Sleep issues! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-07-2014, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Sleep issues!

We have decided to take our 2yo daughter to pre-school a week and a half ago. Previously she stayed at home with her nanny, but it became clear she needed more.

She never had been a very good sleeper, but it was managable. But ever since she went to school for the 1st time she just doesn't sleep. She seems happy at school and chats about what she did the day. We thought to give it a week for her to adapt with the change. It didn't change.

She doesn't take a nap during the day anymore and it results in her passing out really early - like at 18:00 or so. Soooo she misses her good meal for the day and only eats sandwiches at school even though I pack healthy food too.

At night she tosses and turns and wakes up regurarly. Last night she laid in 5 different positions in half an hour. She mumbles, yells and cries in her sleep and falls of the bed. It is like her brain doesn't switch off at all!!!

Any suggestions? Should I consult with a sleep specialist?

Please help, I am really really tired!
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Heleen Strydom is offline  
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-07-2014, 06:31 AM
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Well, being the terrible sleeper that i am i think i may be able to give you some suggestions.
Have you tried tiring her out? Get her to do something physically exhausting just before she needs to sleep. With hope she may pass out (not literally) from exhaustion and go right to sleep. Or maybe mentally exhausting. I find reading a good story always get me tired and then also gives me something to dream about.
Did you ask her why she cant sleep? What makes her so uncomfortable? She may have an uncomfortable bed, she may not feel good about sleeping, hungry, too hot, too stimulated.
The nap shes meant to take during the day, is that at school? If so she may be uncomfortable due to new place, people and atmosphere. Therefore she wont sleep.
Consulting a sleep specialist may be a good idea. A lot of young kids have problems sleeping so they will know how to help your daughter. If she doesn't improve in a few days i would go see one.

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post #3 of 9 Old 05-07-2014, 07:05 AM
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My nearly 3yo doesn't nap during the day, BUT he sleeps through the night. If he wakes during the night, unless there is a blood curdling scream he may either get over it or come into me. I don't get up to them unless I feel there is a necessity. He doesn't want to nap during the day, in fear that he may miss something but it doesn't stand negatively to him. He to does a full gymnastic routine at night, I tend to think that is a toddler thing.

I'm wondering if your toddler is over stimulated during the day. Why not let her be a baby a while longer? She is going to spend enough time in school over the course of her life. I couldn't imagine letting my lad go to school now, he's far to happy running around the garden kicking the football and playing on the swings. I won't be sending him to preschool for another year at least. The best thing in the world for tiring out a little person is fresh air and space to run.

Also, if she requires a nap put her down for one. It may be hard at first, and she may fight you but tough love will prevail. I wouldn't sleep soundly without a full belly either.

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post #4 of 9 Old 05-07-2014, 08:07 AM
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I am the parent of 5 children, and fostered over 50 mostly toddlers and babies. Speaking from experience it sounds like she is over tired, and as much as it does not make sense the over tired is making it difficult for her to sleep.

Toddlers need about 14 hours of sleep a day, part of that sleep needs to be a nap. I have found that young children thrive on routine, the nap needs to part of the routine and not a negotiation. Pre-schools usually have routines that the children follow and nap time is part of it; however, the most they can do is tell her to stay on her mat or cot and if she goofs off there is probably not much they can do. At home there can be consequences for not resting, and rest time can last as long as it needs to. If it is doable I would let her stay at home with the nanny again and make sure a routine of lots of play, healthy eating and rest are enforced.

If you can get her taking a nap during the day it will most likely take care of the sleep problems at night, she will be awake for dinner and you can create a night time ritual that will help her transition into sleep mode.

In our house we have dinner, then bath time, read books and lights out. Some of my kids have done well with white noise machines. You can also try giving her chamomile tea, or warm milk to help her relax and get her ready to sleep.

Sleep issues are not easy to deal with especially when your a sleep deprived parent, but with a little creativity and routines in place you can do it.
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-07-2014, 08:26 AM
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Both my children needed a nap during the day by about 1pm. Bed time was 7:30 and they could look at a book or have a few toys in bed. Lights out at 8. This routine worked very well until each turned about 5.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-07-2014, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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The thing with the nanny is... We live in SA and the nanny is a Zulu woman. My daughter loves her to bits and the nanny loves her, but the language barrier is becoming an issue. Tiané (my daughter) speaks very well - so I hear - for her age, and Sylvia has a hard time understanding what T needs. We also have a diffirent approach. I am much more strict than S, and T is taking advantage of S's soft heart. Plain said - she is naughty around S and tried the same with us. I spoke to S about it and she said I must remember T is not her child, and therefore she doesn't feel comfortable being strict.
T stays at school until 1pm, and leaves before nap time.

Before she went to school she took a nap around 01:30pm and then goes to bed 08:00pm. Not always though... And yes, I have tried tough love for about a week. She just screamed for an hour, or laid talking to herself or her teddy bear for an hour.
I would have loved to stay at home with her, but just have to work...
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-07-2014, 10:11 AM
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Both my two had a similar routine to saddlebag. But DS kept his afternoon nap until he was four and a half. DD dropped hers at eighteen months! But instead of letting her stay up, I'd still put her down for a nap, usually with some soothing music and cuddly toys, for about an hour in the early afternoon. Otherwise she was completely feral by six pm! She didn't sleep during her nap, but she did unwind and chill out and it seemed to be enough for her.

That said, DD has slept pretty well at night since about two years old, DS is still a super light sleeper who struggles with going to sleep. He is like me. We just can't switch off. And if we've had a day full of new experiences, we struggle to fall asleep, then we dream/talk in our sleep and wake up several times a night and then struggle getting back to sleep! And when we are like this, any little thing can make it super hard to sleep; uncomfortable bed, wrong pillow, too much light, full moon, too hot, too cold, aching legs, thirsty, hungry, etc You get the picture.

Maybe this is similar to your little one? She is over stimulated, and can't switch off?

Things that I've found help? Rescue remedy, relaxation and meditation exercises, soft slow instrumental music, eliminating any extra probs like hunger, thirst, aches and pains etc

Hope you figure it out
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-07-2014, 10:48 AM
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White noise machine.

I have chronic insomnia and can't sleep if I hear the tiniest sound. My nearly 9 year old son was never a good sleeper until I decided to try my white noise machine in his room - went and bought one for him the next day.

Don't get the fru fru sound machines like waves or rain, you want plain old air-blowing one like a Marpac. My son has the one at the link below, I have a previous model which is still going strong after 10 years. I even bring them on vacations! Dohm-SS Single Speed Sound Conditioner by Marpac (formerly known as the Sleepmate/Sound Screen 580A): Health & Personal Care
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-08-2014, 04:29 PM
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BTW, my kids watched very little tv - just Sesame Street at 11am. I encouraged outdoor play with them after their nap so they were ready for bed by 7:30.
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