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Near 5 yr old is killing me

(28 Posts)
NewDOOFUSfor17 Fri 27-Jan-17 22:30:26

My ds has always been a terrible sleeper. Could never break the 30 minutes nap cycle, from newborn, and has never slept through the night. I just don't know how much more I can take sad

We've had all sorts of people involved...hv suggested palming him off for a couple of nights, paediatrician suggested he will grow out of it in 6 months (that was 3 years ago), sleep practitioner couldn't offer suggestions we hadn't already tried and so it continues.

This time last year I flunked an exam directly as a result of being so sleep deprived that I could barely remember my own name.

Today I have been in a fog all day. After being woken up 6 times I had enough and shouted at ds that enough was enough. He doesn't want or need anything, just shouts 'mummy'. When I asked what he wants he says he doesn't know. He got up for the day at 5am and I got up with a terrible migraine. This is becoming more common, I feel shot to pieces on a daily basis. My eyes hurt, my head pounds, I feel sick and my body aches. Added to this I work 12.5 hour shifts as an a&e nurse, it's not a good mix.

I don't know what, or if, I want out of this thread. Probably just want to moan because I feel so alone in all of this. OH has a medical condition which means he takes meds that knock him out, he doesn't even stirred when ds wakes up. I'm horrible to be around atm, grumpy and disinterested, yet I can't seem to get out of it. I feel so down.

That's my pity party over, as you were.

Wolfiefan Fri 27-Jan-17 22:33:32

That's not a pity party. That's hell. Sleep deprivation is just the worst.
What have you tried?
Does DH have to take the meds every night or could he take over for a night or two and let you sleep?

Ilovecaindingle Fri 27-Jan-17 22:35:26

Maybe stop with the weekend /after school activities and say it's because you are too tired. Have you explained that parents need sleep too and he is making you ill? Get him a clock and explain that between the times you decide together you still love him very much but you won't be going to his room between those times as you will be asleep. If you get some sleep you will be happier and not poorly so you can do something fun together. .

han01uk Fri 27-Jan-17 22:38:29

I could have written your post. My son will be 5 in Feb and my daughter is nearly 8. She hasn't slept through the night since before the summer...I'm worn out. Before she was waking he was up every night. It's like some sort of torture tag team! Also a nurse,doing nights and long days. It's hell.

Have you tried a sleep specialist? That's our next port of call.

Sorry I have no advice but you're not alone.

Purplehonesty Fri 27-Jan-17 22:46:29

We went through this with our ds. He was getting up multiple times each night and waking really early.
It nearly broke me.
He used to come through to our room and want to get in our bed.
I just started taking him back every single time and saying it's night time go to sleep
He cried he shouted he came back in but after a few weeks we cracked it.
I didn't used to go through if he shouted - I figure he was old enough to go to the loo etc if need be

NewDOOFUSfor17 Fri 27-Jan-17 22:51:14

Thank you for your replies, genuinely didn't think I'd get any.

OH is epileptic so omitting his meds aren't an option unfortunately sad

What's have we tried...well....rapid return (worked wonders when it was taking 3+ hours just to get him to sleep, less practical at 3am), phenergan (as provided by the sleep practitioner/GP), co-sleeping (got him a double bed to enable this as we thought he was waking because he was lonely...feel an idiot just writing that), a gro-clock (which he figured out how to unlock and I found out by him coming in my room at 2am saying 'look mummy, the sun is shining'), lavender oil, removing everything from his room apart from furniture, controlled crying, we have the same routine that we have had for about 3 years...toilet, teeth, book then sleep, later bedtime, earlier bedtime, bribing, removal of 'his' TV before/after school (no TV in his room and no ipad/games consoles in the house), a night light in his room (we have to leave his door open and landing light on as not too keen on the dark), a cd player in the hope the music will relax him if he wakes, partially waking him before we go to bed....I'm sure there's other things we've tried that I haven't listed but, as you can see, the list is exhaustive!

NewDOOFUSfor17 Fri 27-Jan-17 22:55:48

Oh yes, he's got into bed with me a few times which has always ended the same way...regardless of the time he takes entry into my bed as an opening for conversation, poking me in the face, flapping his legs around thus kicking me, talking to his teddy (that is with him every night). This will go on for an hour or 2 until.I get pissed off and take him back to his room...then the cycle begins again sad

Testificateman Fri 27-Jan-17 22:57:55

Had the same problem with my middle child.
Put a calendar up on his wall. For every night he slept through, he got a gold star, which I let him out on himself.
At first, if he got 4 gold stars in one week, he got a treat.
The more gold stars he got in one week, the bigger the treat.
Took over a month and he was proudly getting 7 gold stars.

Same here OP, ds is 5 in March and a royal pain in the backside at bedtime. I've had 4 decent nights this week (11-5ish unbroken) and thought I could see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel but about 40 minutes ago he came into me dragging his duvet behind him. We've had tears and now DP is in there with him trying to settle him but it looks like we're in for a rough one. No advice I'm afraid but solidarity 😴

SheepyFun Fri 27-Jan-17 23:04:14

Our DD (4) is also a poor sleeper. She doesn't cope well if she wakes up alone, so we have the equivalent of a double bed (2 single mattresses on the floor) in her room. One of us (usually DH to be honest) often spends much of the night with her. However being in the same room means he doesn't really get woken up fully, so gets a fair amount of sleep. It's not ideal, but it works for us. What happened when one of you shared the double bed with him?

kindfriend Fri 27-Jan-17 23:06:12

This was my 5 year old DS last year. Hardly slept a night in his life.
Following reoccurring tonsillitis, we were referred to the hospital ENT team. Dr took one look in his mouth and asked if he slept well (I laughed!). Apparently his huge tonsils were stopping him from breathing properly and so his sleep cycles were disrupted. I felt bad, he didn't grunt or snore a lot in his sleep so we had no idea.
He had his tonsils out and now sleeps beautifully smile

NewDOOFUSfor17 Fri 27-Jan-17 23:09:21

Sorry test don't want to appear ungrateful for the suggestion but that is on my list of things we've tried but forgot to write down. After the 1st night his answer to not getting a star was 'I don't need any toys anyway, I have loads' angry

Etak15 Fri 27-Jan-17 23:12:44

My dd3 4.5 wakes me up most nights either to go to the toilet, because she's not made it to the toilet or sometimes just because she's lonelyhmm the way she shouts me to come is like she must think that I'm just awake waiting for her to call me not actually having a lovely sleep ! I was going to suggest a double bed and just getting in with him as that's what I do and she goes back to sleep.
But I see you've tried that, don't know what else to suggest but I share your pain wink

NewDOOFUSfor17 Fri 27-Jan-17 23:13:03

Oh bloody hell so many things coming back...ds had a permanent ear infection from 7-10months which resulted in 2 perforated ear drums (sleep issues were very apparent from about 6 weeks though) and a referral to ENT, he was discharged from their care last year after extensive investigation and glue ear clearing up with no intervention needed.

NewDOOFUSfor17 Fri 27-Jan-17 23:14:29

Sorry sheepy please see the reference to when he gets in my bed...same happens, just happens in his bed 😂

5moreminutes Fri 27-Jan-17 23:16:26

My youngest was like this (older 2 are good sleepers which reinforces my urge to thump people who patronisingly assume that you haven't thought of having a good bedtime routine/ rapid return/ co sleeping / just being no nonsense and not putting u with it etc)

In the end nothing anyone "professional" advised worked but the functional solution is a CD player and an honest explanation that I was broken and needed to sleep, but he could put the stories on if he couldn't sleep - he is very nearly 6 and still wakes 2-5 times most nights, puts his story CD on and goes back to sleep.

When we cosleep he insisted on sleeping on my head - I honestly felt 40 years older a couple of years ago than I do now solely due to extreme compound sleep deprivation (everything hurt all of the time - if I lay on the floor by his bed I actually could not get back up) I feel much better now and have no time ATM for people who suggest removing the "crutch" of the audio books.

I hope you find your solution soon - good luck.

NewDOOFUSfor17 Fri 27-Jan-17 23:19:46

Hmm audio books...that's a new suggestion and I like it. He has a cd player....

I only have, and will only ever have, my ds. The near death experience I have every night has well and truly put us off having any more. Not that we have sex anyway, I'm just too shattered sad

annandale Fri 27-Jan-17 23:20:06

I'm sorry, this is a classic MN answer in that it comes from a place of privilege, but do you have any parents or siblings? If there is one thing I know I would always do for a family member, it's one or two nights with a terrible sleeper, just to give them a chance to regroup slightly.

Some children just don't do reward charts, ds never did.

I do know a child who was sent to boarding school aged 5... perhaps he was like this...

annandale Fri 27-Jan-17 23:21:49

Oh yes, do you know I'd actually forgotten that despite disliking Harry Potter a lot and nearly wanting to kill myself when trying to read one to ds, I still adored the Stephen Fry audiobook of ALL the Harry Potters as ds went to sleep with them on for about 3 years in total.

PuppyMouse Fri 27-Jan-17 23:25:25

We are currently very lucky as DD is a very reliable sleeper. But 5moreminutes' post reminded me that I was a pretty appalling sleeper when I was little and my parents did nothing. They'd find me curled up at the end of their bed on the floor in the morning, I'd move my duvet into the bathroom or in one instance I tried to turn the landing light on via a footstool and catapulted down the stairs head first.

They simply didn't ever engage from what I can remember and I had to sort myself out. I used to listen to audio books every time as background noise and then hope I'd fall asleep before they finished. Or as I got older I'd read with headphones in.

I still had these issues until two or three years ago when I went to a hypnotherapist about something unrelated. And it all came out. The advice I received, the therapy and moving house to the country where there's no streetlights or noise means I now go to sleep the minute my head hits the pillow most of the time and I don't wake up until my DD shuffles in....

NewDOOFUSfor17 Fri 27-Jan-17 23:48:08

anna we live 100 miles from both of our families. Our fault, it was our choice.

About 6 months ago I phoned my mum at 5.30am on a Friday morning begging her to have him for the weekend. I have a very strained relationship with my mum so it was a huge deal for me to do it. She refused as it was her weekend to have my nephews (she has them 2 out of 4 weekends and has a much better relationship with my sister). I know it's not her fault but I resolved to never ask again. I also find the idea of putting his poor sleep on others uncomfortable. He had a sleepover at my friends who has a dc the same age (in my old hometown) and he woke the house up at 4.30am and refused to go back to bed. I'm still trying to get over the guilt (and funnily enough she hasn't offered again).

Oh bugger, he's just started sad

annandale Sat 28-Jan-17 01:44:41

OK I get that. TBH I would grit your teeth and ask again, although in fact I would ask your husband to ask her (assuming his parents aren't an option?) I agree with you that my mother would not hesitate to help me in the same circumstances and it says a lot about the state of your relationship but all the same. She is your mother, she is alive, apparently able to give some childcare, and she might say yes. I think your health has become a pressing need.

annandale Sat 28-Jan-17 01:52:47

Another privilege question - could you possibly scrape together the cash for a night nanny as a one off? Maybe again for two nights? Seems to be about £110 a night. Yes I know. agency here

Or would your sister pitch in, with some notice? I think it's quite different asking a family member from asking a friend, I agree you feel awful if friends get disturbed by your child.

I know I'm suggesting the same as your HV, but you didn't say whether you were actually able to try her suggestion before - I assume maybe that's what you were trying to do by calling your mum.

Smitff Sat 28-Jan-17 02:03:43

No advice I'm afraid, just solidarity. My nearly 5yo DD has always slept like a dream: slept through from 6mo, couple of phases of waking for reassurance when I was pregnant with DS and was very ill, but otherwise fine. However, now that DS has finally started sleeping through somehow she's decided that it's her turn to keep me up.

I'm afraid my approach probably isn't the best: I just tell her (very firmly) to get back into her bed and to not come out until one of us goes in to collect her. That's midweek. Always lots of tears (kills me) but I just try to look as though I've gone straight back to sleep. She always just gives up and shuffles back to her room sad

However, at the weekends she's allowed to come into our bed early in the morning. TBH I think this is what carries her through the weekdays. It also means she doesn't come in during actual night time.

Ultimately, I think she has FOMO (not realising there's nothing to miss out on!). She just wants to be with us. I'm sure she'll get bored of it eventually. In the meantime, were upgrading to a super king size bed...

NewDOOFUSfor17 Sat 28-Jan-17 22:50:52

Thank you for the solidarity. 4 times he woke after the initial waking then up at 5am sad he's so tired and I'm a wreck.

I'm on a night shift tonight so at least I'm being paid for being up all night!!

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