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3 year old is tired all the time

(8 Posts)
BornToFolk Wed 08-Dec-10 12:29:50

DS complains of being tired a lot. He's at nursery 3 days a week. He doesn't sleep at nursery any more but when at home, he'll have a 2 hour nap after lunch and he really needs it most days. He then goes to bed at 7pm and sleeps a solid 12 hours min. We have to get him up at about 6.45 on nursery days as both DP and I have to get to work and it can be a struggle to persuade him to get out of bed (though he's usually awake when we go in) On weekends, he'll sleep in till 7.30am minimum.

He just seems to be permanently tired. Obviously after nursery he's tired but he also says he's tired before lunch and at various other times of the day. And of course, when he's tired, he's whingy and difficult and generally not nice to be around.

He does have bursts of energy and we make sure to do something active each day but he just seems permanently knackered!

Should we be worried? We are vegetarian and we're careful to give him lots of iron rich foods but I have this niggling worry about anaemia.

mamaloco Wed 08-Dec-10 12:41:55

Some people don't process the iron in vegetable. 2 friends of mine have stopped being vegetarians after being threaten to have blood transfusions if they refused to eat meat, eating meat did the trick. (I know plenty of vegetarian with no problem though, but it is not for everyone)
Are you sure he is tired, DD1 almost 6 still says she is hungry all the time (usually means something else tiredness, boredom or thirst), she is still a bit confused in what she is feeling. Being thirsty makes you tired and most kids don't drink enough water (they forgot to ask or don't realised they are thirsty)

Some kids need more sleep too, why don't they let him sleep at nursery (here, not UK, they can have a nap till they are 7)?

A lack of physical activity and fresh air can make you tired too, he needs to run and go to the park (garden...) everyday, for a good while too.

Hope you found out what he needs.

Asteria Wed 08-Dec-10 12:42:43

Might be an idea to get him checked for anaemia - just to cancel that out - but I would try putting him to bed earlier on nights that he is going to nursery.

It may also be because it's winter - we all naturally slow down during the winter months. My DS8 is sleeping about 2 hours a night longer at the moment and has taken to eating breakfast in the car on the way to school because he is such a nightmare to get out of bed in the mornings! Also, don't worry so much about daily activities during the winter, he may really benefit from just curling up under a blanket and having a book read to him.

I wouldn't be too worried though.

mamaloco Wed 08-Dec-10 12:48:00

Yeah my post is not very clear I wouldn't assumed it is a lack of iron at 1st I would check the other causes first.

BornToFolk Wed 08-Dec-10 13:37:43

He's not slept at nursery since he moved up to the 3-5 room. They don't actively encourage them to sleep in that room, though if they need to, they will let them but I think they actually need to drop off in the book corner, IYKWIM, which DS would never do. He needs a comfy bed and dark room to drop off!

I think sometimes he is confusing tiredness with boredom, or he means he just wants to chill out. Also, he still gets a dummy at nap and bed time so sometimes I think he just says he's tired because he wants his dummy.

He gets plenty of excercise. I don't drive so we walk a lot and he goes to the park/plays in the garden/does an activity like swimming ever day too. But I'm starting to think (thank you Asteria!) that maybe that's too much for him and we need to relax the pace a bit. I'll try having a more chilled out weekend this weekend and see if that helps.

Thank you both for your advice, very helpful!

Asteria Wed 08-Dec-10 13:58:39

you will find a happy medium in no time - but I do think that during the winter when natural hibernation instinct kicks in that is much nicer to just cosy in, we do lots of painting and reading. You can run about and be incredibly active when it's lighter and your DS is not fighting his body clock!

iwouldgoouttonight Wed 08-Dec-10 14:15:02

Borntofolk - we're vegetarian too and I think we eat a good diet but my DS was quite lethargic from around 3.5 years (he's 4 now). He would wake up after a solid 12-13 hours sleep and then want to lie down on the sofa straight away and be quite grumpy because of the tiredness. After trying a few things (more exercise, more rest, etc!) we took him to the doctor for a blood test.

It turns out he was anaemic and is now taking iron medicine three times a day (which he loves because he says it tastes like lollipops!). The doctor said to take it for three months and then go back for another blood test which we're going to do in a couple of weeks.

So I wouldn't worry because anaemia is easily treated but it might be worth going to the doctor even if its just to rule it out.

BornToFolk Wed 08-Dec-10 14:21:23

Oh, that's interesting, iwouldgoouttonight. I think I'll see how he gets on and consider a trip to the doctors.

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