preschool for winter break, he didn't sleep at all bc he just didnt get tired! Once he was back in school, he was worn out again and back to sleeping well.

Does he share a room with his brother? what does he do when he wakes up? I would think waking up at 4am would be so boring with absolutely nothing to do that he would go back to sleep.

Do you need to move his bedtime back a little bit?

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)



Featured