Anyone else with a constantly exhausted 4 year old?(25 Posts)
DS1 is 4.5 and in reception at school. He sleeps ok at night mostly and usually goes to bed about 7.30 and is awake at about 6.45. However he constantly seems tired and exhausted. Last term I put it down to starting school but having been back for 2 weeks now, it's just as bad. Last week he got sent home from school after saying he was poorly. However he just came home and slept for a couple of hours and was then like a different child so I actually think it was sheer tiredness rather than feeling sick.
It's starting to affect our weekends as I find myself planning 'quiet' weekends to try and compensate for how tired he is. Yet I look at other friends children and they seem constantly on the go (which is how it should be!). He's constantly yawning and on days when he's particularly tired, his behaviour takes a definite downward spiral.
I know he sometime gets woken up at 6ish because of DS2 and I don't let him use being tired as an excuse for misbehaving but secretly inside I can see the link between how tired he is and the way he acts.
It's at the point now where he's back to having naps at the weekend but he dropped them 2 years ago so feel he shouldn't need them but I hate seeing him so tired. Any advice? Not sure I could get him to bed much earlier once I get in from work, do tea and get his brother to sleep but open to any suggestions?
Doesn't sound normal. Mine don't sleep much and are very bouncy most of the time. I'd go to gp, if I were you. He may be lacking in something.
He could be anaemic, have you taken him to the GP?
No, I haven't taken him to GPs. Like I said I just put it down to starting school etc - it's only after him being sent home that it's really got me thinking, is this normal?... Think I'll make appointment and see what they say.
My sister used to nap after school until she was 6/7. She still went to sleep fine on a night she was just exhausted at school all day.
Starting school at 4 is tough, it's too long a day at that age and many children are exhausted. I've heard mum's say their reception kids are physically too tired to walk home at first and they've been tempted to take the buggy even though it's ridiculous at school age. My DS is summer-born and I'm dreading him having to start so early.
Is he drinking more? I would be cautious of diabetes, ask GP to check .
Get him to the doctor right away and have them check his thyroid levels, along with everything else. Also, is it possible he's having too much sugar in his diet?
Thanks everyone. Will make an appointment for this week, as after a full 12 hours sleep last night and a quiet weekend, he was yawning and saying he felt tired again this morning...
I don't think he does eat too much sugar. He has quite a small appetite and is a skinny (but tall) child. Any sugar would mostly be from fruit I would say, but as he's quite fussy about eating some vegetables and I'm keen he still gets his '5 a day'. He doesn't like juice so only drinks water and milk.
I agree 4 is really young to start school. I'll be delaying til my ds is 5.
If he's an introvert he probably finds all the interaction at school very draining and this will make him more tired than a lot of other children.
Try to plan for him to have plenty of quiet time playing quietly alone or even watching TV. Not easy with a sibling but it can be done. If naps work then let him nap.
Three of the children in extended family are like this and they cope if their downtime is managed for them.
It gets easier as they get older and eventually they learn to take themselves off for a bit of peace.
I DS is an introvert and always exhausted from school so I was interested in the poster above.
Have you also thought of giving him Vitamin D3 daily? This seems to be helping all of us and unless you already are there's every chance he's deficient at this time of year. I read an amazing thread on it here once which explained quite how crucial it is
My son is a bit younger - 3.9 - and is in Kindergarten 5 mornings a week for 4 hours per day. He's shattered! Although it has worn off a bit since September, coming back from the long Christmas holiday has really tired him out.
Reception is only 6 months-ish away for him now, and I just cannot even imagine how tired he is going to be at this rate! Watching with interest...
My late August baby is the same.
She picked up over Christmas with lots of time at home and downtime but as soon as she went back to school it started up again.
She refuses to nap, although will occasionally in the car. We keep weekends low key.
I think the novelty of school is wearing off and they are now being taught more, learning to read etc. They also realise they "have" to go and have to do the boring stuff they didn't do at nursery.
I've just had to cuddle her to sleep (which she didn't want even as a newborn!).
It's a big change and some kids find it harder than others.
hellesbelles - age21 is referring to Type One diabetes which has nothing to do with how much sugar your child eats. It's an auto-immune disorder which arrives from no where and results in extreme tiredness, thirst and lots of trips to the loo. If your son has those symptoms you need to get him to the doc asap. And even if he doesn't it might be worth getting him checked over anyway. Good luck!
Dts were in reception last year. They still nap at the weekend. They find it exhausting.
My DS (just turned 5) is permanently exhausted since starting Reception and his behaviour is worse than it used to be at home (he is well behaved at school). After a couple of weeks off school at Christmas he went back to his usual self. Now 2 weeks in and already exhausted again.
I agree with poster who mentioned introversion as a factor. I think my DS is introverted and all the social interaction completely takes it out of him.
You're not alone!
Is he drinking enough water at school? The behaviour sounds so similar to my DD and I discovered she wasn't drinking nearly enough - bottle wasn't on the table and she didn't like to ask for it.
My friend's son was like this for a long time and after months of experimentation with his diet she cut out gluten and dairy and he is like a different child. I don't normally go in for faddy diets
and bloody love all things cheesy but this kid was seriously fatigued and now goes sailing, hiking, playing out with his mates etc. He couldn't do any of that before without being completely wiped out.
I think this is normal OP. Before September by DS was sleeping 7:30-6:30 no problem. But after the first half term I realised he needs more like 12 hours, not 11. He's up every morning at 6:30 regardless so I have to run the evenings with military precision to make sure he's definitely asleep by 7am if not earlier.
My son is 4.2 and in school nursery 5 mornings a week. We go up to bed at 6:30 and lights out by 6:45/7. Any later and he is exhausted although even with an early bedtime he still says he's tired. He's up at 7:30 Mon, then 7am Tues and wed ( as I work) but by Thursday and Friday he sleeps in till about 7:45. Is it possible to try an earlier bedtime and maybe an extra 10 minutes lay in?
I'm also a primary teacher and it can be quite tough at this time of year, dark mornings, dark evenings, not much outdoor time or sunshine and most of the kids are yawning their heads off - it tends to pick up once the clock changes.
Ds2 used to be exhausted a lot, complaining of being tired walking home from nursery, sitting on the sofa the rest of the afternoon but it must have been asthma. He had an asthma attack last year and since then he's been on steroid inhalers and he's like a different child. So it's something to consider along with the other things it could be especially if there's any night time coughing or prolonged cough cold illnesses. Definitely take him to the doctors. That level of tiredness doesn't seem normal.
Get GP to check him over just incase and move bedtime to 6.45/7pm
Thanks everyone, lots to think about! But good to know lots of other children still haven't adjusted in this respect to starting school and that it's not necessarily anything to worry about.
DS1 is very introverted so can understand how it might take it out of him even more so.
I never saw an improvement in his energy levels over the holidays however even though we had a lot of days pottering at home in the hope that he'd be back to his old self soon enough.
Will see how he gets on this week and try and get him to bed for 7 like we did tonight and if he's still the same will make an appointment for the GP.
My DS is 5 and in p1.he goes to bed between 6.30-7 and is up around 7.30am. He needs a nap on Friday afternoons to go out to a club on Friday evenings (still in bed by 8.30) and quite often has a nap on Sundays too! DD who is 3 doesn't need near as much sleep!
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