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Concerns over 4 year old

(55 Posts)
vanessaw200 Fri 30-Oct-09 16:57:10

I've a 4 year old girl. Her sleep has always been bad since birth, and we've seen all the so called experts hmm. They told me that when she started school it may improve. It has to a degree and is an improvement compared to a couple of years ago. But the school are aware of her sleep problems and the subsequent behaviour.

This week, the sleep has been atrocious and she's been getting less than 10 hours a night despite the fact we been out most days to try and wear her out to get her to sleep longer. The lack of sleep means that she is even more hyper than normal and her behaviour has been worse as well. She is so tired but will not sleep longer than 10 hours.

What can I do ??????

When sleep isn't a problem, she is always on the go. This means constantly running, leaping,jumping, gigging around even in front of the telly. She never sits still even when she does sit down and is always fidgeting. When she wants to sit on your lap, she justs launches herself at you and then fidgets constantly and then proceeds to climb all over you. Constantly talks even if you tell her to be quiet, she still carries on. Can be quite clumsy but that's more if she's tired.

Would you be concerned, should I be concerned, What can I do ???

Or am I just a Crap Mother !!!

Cos I'm finding it all very frustrating to deal with and I wish knew what to do ??? I know a lot of 4 year olds and whilst some of them are lively they're not like my daughter.


mrspreg Fri 30-Oct-09 17:02:45

Firstly I would like to ask you, what is her diet like?

Snowstorm Fri 30-Oct-09 17:04:10

Excuse my ignorance but is 10 hours sleep unusual for a child, even for a 4 year old? Sounds fairly average for a lot of my friends' children. Some children just don't sleep more than that and unfortunately you can't force it.

Sounds like less of a sleep issue than a potential over-active issue ... but then again I wouldn't know the difference between a very normal very active 4 year old and an abnormally active 4 year old I don't think - they're just pretty active/fidgety at that age, aren't they?

Sorry, no help at all am I?!

Anifrangapani Fri 30-Oct-09 17:06:18

Mine doesn't get 10 hours... and he fidgets like a mexican jumping bean on acid. Sounds like normal 4yo behaviour to me.

mrspreg Fri 30-Oct-09 17:18:10

The reason I ask this cause certain things make my son hyperactive, my ds has adhd and was diagnosed at 8 years old and we were referred to a dietician and told to avoid(common sense really)
chocolate and sweets (incl breakfast cereals)
red colour products tomato sauces & ketchup and even soups, tinned products etc
orange colored products such as orange drinks, jellies etc
alot of brand name sauces, ready meals etc contain E's coloring which increase hyperactivity in children

I dont wish to patronise you on this but it wa real eye opener for me discovering what was in the food my ds was eating

hercules1 Fri 30-Oct-09 17:21:21

Dd has never needed much sleep. At the age of 4 certainly didnt need 10 hours sleep.

mrspreg Fri 30-Oct-09 17:22:44

8 till 6 in the morning, thats the routine of my ds who is 4

murderonthemidnightexpress Fri 30-Oct-09 17:29:11

10 hours sleep doesn't sound too bad to me either. My ds1 is almost 4 and has always been a very good sleeper, but he usually sleeps 8pm-7am, so only an hour more than your dd.

Also, is it possible that wearing her out actually makes her sleep less well? I know that sounds ridiculous, but perhaps if she's getting over-stimulated, it might make her sleep less settled? I often find that the days when we spend a really tedious afternoon mooching about the house just playing with toys/reading books/pottering are the days when they sleep best.

Would also look at diet, as suggested.

mrz Fri 30-Oct-09 17:47:41

10 hours sleep?
A night?
at four my son probably didn't have 10 hours sleep ... a month!
come to think of it he has never slept that long hmm
as to diet the things that mrspreg mentions in her post were never triggers for his ADHD but things like milk, bread and fresh fruit were took many years and a full exclusion diet to discover the truth.

vanessaw200 Fri 30-Oct-09 17:48:52

It's just having googled about sleep, it says generally 4 year olds should get 10-12 hours a day. Whilst I appreciate that not all children are the same and that some do survive on less than 10 hours and some do survive on a lot more.

But her behaviour is crazy, it's maddening I'm sure the house has sunk through her behaviour. I forgot to mention her lack of concentration, this was brought up by her pre-school. The school have had to take action about her fidgeting in school as it disrupts the other children. Her teacher has suggested getting her trampoline to get rid of the excess energy. Her teacher has told me that her son is the same and she sees her son behaviour in my daughter. The daft thing is she loves dvd's especially cinderella but she watches it leaping and jumping about and when starts rushing about I tell her I'll turn the dvd off and she has a moan and goes back to it only to do it again.

When she did swimming lessons, the assistant teacher spent most of her time retrieving my daughter from the other end of the pool cos she couldn't stay still long enough to listen to the teacher I felt so sorry for the assistant teacher. The teacher said when she did listen she did the task well. The teacher said to me that I should take a look at her diet as her daughter was the same but to be careful about doing it and to involve the Dr's.

Mrspreg, her diet is pretty good really loves salad and veg, doesn't have that many sweets,rarely asks for them. The only thing I could think of is that she has ribena for a drink as she doesn't drink much water and would hardly drink all day. She has milk of a night time. With the ribena at least she drinks plenty.
I think would go down that road if the Dr's thought there was a problem and I would explore that avenue.

It'd like having road runner on speed.

Snowstorm Fri 30-Oct-09 18:00:37

You know your child and if your gut instinct is that something is wrong then go and get her checked out again ... but none of what you write sounds outside the normal boundaries to me - I'd have said that generally 4 year olds can't concentrate for too long. Maybe you just have a really active child as opposed to one of those quiet, still-er type ones?

mrz Fri 30-Oct-09 18:11:01

vanessaw200 milk is often a trigger for hyperactivity so try giving her water instead of milk at bed time.

mrspreg Fri 30-Oct-09 18:19:23

|vanessa, that is great she likes salad and veg, geez if I gave ds a lettuce leaf(which I have tried) he turn his nose right up

It was only when ds was diagnosed with adhd he was refered to a dietician (I presume that is standard practice when a child is diagnosed with that condition) for guidance on the avoidance of colourings which increases the hyperactivity in adhd children
having said that living in a my world, juggling work, school runs, school clubs in my case it is sometimes difficult to prepare food from scratch so that when the local restaurant or take away is appealinggrin

becaroo Fri 30-Oct-09 18:25:28

yep, 8 til 6 if I am lucky. Sounds perfectly normal to me. My ds1 is now 6 but is exactly as you describe...never still, always on the go...cant believe he doesnt need more sleep actually!!!!

Marne Fri 30-Oct-09 18:26:52

dd1 (5) sleeps from 8pm until 6am, my 3 year old dd2 sleeps from 10pm until 6am (and wakes once in the night) but she does have ASD and struggles to settle. Dd2 seems to be fine with 8 hours sleep but her sister needs a little more, i think it depends on the child, i would be happy with 10 hours.

vanessaw200 Fri 30-Oct-09 18:34:05

Thanks for your replies.

Mrz, my problem with giving just water is that she hardly drinks water, tho I give her water for during the night and when we're out and about, she hardly drinks it. If I just gave her water she gets constipated, grrr. I've only just won the toilet training battle.

If she was just very active I would cope (I think) but it's running,jumping, gigging, about the lounge like as if she's on speed, at times she just runs round in circles. I don't know any other kid like it and some of them are quite active. Maybe I don't know enough 4 year olds.

She don't listen either and to get her to answer questions well I might as well answer myself.

Oh well, I would have a drink but don't like alcohol, chocolate here I come

Thanks again

mrz Fri 30-Oct-09 18:39:10

Flavoured water?

AvrilH Fri 30-Oct-09 18:45:01

what sanctions do you use to deal with her behaviour?

nellie12 Fri 30-Oct-09 18:52:50

ds2 is 4 and quite like this. He cannot be quiet to save his life.

however when he is running round like a lunatic it can be because he's tired and trying to keep himself awake. I've found that just putting him in his bedroom for some quiet time(hopefully nap) helps.

vanessaw200 Fri 30-Oct-09 18:58:52

mrz - I usually give her ribena

AvrilH - It's like talking to a brick wall. I do tell her off if she's naughty. I have been thinking about implementing the system the school uses, ie a coloured card system, but when I've spoken about it with my daughter (to see how much she understands, she doesn't quite get it). She has been on the naughty chair if really naughty but her behaviour isn't so much bad but really really hyper and if you ask her to calm down or to stop running about, she stops for a nano second and then starts again, she just can't stop moving about anytime. I've noticed it in her sleep but not all night.

vanessaw200 Fri 30-Oct-09 19:04:59

nellie12 - I used a private sleep clinic a couple of years ago (they couldn't give me anymore help after a while) and they said the same thing that the activeness is her trying to keep awake cos she's so tired. I would put her in her room but she might for a bit look at a book (wouldn't nap) she would start playing in her room and then start bouncing all over her bed and room.

becaroo Fri 30-Oct-09 19:14:29

My ds1 actully prances up and down the floor of the fromt room constantly even when watching TV. Always has done. He says he is thinking! He also still walks on his tip toes too.

I dont let it worry me. He is just full of nervous energy, has never been a great sleeper and probably never will be. He also giggles a lot in his sleep which I find quite sweet smile

halia Fri 30-Oct-09 19:15:16

my 4.5 yr old is like this - and yes sometimes it is very wearing. I agree there comes a point when it does seem to be slightly outside the 'norm'.
After long discussions with DS teacher etc we realised/ decided DS was right at the far end of the scale when it came to activity but that it wasn't necesarily a problem or ADHD etc it was just that he IS more active, energetic/ bouncy/ hyper than any other child in his year (or any others I've met so far)

I'll say (no offence intended) that peopel saiyng 'all 4 yr olds are like that' doens't help. Yep most 4 yr old exhibit a level of bounce and hyperness in their behaviuor, just like most 4 yr olds will also be able to occasionally focus and be very mature. The issue I have is that DS is like this nearly all the time - his teacher agreed and after 10 years of working with 4-5 yr olds she said he was the most active she had ever seen, but she didn't feel it was ADHD at all, just an excess of energy!

It seems a little unfair to punish him for the fact that he can't stay still, he honestly can't - you watch him sit and twitch, wriggle and bounce in his seat totlaly unaware he is moving half the time.

I agree with some of the others - sometimes DS hyperness actually means he needs quiet time or a rest.

I also find that too many people, people talking to him too fast or too loud. Conflicting mmessages, staying indoors and a lack of sleep make him worse.

I encourage him to work off energy in a healthy sustained way thorugh long walks, running races and outdoor activity. If anyone starts doing silly tickling, giggling things with him it just winds him up and we hit hyperstratosphere very quickly.

Oh and he sleeps 10-12 hrs, he is OK on 11 hrs, even better on 12 hrs - on 10 hrs he gets purple shadows under his eyes and is very hyper.

I think of him as twitchy - and so if he gets hyper we will go out for a walk to shake the fidget sout, then come home and have a quiet read/ cuddle session.

saintmaybe Fri 30-Oct-09 19:23:13

Ribena with sweeteners or sugar?

Mine are worse with sweeteners

vanessaw200 Fri 30-Oct-09 19:34:08

Thanks Halia, I agree with a lot with what you say.

When she's at hyperness I wouldn't get her to rest or have quiet time.

It don't matter whether we have a quiet day or have an energetic day, it still the same.

The behaviour gets better and calmer when she sleeps well.

At the moment, her teacher is monitoring her and we have a progress meeting in November. I have had a short meeting already, they do see her fidgeting a lot and it does disturb the other children and they've taken steps at the moment and are aware of her behaviour.

I agree you can't punish her for the hyperness,but I try to get her to calm down and it don't work.

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