A mom writes in asking for advice about her almost-4-year-old daughter. She says her daughter “hates sleep.” She’s energetic, and though this mom is constantly trying to tire her out, it never results in better sleep. She mostly only sleeps 4 – 5 hours per night total. She tries to let her daughter “cry it out,” but this is complicated because the crying is disruptive to an elderly relative with dementia who also lives with them. Any advice for this exhausted mom?
A member of the community asks:
“My toddler hates sleep: Advice?
I have a 3-soon-to-be-four-years-old who hates sleep! She has a ton of energy and runs around all day. With social distancing, our options are limited, but we take her to the trails to ride her bike, walk around the neighborhood, and she plays in our huge backyard. She doesn’t nap either (otherwise she’s up for longer), yet somehow she only needs about 4-5 hours of sleep a night! Our bedtime routine doesn’t matter. How much she played throughout the day doesn’t matter. She will cry for hours if we try to force her to sleep and don’t let her play more or watch her iPad (by this time, it’s 10-11 p.m.).
I know everyone is going to say let her cry it out, and usually, her dad and I do. The issue is that we live with an older relative with dementia who cannot take the crying, and it turns into a big scene. So at this point, we go to bed when she does around 12-1 a.m., but she up by five again. Am I exhausted Anyone has any helpful tips? Thanks in advance!”
Community Advice for This Mom Whose Toddler Daughter Hates Sleep
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“Talk to her doctor about melatonin. Also, disable or put up the iPad. Electronics tend to make a hyperactive kid even more hyperactive. They can cause *more stimulation.”
“Liquid melatonin. Talk with her doctor. I have 2 boys that are the same way, same age range. It does lose its effect if you use it every night. But maybe it will help get her into a sleep schedule. I buy Zarbee’s liquid melatonin and it has helped me and my boys.”
“Take away the iPad. I had to with my son at that age. It also improved his behavior. Look it up there are lots of studies on how bad iPads are for adults let alone children. Even if they only watch in the morning it still affects them tremendously. It’ll take like 2 weeks before you see a difference but totally worth it. My son is 5 and he still can’t handle an iPad or phone.”
“Try tea and bath. Melatonin but some kids can’t have it(I know that sounds silly but I have a son who doesn’t like sleep either and I tried it and anytime he takes melatonin he throws up in like an hour or two) but we have finally got him sleeping!…
… He gets up with us a 445 am and then he goes into his room at 7:30-8 and he gets an hour or two to play and just relax in his room possibly with a movie. Sometimes lavender oil if he is really restless. We read a couple books. For us, we listen to worship music. I get most people don’t like that but any calming music will do. If he really doesn’t to I snuggle him for a little.”
“I use tired teddies from amazon! It’s .3 milligrams of melatonin, they’re recommended for kids with ADHD or ASD. The low dosage is great because you don’t get the crazy vivid dreams that can be too intense for little kids! and it’s safe for frequent use! I’ll give my son one, lay him down in bed with a movie and he’s out within 15 minutes.”
“I started by enforcing a nap time during the day. The role is to go to your room and don’t come out. (My kid’s room does not have toys in it.) We do melatonin as needed. But we started turning off the TV at dinnertime. That’s between 6-7. Then we have a bedtime routine of songs, Bible reading, and prayer. This has helped us greatly…
… We like for bedtime to be between 8-830. It’s not perfect but it’s helped us. But, the dementia relative is an added complication. Maybe do a bedtime routine and then take a car ride to knock her out the first couple of days to get her body used to a good sleeping routine.”
“My son is the same age and the same way. He stopped taking naps and gets so mean towards the end of the day because of it. We’ve been using the Zarbees melatonin gummies to help him get on a solid schedule and it’s been working really well.”
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