how to discipline a child who refuses to sleep without disturbing siblings?

(35 Posts)
tiamariaxxx Sat 21-Dec-13 20:44:10

Hi, im wondering if anyone has been in similar situation (please if you have no experience or helping advice please dont comment) Sorry if that sounds harsh or im been rude but i posted the question a while ago on another site and had some very un-helpful comments from so called "perfect children"

Basically my 5 year old and 3 year old sons share a room, my 5 year old has never been a good sleeper (eg waking through night for hours on end and generally not been tired for bed, surviving on 4-6 hours sleep and still been full of energy). Hes been like this since he just turned 1 we go through good and bad phases but hes never asleep before 10pm which is hard because my 3 year old is the totally opposite and is usually asleep around 7pm-8pm. My 5 year old isnt been naughty as such but hes just not tired as its saturday hes allowed to stay down stairs and you can tell hes not tired yet. I wake him at 6.30am on school mornings so he is actually getting around 7 and half hours these days.

Ive tried all sorts had loads of advice in the past from hv, family workers and most recently school nurse and nothing works, its getting to the point where hes getting upset because hes saying he cant help it and feels were been mad with him and sorry for waking his brother. Ive spoke to his teacher on numerous occasions asking if shes thinks hes tired and she said not particually but my youngests nursery teacher keeps making comments about him been tired, luckilly she taught my other so she knows the situation.

It has been suggested i get him checked by a behaviour person due to his hyperactiveness (we have cut out alot of foods since he was 3 to try kerb this but hasnt worked) the teacher doesnt think there is any need and hes just boysterouse.

What were doing at the moment is my youngest goes bed at 6.45 and he falls asleep when he falls asleep and we keep the other up until hes asleep and then i read him a story downstairs and we have a cuddle and usually he gets in his bed around 8pm but hes in and out until around 10pm and hes putting light on an messing around talking to himself and waking him up. This as though been the most succesful routine weve had but still not ideal. Sticker charts etc do not work lost cound number of times weve tried

Thanks

tiamariaxxx Fri 27-Dec-13 00:37:15

He does get plenty of excersise he runs around like a looney, we send him out on his trampoline when hes climbing the walls. Hes doesnt have that much junk anyway we have cut certain things out of his diet since he was 2 and hasnt made a difference. Its hard as i have to stick to a strict routine for the sake of the other kids

perlona Fri 27-Dec-13 00:19:14

Is he getting enough exercise? Dd won't sleep unless she's been running around for at least a few of hours plus a couple of long, brisk walks, lot's of fresh air, limited television, no sugar or artificial sweeteners. When she was a baby and couldn't move enough, it was torture, she never slept more than 20 minutes straight, always moving. The only thing that works is wearing her out, although now that she sleeps 10-12 hours she seems to need less activity than she used to and is much calmer (although it took a long time to get her to that).

Have him run about in the park until he's exhausted (and make him actually run, as in do laps), keep the house calm, no background noise from television for two hours before bed (preferable not to have any of that at all actually), no junk food, keep the house quiet when he's in bed and he'll be tired and relaxed enough to sleep.

tiamariaxxx Sun 22-Dec-13 23:31:32

Well deffinately going to try it at home smile I just worry it wont work and then he will want to do it all time

Mishmashofstyles Apparently i never slept as a child my mum says its karma but i dont actually remember lol

I go through phases where i dont sleep but i think thats more to do with waiting for 1 of the kids to wake

Mishmashofstyles Sun 22-Dec-13 23:16:12

I never slept as a child.

Once I could quietly read by myself I did that. I used to sleep three, maybe four hours?

I clearly should have been getting more rest and looking back I wish I could have had melatonin or something. My mum took me to the doctors loads of times but they never offered anything. It was probably different back then.

I sleep much more now I am older, but I'm still not great. Still an insomniac to be honest.

RodneyTheChristmasElf Sun 22-Dec-13 23:11:11

If it works, then do it. One of the problems I had with my daughter was constantly trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Once I accepted she was a square peg life got so much easier. Do what works for your family and don't worry about what you think you 'should' be doing. That way madness lies.

tiamariaxxx Sun 22-Dec-13 22:56:10

I just quickly want to ask another opinion, So tonight my boys are sleeping at the in laws, MIL has just phoned to say that ds1 fell asleep at arount 10 to 9 on the sofa watching a film cuddled up to the dog, and ds2 also fell asleep on the sofa about 8.30 (bit late for him).

Earliest ds1 has gone to sleep in months, he generally does slep better at their house think because they dont have a routine and its like an holiday for him. Wondering if it would be bad of me to let him have a film on in the living room on a night? See how it works

RodneyTheChristmasElf Sun 22-Dec-13 18:43:56

My daughter has Asperger's and could never get to sleep and when she did eventually fall asleep around 2.00 am was up again at 6.00 am. I was at breaking point. Then we got a weighted blanket (on prescription in our country), which are highly recommended for people on the autistic spectrum. I was sceptical but I cannot believe what a difference it made. It's a miracle.

tiamariaxxx Sun 22-Dec-13 12:42:40

Thanks, hes not naughty in the slightliest compared to my younger 1 who is very sneaky with it he hurts his brother and sister which he is always in trouble for but ds1 would never hurt them hes so caring apart from his hyperativeness or boysterous behaviour as the teacher calls it, she said hes a good kid and is very intelligent compared to a lot of the kids i ageree i deffinately need to push for him to get checked out this has gone on long enough and he is very sensitive bless him

We have bunk beds but ds1 is on the bottom hes also scared of heights so makes sence and hes close to the night light and not disturbing his brother as much climbing up and down and also the nightw when he has his accidents its easier for me

Like i said we have had an appointment with a incontinence specialist and got a follow up in january, shes not concerened about the bed wetting and luckilly its not ever night but i do have to lift him and the younger 1 aswell as hes in pull ups atm but they leak if i leave him. Its more the pooing he is insistent that he cant feel it coming he tries to get to the toilt but he doesnt make it half the times sad

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 12:35:52

Ob - I have meet you when your ds2 was newborn, the practioner I used is in Windsor and it was worth absolutely EVERY £ we spent, I am sceptic turned convert. He will help your ds1 with his sleep and aspergers, make him sleep more and better and help calm him.

PM me if you want to consider it as an option.

Oblomov Sun 22-Dec-13 12:21:53

Unless if course this is medical. Maybe you insist on referal. I was fobbed off repeatedly. But through sheer determination finally got an Aspergers diagnosis.

Oblomov Sun 22-Dec-13 12:19:02

I have this. Ds1(10) needs very little sleep. Ds2(5) needs a lot.
I let ds1 stay up late. He has the bottom bunk and a flexible light, to read, that doesn't disturb ds2.

You are fighting this. But ds1 is not naughty, not in trouble at school, and just not tired.
I can only see the answer as just accepting.
Some people need a lot of sleep. I do . I can sleep for England. Ds2 is like me. Ds1 like dh. Only more pronounced.

Realistically , apart from sedating him , or trying an alternative therapy, I see few options other than accepting.

HotheadPaisan Sun 22-Dec-13 12:14:27

But there are other incontinence issues, I dunno, I'd want someone looking at the whole picture, there are a few things going on.

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 12:09:09

5 is not old to be wetting through the night - again it's hormone related, if it's just not being dry and night they don't usually refer until they are 8 as it often just takes longer for some to produce enough of the hormone to concentrate the wee enough.

HotheadPaisan Sun 22-Dec-13 12:04:55

I'd talk to the GP about melatonin and/or ask for a referral to a developmental paediatrician to look at how he is as a whole. It sounds like he can't help his behaviour and that needs looking into.

If there is no physical reason for the incontinence I'd be concerned it might be stress and anxiety related which might stem from a neurocognitive issue too, you won't know until you get to see a paediatrician who can look at the whole picture.

Good luck, we have had years of sleep problems but deal with it with DS1 in with one of us and DS2 in with the other. I also stay with DS1 until he is asleep. You and DH might just have to go to bed earlier until this is sorted, it's the only way to get through it.

tiamariaxxx Sun 22-Dec-13 11:55:06

Thanks ladies youve all been very helpful will have a look at them sites when i get chance just cracking on with dinner. While the big and little boys are out playing smile

Well least i will get some peace tonight because the in laws are having both boys so that me and daddy can crack on with xmas wrapping once the little princeses are asleep anyway as you can imagine we havent had much chance to get on apart from while their at school

rumbleinthrjungle Sun 22-Dec-13 11:49:53

grr, link fail.....

www.childsleepsolutions.co.uk/

rumbleinthrjungle Sun 22-Dec-13 11:49:29

http://www.childsleepsolutions.co.uk/

Have a look at this organisation, there may well be HVs or Childrens Centre staff trained in your area if you contact them.

You might also want to Google melatonin, or talk to your GP or community paediatrician about it, I've known a few children who found that helpful short term to get into a better sleep routine.

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 11:36:12
RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 11:33:51

Please, please look at the link - it will help with incontinence issues and ADHD too. If you live anywhere remotely south east the practioner I used is very affordable (unlike INPP itself - but that is only one "company" offering that type of treatment)

I know you can get a walkman type thing with dc headphones as they mentioned a volume limiter so they don't damage their hearing?

tiamariaxxx Sun 22-Dec-13 11:19:07

im not sure story tapes would work, we tried when he was little was given some by family worker and he kept turning it off he was only 2 so guess could be worth a go. Would anyone suggest childrens head phones? Just thinking because his dad needs music to sleep so often sleeps with his ipod on

tiamariaxxx Sun 22-Dec-13 11:16:54

All directions we have a night light on for him, we drill it into him about waking his brother but he does it, he dopesnt do it intentional he will say to his brother sorry Lucas dont tell daddy and mummy then gets upset under his duvet. Bribes dont work at all been trying for years sad

Sunny summer i have mentioned to the gps a number of times but again they dont seem concerned they just arranged for the hv to see me.

I forgot to say in my first post aswell i had family support from the local children centre when he was 2 but they signed us off as at the time he was going through a good phase she didnt feel there was anything else she could help us with but if i felt i still needed support she would refer me to someone else but i declined as he was been good at this point and i had the new baby (his brother to look after). I then got family support again after my daughters birth in Feb 2012 for around 6 months but that was more to do with my depression and anxiety i suffered, it wasnt the same lady but she knew our case as she was from the local centre she was really surprised i was still having trouble with him she gave us a bedtime routine to try out which was ok for the baby and youngest son but not elder 1, she more or less said well least he sleeps through now (which he does) he just cant physically sleep

Well i think after xmas i will go gp and try to see if there is anything medically i think i will stand my ground, my brother had adhd but school are adamant he hasnt got this his dad was also very hyperactive by all accounts. Last night was terrible was 11pm he was just crying that everyone hates him was horrible, i tried explaining i dont hate him buyt me and daddy are tired we just want some alone time, he finally got to sleep and he wet the bed (we are under childhood incontanence for this and pooing issues) the specialist we saw witnessed him been hyperactive aswell in the session she asked if hes always like it and i said yes so maybe i will have a chat with her next month at our follow up

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 11:14:38

Story tapes (well cds) on very quietly is a good one too, hopefully won't disturb other sibling and he'll be interested enough to lay still and at least he will be relaxing. You just need to pop up before it's finished so he then doesn't get out of bed afterwards.

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 11:12:15

Can you put him on his own in the smallest room and give the other 3 the largest room to share and you have the middle room? We too have a very small 3 bed and this is what we did. Including having the rubbish sleeper in the small bedroom for everyones sanity grin

If you get referred to a consultant there is a possibility that they will pescribe melatonin which is a hormone people naturally produce to help us sleep at the right time. A lack of production can cause the issues you describe.

AllDirections Sun 22-Dec-13 09:23:59

The problem isn't that your DS won't go to sleep but that he's waking his brother up. Can you put a small lamp by his bed and make sure that he's got quiet things to do, books to read, colouring stuff, jigsaws, etc? I would not be impressed with him doing things that wake his brother, like putting the light on or messing about. Be very clear on what he is and isn't allowed to do in the bedroom.

I would use a bribe for nights when he hasn't woken up his brother. So each morning when he's managed this the night before I would give him 2 smarties or similar. But then I can achieve almost anything with the promise of 2 smarties grin

Sunnysummer Sun 22-Dec-13 09:02:43

As the others say, it sounds tricky to try disciplining him unless you are sure that this is behavioural rather than a medical issue or just who he is.

Have you taken your 5 yo to the GP or paediatrician, in addition to the nurses and HV? While all children vary in how much sleep they need, 4-6 hours is incredibly little, and coupled with the hyperactivity (which could be caused by the sleeplessness or be a symptom alongside it), I'd really want to have a check.

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