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DS3.5 "can't sleep"

(7 Posts)
SupSlick Sat 12-Mar-16 22:59:49

Okay, this kid is a shit sleeper. Always has been. Maybe my own fault for breastfeeding him to sleep for like two years blush. But that battle was won (eventually...) But since his latest asthma attack where he was hospitalised (again), and was woken every hour or two for nebulisers & observations, his sleep has just gone to shit again. I can't cope.

It's gone from the usual bedtime routine starting at about 6.45, bath, supper, teeth brushed, story.... To him still being lay awake at 11.30 getting emotional because he can't sleep. I reassure him, low voice, similar replies, not engaging in a conversation & giving cuddles and putting him back to bed. Once it gets to about 1am, he gets to breaking point, cries & then he gets tired & eventually drifts off but then still wakes every hour or two demanding random things: sandwich, the iPad, a toy from downstairs. When I tell him it's nighttime he gets frustrated & tells me he just can't sleep.

I don't know what to do. I remember being a child & staying up crying until 4am because I just couldn't sleep either, but I was older & would just stay in my room & read or something.

I've had a look at his diet & cut out all bottled drinks, so he's only having water & milk. I've cut down on sugar intake so now his food intake is similar to this : 2 weetabix & milk + fruit for breakfast, a picnic/packed lunch type lunch (sandwiches or pitta breads with a filling, natural yoghurt, maybe a few mini poppadoms & chutney, and more fruit), then something like haddock with mash & veg for tea. Supper was two biscuits with milk but ive swapped that to rice cakes or things more savoury. So I don't know if there's any improvements to be made there?

His eczema has been bad since his recent asthma attack so I think the itching is waking him up, but I don't think it's the thing that's keeping him awake.

He's extremely high maintenance at the moment & is clingier than ever. I'm on my own & work full time, and have since he was 6 months, but it's getting to the point where I'm about to fall asleep at work (this has actually happened previously) blush

Help wise mumnetters! Help me get the little pest to sleep! sad

outputgap Sun 13-Mar-16 19:49:52

OK, I am the worst person to reply, because it sounds like you're doing everything right, but I just bribed mine with toys and books (like I'd actually buy things like Happyland people, sticker books, Where's Wally books) and I have even let the smallest watch TV in our bedroom just so I could get some peace. I feed them too. I did everything wrong.

As you say, it's horrible being awake. I can also remember playing in bed and reading when I was a bit bigger than 3.

So I'm not helping here really, am I? But from the Bad Mum's Corner, you can cheat if you want, and just ride it out by keeping them occupied until they start sleeping...

I'm going to get told off, aren't I?

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 13-Mar-16 20:02:54

Why not let him sleep in with you - as a treat?

If he can stay in his own bed for the other times

Or get a book and just lie quietly with him - you might need the rest as well!

Or delay bedtime so you can see he's tired and them attempt sleep - you can always drop it by half an hour til it's right again

Jenijena Sun 13-Mar-16 20:10:53

Poor you. Have you had any 'professional' advice? Sleep deprivation is bone shattering torture.

Although getting to sleep has been ok, my nearly four year old went through months, if not years, of middle of the night wakefulness. Usually 2-3 hours starting between 1 and 3. He has never been a child who 'just' went to sleep in the middle of the day/who zonks out if ill etc. We'd leave him at 1am, and then at 1.30 he'd be back saying 'I can't sleep'

The only thing I will get for him after 'good night' is a cup of water.

We have touch wood and ignoring current chickenpox recently had some success by leaving a light on overnight, and sticker charts - every five stickers = present (batch of cars from eBay). I'll also leave classic fm on in his room overnight low if he wants noise.

I don't mind co-sleeping, but co-not-sleeping is pretty grim, so mindful about that recommendation.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 13-Mar-16 20:32:51

My friend had a lowlight on a timer that he could leave his bed only of it was off - 7 am

So there was a reminder that it was still night

SupSlick Mon 14-Mar-16 19:32:08

Thank you so much for the replies, I feel like I'm never going to get there but it's reassuring that other people have overcome similar.

It just gets to midnight & I haven't done packed lunches, my house is a tip, I haven't had a shower or anything!

I think the timer light is a good idea, but he wakes up so delirious! He's had sleep studies for sleep apnoea but there was oml a slight degree of sleep apnoea so no treatment. He is given cetirizine for his eczema & allergies which is meant to make him drowsy but seems to make him agitated I'm also aware his inhalers & long term steroids for asthma make him hyper.

God damn those babies who sleep through at 6 weeks old hmm

Jenijena Mon 14-Mar-16 20:14:05

I'm quite firm now with DS - 'I will stay for one minute and then I will do jobs, and I will come back in 10 minutes, and if you're still awake, I will say goidnight again'. He rarely follows me out of the door, although sometimes sneaks into my bed once I've come downstairs which frankly I don't mind as long as he's asleep.

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