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  1. #1
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    Default Almost 4yo not sleeping through the night - help!

    I need your help! For the past year my now almost 4yo DD has been constantly waking up every night. I've read so many books, searched through so many Internet sites but nothing seems to help. Before this all started she was a 'dream baby' who slept so well but around the age of 3 she started to wake more and more during the night.
    Most of books and websites I read usually focus on ways to get your child to sleep initially and that this will the lead to a better night of sleep overall. But my problem is that we have a pretty good bedtime routine (dinner, bath, teeth, book and bed) and my DD generally goes to sleep very well on her own when first going to bed, but the problem is that she then wakes about every three hours after that and comes wandering into my room.
    During her middle of the night visits, I have tried the rapid return method of walking her back to her room, the gradual retreat method of sitting in her room until she falls asleep then slowly increasing the distance of where I sit from her bed ... But nothing works.
    She says she doesn't like her bed or room and prefers mine, so we even redecorated the room the way she wanted, but that didn't help. She has a night light because she said she was afraid if the dark. She sleeps with the door shut because that's what she prefers.
    I don't know what else to do.
    At first I thought it was just a phase, but after a year the sleep deprivation is slowly sending me crazy, and what's worse is that I'm moving from part time to full time work in the next few weeks and I don't know how I'm going to cope. I'm so tired that on some nights after returning my child from her first about 11pm that when she comes back in about 2pm sometimes I'm so asleep that I seriously don't even noticed she has crawled into bed until I wake up again in the morning.
    Please any feedback, help or advice would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Is there anything else going on? A change in her personailty or anything like that? The only reason I ask is because when my son was 3 he became severly anemiac, and among other things it affected his sleep big time. Also - apparently worms can affect sleep as well.

  3. #3
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    I'd suggest a blood test to rule out iron deficiency. My little one never slept thanks to his iron levels. He eventually had an iron infusion and he started sleeping. Just a suggestion.

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    Is she saying that she is having bad dreams? Could there be anything else causing her anxiety?

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    Oh you poor thing! I'm thinking along the same lines as others that there maybe a physiological cause. My dd, who is now 2.5, woke every 2-3 hrs until she was 2. It turned out that she had enlarged tonsils & as a result had sleep apnea, which caused frequent night wakings & snoring. As soon as she had them removed, problem solved. Could this be going on with your lo? Good luck, I hope whatever is going on resolves quickly.

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    Yes! I forgot about DD and her tonsils. Once they were out, sleep.

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    Thanks everyone for your responses so far.
    My DD is quite a 'spirited child', in fact I'm reading that book at the moment, and she does meet a lot of description given and it appears that many of these children have sleep issues. She's always had quite a strong personality and we really began to notice this kicking up a notch around the age of 3 when her sleep issues began. She also seemed to start to develop more separation anxiety which she hasn't experienced before.
    I've been to a couple of GPs but to tell you the truth they weren't much help. One gave me melatonin to help reset her sleep habits, but that didn't help and quite frankly I wasn't too keen to use the medicine as I know it messes around with our brain. Another checked her ears, throat, etc and told me it was most likely just a phase and she would grow out of it. I even spoke with my other daughter's paediatrician about it, even though she doesn't treat my lo with the sleep issues, and after hearing all the things I has tried suggested I lock her in her room using a handle cover - but this is certainly not something I'm comfortable with doing!
    Thanks for everyone's feedback - I haven't really thought about anaemia. My daughter isn't a great eater, she's quite fussy, so I do worry about her getting enough vitamins. I do give her a multivitamin when I can as she's also to a fan of them. So maybe it is worth getting this tested and also checking on her adenoids at the same time. It's hard to find a doctor who really cares to take the time to check all these things properly though.
    I love my little girl so much and am thinking that surely all this lack of sleep is taking a toll on her and affects her behaviour just as much as it does mine.

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    Sandramm1 - no bad dreams, although in the past she has worried about the dark and monsters but she hasn't been mentioned this in recent times seems to have moved on to other reasons.
    I've even tried putting her to bed in her older sister's room as she has a bunk bed. I thought the company might help her stay in bed, but she still got up!

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    I have this, my wakeful son gets in bed with me often, I just let him in and go back to sleep, much less energy than fighting it. They grow out of it.

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    My other DS has just come back iron deficient (but not anemic), and he is the best eater ever, red meat, lots of green leafy veggies, lots of vitamin c. I cannot fathom how he has become iron deficient. But yeah, I'd get her tested if she isn't sleeping. Just put two emla patches (you can get them from the chemist) on the inner of each elbow at least an hour before the blood test and she won't feel a thing!


 

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