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He will go to bed around 9:30-10:00, and usually he will sleep through the night. But suddenly he only sleeps for couple of hours, and is up by 2:30-3:00.

I've tried melatonin, it's all natural, but only works for so long.

Now I'm useless really. I have no idea what to do next. I need help. I'm a overly tired mommy.

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    Welcome to the club (of parents of 3 year olds who don't sleep all that well)! I don't believe melatonin is a good idea if you haven't talked to your doctor about it; "natural" doesn't mean something is safe - arsenic and cyanide are natural, after all. A few questions: is your three year old potty trained? Is he up at 3 and raring to go, or is he just crying and fussy? Does he take a nap during the day? – Joe Apr 30 '15 at 14:35
  • Please consider that there are more factors involved than just the fact he wakes up late at night. Do you have a normal nap routine in place that he is used to? Do your evenings keep a schedule including dinner bath and bed at specific times and in a specific order? Food eaten and when it is eaten will matter too. Finally, what are you doing when he wakes up? Do you turn on lights and engage him in an activity or set him in front of the TV? I strongly suggest you keep it dark and not interact with him. At the age of 3 he is more than capable of learning to sleep. – Adam Heeg Aug 5 '15 at 18:22
  • Please consider that there are more factors involved than just the fact he wakes up late at night. Do you have a normal nap routine in place that he is used to? Do your evenings keep a schedule including dinner bath and bed at specific times and in a specific order? Food eaten and when it is eaten will matter too. Finally, what are you doing when he wakes up? Do you turn on lights and engage him in an activity or set him in front of the TV? I strongly suggest you keep it dark and not interact with him. At the age of 3 he is more than capable of learning to sleep. – Adam Heeg Aug 8 '15 at 16:23
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  1. Not getting enough sleep can lead to sleep being more restless, and waking up. If he isn't getting a nap, try getting him to take one, or move bedtime earlier.

  2. Make sure his room is conducive to sleep. A comfort item, a nightlight, a few toys but nothing too stimulating. I know this can be harder for parents who are limited on space, but if possible, move any noisy, light-up, or overly engaging toys to another room. That way, if he wakes up, it isn't a choice between playing with things that wind him up and sleeping more.

  3. If he'll play in his room, you might want to try letting him. One of my foster kids kept doing this. She would wake in the night and immediately jump out of bed and start playing to keep herself awake. After trying some other stuff, we let her play in her room with the quiet toys that were in there. It only took a couple of times when she fell asleep in the floor before she decided her bed wasn't that bad. After that, she would get up, get a new stuffed animal, and get back in bed.

www.babysleepsite.com has user forums with a lot of material on getting babies and toddlers to sleep. I've included links to a chart showing average sleep schedules by age, and the article listing by category, there is a whole section for toddlers.

http://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-sleep-needs/baby-toddler-bedtime-chart/ http://www.babysleepsite.com/view-posts-by-category/

My experience: foster mom to kids ages newborn to 5.

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Our pediatrician gave us permission to give some more melatonin at 3 am. However, you might want to try gradually decreasing the evening melatonin. You can buy it in a liquid form and that way you can ramp down.

Some people give a little bit of Benadryl, but this revved my child up when we tried it at age 2.

If your child takes a nap, perhaps eliminating the nap would help. 9:30 strikes me as a late-ish bedtime for age 3, unless there's a consistent nap going on. If there's no nap, then perhaps what's going on is that the child is short on sleep. This can paradoxically cause sleep problems.

You can use stories and books on tape as a way of keeping a child calm without a lot of light and stimulation when insomnia hits. It should be a story that's so familiar it's gotten just a little boring.

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