Latest post on 2012/05/19 at 05:00:20
Our son had, and still continues to have on occasion, sleep issues. By 3, he was at a hospital with a million wires attached to him for an overnight sleep study. Here are the things I would try out, if you haven't already.
- I'd make sure the naps are over by 1 or 2, as otherwise she might struggle with settling at night. I'm a big believer in naps, and have read about 3 books on sleep, and often if they don't nap, then they struggle at night, from overexhaustion, but you may already know that. This book, btw, proved invaluable to myself and several friends - http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Sleep-Habits-Happy-Child/dp/0345486455/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337388078&sr=1-1
- I'd look at worms, too, but it seems you've already gone down that path. You can always hold a flashlight to their bum in the middle of the night to see if anything's down there. You can google how to find them. Icky, but an elimination.
- As you will read if you get that book, often times, contrary to what parents think, your children need more, not less sleep. So many people advise you to keep them up later, when in fact an earlier bed time is very often needed. At 2, your daughter would still need about 12-14 hours of sleep a day, including naps.
- when things got really bad for us, our dr told us to break the cycle by giving our son benadryl. And he told me that if he woke, to dose him again. The trouble is that bad sleep begets bad sleep, so we needed to do the benadryl thing for a few days, but he needed the sleep desperately.
- we also use natural calm almost every night. I referenced it in another thread here. It has been a lifesaver for us. http://www.vitacost.com/natural-vitality-natural-calm-orange
In fact, our son wants it most nights still. I sure hope you can get it there, as I'm moving there in August and will otherwise need to buy several canisters of the stuff first! Roobois tea is also wonderfully calming.
- perhaps a bit of protein with complex carbs before bed in case she's a bit hungry? maybe a bit of peanut or almond butter on toast?
- re night terrors, I don't think so. It's something we still suffer with, and that's usually only 1 time a night, and you'd think Charles Manson was attacking our son when those happen. It's awful, and it's usually only in Summer, when our son is super hot and overly tired.
- lastly, something that we need to investigate again, is reflux. The sleep specialist suggested this, and actually our son does have a thing where he will sort of spit up food fairly often. If we don't give him natural calm, he will often do this spit up thing, but it goes away when we are consistent with it. Reflux is linked to low magnesium levels, which is what natural calm contains, in an effervescent (ie so it travels quickly to bloodstream) state. There are medications for reflux based on magnesium, but it's not necessary when you can simply buy it. It's not something that will harm your daughter, anyway, as we are all low in magnesium these days, due to a variety of environmental and dietary factors. I would never have believed this was the cause, but actually now that I'm writing this I'm realizing that I need to investigate this further with our son before we head over to Dubai!
- the only other thing I'd say is I'd try to create her own sleeping space. I'm all for letting your kids sleep with you, and we often play musical beds in our house, but there's a way to teach them to sleep on their own gently, that doesn't require crying it out. We did a lot of 'mommy's right here, go back to sleep,' as we edged our way out of the room more and more each night. It was a struggle, and our son, nearly 8, still asks us to lie with him about 5 nights a week, and we may oblige him for 15 min or so 1 or 2 nights. But I'm very aware that they will grow into little insomniacs if they don't learn to settle themselves somewhat.
It's a struggle. My 5 yo sleeps beautifully, and my 8 yo wakes at 6 or 630, no matter when he goes to bed. It's a nightmare!
Sorry for the novel, and good luck to you!