Sleep consultant for 2 1/2 yr old who's never slept well?

(21 Posts)
eversomuch Fri 08-May-15 20:20:16

DS, now 2 1/2yrs, has NEVER been a good sleeper (almost never napped) and is usually up at least once a night, then starts the day around 5:30 or 6am. We've had the odd week or two here and there where he seems to sleep through better, but then the phase ends and we're back to this miserable cycle. And he just screams when he wakes up, demanding us to go to him. He wakes up our 4yo ... DH and I are chronically sleep-deprived, exhausted, demoralised, grumpy.

Is there anything a sleep consultant might be able to do? Or anyone else? We are so desperate.

Teacuptravells Fri 08-May-15 20:22:22

Completely random but does he snore? or dribble a bit? Or get tonsilitis a lot?

My child at that age had still never slept through the night, and woke up screaming. Turned out she had sleep apnea, was waking due to stopping breathing and that scared her/woke her suddenly....

THe tonsils and adenoids are coming out next month!

Kahlua4me Fri 08-May-15 20:24:42

Millpond are good.

What time does he go to sleep? What methods have you tried so far?

ISpidersmanYouMeanPirate Fri 08-May-15 20:34:46

Yes to sleep apnea causing huge problems. Google for symptoms but they include snoring, agitated sleep, nightmares, and sweating a lot at night. Bizarrely having difficulty chewing big lumps of food especially meat too.

Any history of reflux? I Caved when DS was 3 and still sleeping badly. Turned out his previous reflux was now silent and he was suffering enormously. Meds helped loads.

My sympathies. I'm at nearly 4 years of being woken many times a night and I'm struggling

Teacuptravells Fri 08-May-15 20:36:28

How did you find out it was reflux? I'd heard about that and was hoping ours is "just" apnea ...how do you know if its silent reflux?

3.5 years sad I'm exhausted.

freelancegirl Fri 08-May-15 20:40:38

I had a consultation with Andrea Grace when DS1 was two and a half. Just before having number 2. He had never slept well and although we managed a few gif months of sleep after our first consultation when he was a year old that soon fell apart again. Thankfully the one at two and a half worked well and really quickly with minimal stress. I would fully recommend it. Health problems aside of course.

ISpidersmanYouMeanPirate Fri 08-May-15 20:53:42

DS had reflux from birth and finally stopped being sick everyday aged 18months so we stopped the meds. At 2.5 he'd be sick when very upset and anxious but we didn't think anything of it. At the same time we went to an ENT who diagnosed sleep apnea and said he'd remove tonsils at age 3.

We went back aged 3 and his tonsils had shrunk (!) so ENT dr said it's not them causing the bad sleep (I nearly cried- so close to a solution!).

I then asked our Dr to put DS back on reflux meds. Noticed a slight improvement so dr referred us to a specialist. DS wore a probe down his throat for 24 hours which recorded nearly 200 episodes of reflux! The DR increased his meds and now he sleeps through 5/7 nights.

Signs of silent reflux include coughing especially in the morning, drinking lots and sometimes you can hear the liquid coming up.

Kahlua4me Fri 08-May-15 21:01:04

My ds was diagnosed with laryngomalacia when he was 18 months. Basically, his windpipe was collapsing when he was sleeping causing him to cough to reinlflate it and waking him up in the process.

The diagnosis finally came after me talking to everyone about his sleep until one HV finally saw a connection and we were referred to ENT at hospital.

At the "height" of it he was waking up to 10 times a night and still getting up at 5.30 ready for the day I was exhausted!! If he fell asleep in the car he would suddenly start coughing and sound as though he was choking until windpipe had sorted itself out. He also snores loudly.

He is now 11 and sleeps fairly well although is still up most days by 6. The good thing once they are older is that you don't need to get up too grin

Teacuptravells Fri 08-May-15 21:04:35

Ours can wake 10 times in a night - I am shattered. Its with a coughing/spluttering sound too! The sleep apnea test was done at home which just confirms she wasnt breathing. I assumed it was due to tonsils blocking! Hadnt realised it could be a windpipe.....

Definitely lots of coughing and often the sound as if shes going to be sick but doesnt. I'd assumed these were all sleep apnea related.

I guess I'll get the tonsils/adenoids out and then look for other answers if not!!!

Queenofknickers Fri 08-May-15 21:10:13

Millpond saved us when DS didn't sleep for more than an hour for 2 years (reflux). Best money I ever spent. They had him sleeping through in 2 days with no crying!

eversomuch Fri 08-May-15 21:22:19

He never had reflux and doesn't snore. Sometimes makes a little bit of noise or has a blocked nose, but I don't think there's an underlying medical condition. Should I take him to our GP? What might they suggest?

He breastfed until about 3 weeks ago, and was feeding to sleep for most of that time (until maybe 2 months ago). Now at bedtime, he'll ask to go straight into his cot rather than have long cuddles. He still wants me or DH to stay with him for a while and sing or just sit in his room until he falls asleep.

He wants a big boy bed but we've tried putting his mattress on the floor and it was a disaster with him refusing to settle down for more than an hour and disturbing his brother, and DH and I are just too tired so decided to wait a little longer to try again. i don't think that's the problem though.

We've occasionally tried a bit of controlled crying, but nothing has helped long-term.

As for routine, he has his bath around 6:30pm, story and cuddles around 7pm and is usually asleep between 7:30-8:00pm. But then he wakes up in the night.

Never co-slept but a few months ago I started bringing him into our bed around 4 or 5am bc I couldn't start my day that early and didn't want him waking up DS1. But that developed into a bad habit where he was waking and expecting it, so I put an end to that and he now only comes into bed at a decent hour (after 6am usually).

Sometimes when he wakes at 4 or 5:30 I can get him to lie back down and fall asleep, but not always. Sometimes he just starts waking every 20 or 30 minutes after that.

And even on the rare nights he sleeps through, DH and I are up several times bc we seem to be wired that way now.

I sometimes try to sleep during the day but can't, my body just won;t do it. Today I've felt ready to pass out all day, but now I'll go up to bed and probably need an hour to fall asleep and then be woken again. It's just terrible.

Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate them. Hope I haven't rambled too incoherently.

FATEdestiny Fri 08-May-15 21:54:23

Oh goodness, that sounds awful.

The giving up breastfeeding and feeding to sleep are still very recent and he may well be reacting to the change still. I definitely wouldn't move from cot to bed yet, otherwise you'll just be creating extra problems.

It is reasonable to assume that he simply doesn't have the emotional capacity to self settle yet. he's always needed you in order to get to sleep. So that could be the cause of the wake ups. He will once older and his brain has more time to develop.

At aged 2 1/2 realistically your chances of him learning a new sleep association to give him the comfort needed to sooth to sleep are low. So he either needs to be made to self settle whether ready or not, or to just wait until he is older and can self sooth naturally for himself.

If it was me I'd go for one of the two extremes:

- either coping strategies rather than solutions. So bring the cot into my bedroom and consider co-sleeping for a couple more years until he's older and ready.
- or full on stressful sleep train. Lots of sobbing and screaming and distress (from everyone in the family) but over quickly if done consistently.

freelancegirl Sat 09-May-15 08:19:51

I wouldn't do either of those I'm afraid. With a sleep trainer it is a lot less stressful all round. Like I said before we had s sleep training session at the same age and it worked well. You feel much happier knowing you're following a plan by someone who's helped thousands of children. Our trainer was really understanding - I had coslept with DS and was very attached to this as was he. So I needed it to be gentle. It worked within three nights and didn't even involve complete hysterics and the strategy was to go in there every two minutes. Ok it's a lot of money to find but it's well worth it. I saw Andrea Grace but like pp have said millpond are meant to be good too. So it doesn't have to be full on screaming and distress.

Springtimemama Sat 09-May-15 08:44:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eversomuch Sat 09-May-15 08:46:40

do the sleep trainers actually meet you & your child? I had a quick look at the millpond website last night and everything I saw referred to telephone consultations only.

eversomuch Sat 09-May-15 08:51:30

cosleeping has never worked well for us. dh + I just get kicked and shoved around all night & get less sleep. when I was bringing ds into bed regularly, dh moved into the guest room. it's like newborn days, & after 2.5yrs, it's really affecting our relationship.

tethersend Sat 09-May-15 08:59:09

Happy Sleepers are excellent.

Springtimemama Sat 09-May-15 09:49:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

freelancegirl Thu 14-May-15 10:39:51

No sleep trainers don't come to your house. Andrea Grace does a Skype consultation and will then be available to speak to for a month afterwards. When we trained our 2 and a half year old like k said about it was very gentle and worked quickly. We only needed the right plan rather than someone to come round.

Joneseygirl77 Fri 15-May-15 06:47:36

Actually we used a sleep consultant who came to our house and stayed with us for 3 nights so you can get ones that will come and do it with you. We found it really useful as she talked us through things at each night/step etc.

freelancegirl Fri 15-May-15 07:42:49

Yes, sorry. Should have said uou can get them they come to your house but s lot don't and still work well.

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