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3 year old never sleeps

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My daughter has needed the bare minimum of sleep since birth. I never really minded and let her sleep whenever she wanted. However, at 3 years old she is regularly up until 1-3 am and I then wake her up at 5am for daycare. She has a 2 hour nap at daycare from 12pm to 2pm. We have had the same bedtime routine since I brought her home from the hospital. We eat dinner around 5pm, then she gets a bath, story, breast, and then I put her in bed. It doesn't matter if it's her bed, my bed, I'm laying with her, or I am in a different room. She doesn't go to sleep. I've gotten into the habbit of turning on the TV because I can't stay awake...I drift in and out.

I'm concerned because she looks like she has black eyes, she rubs her eyes, gets hyperactive, cranky, her balance even gets off, etc. I don't think that 5 hours of sleep is enough for a 3 year old. I'm 24 and it's not enough for me! Her ped said no more co-sleeping...I said "OK" but only because I didn't want to argue with him over it. They also said to give her a light sedative...I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't want her drugged...I just want her to get the rest she needs. I was thinking about giving her melanin which I've heard can help.

I'm desperate, please help.
post #2 of 14
I have one who sleeps less than most, but wow. It does sound as if your daughter is not thriving on that amount of sleep.
Have you analyzed her diet? Does she eat enough in the evenings? Enough protein? Does she have allergies? Is she restless in her sleep?
post #3 of 14
Like pp, I was thinking allergies too. You mentioned her eyes - we are trying to figure out what keeps DS from sleeping well and one practitioner suggested that dark circles in children can be a sign of a food intolerance or allergy. Of course, I live with dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep, but just thought I'd mention it.
post #4 of 14
Is she getting enough physical activity? Outside time and exposure to elements? A lot of posters on MDC say that their kids sleep better when they have play time outside, even if it is cold--some say they bundle them up and take them out for 5-10 mins at a time repeatedly if it is really cold.
post #5 of 14
We just got through a stage with my 2 yo where she never slept. I think part of it was food allergies and part of it was the vicious cycle of sleep deprivation. She was so exhausted she couldn't sleep. She needs at least 11-13 hours. For a while we would do anything to get her to sleep. Most often we either watched a movie or drove around in the car. Now she will let us sing her songs to sleep.

Can she take a longer nap at daycare or do they wake her up? Just getting more sleep at anytime of the day may help.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
She goes out to play for at least 30 minutes while at daycare and i take her out to play a lot on the weekend. I forgot to mention that on the weekend I don't let her take her nap and she sleeps 12 hours at night.
post #7 of 14
Then it's clearly time to give up naps. My daughter stopped napping at 2 years old and slept more at night. Tell daycare what's happening with your child's sleep and insist they help you deal with weaning your daughter off naps.
post #8 of 14
Sounds like time for no nap, and honestly 30 minutes a day of play is just not enough for a child
post #9 of 14
Our now 4-year old doesn't sleep either. Hasn't slept since we brought her home. exercise can make it easier, but that doesn't solve the problem for her. Have you tried Hyland's Calms Forte for kids? That can help her body start to settle itself down naturally, without sedatives.

The easiest step is to have the day care shorten her nap or drop it completely and see wherer that takes you. Our DD dropped her nap and it does make it easier to get her to sleep at night.
post #10 of 14
I am not in this situation and so I don't really have perspective to give good advice, but I am wondering, if she is up until 1-3am, what is she doing all that time? Is she just up and about living her life? I think if it were me I would try to put her to bed by 7:30 at the absolute latest, but really she should be in bed before 6:30 if you have to have her up at 5am. So i would have her in bed being read to or what ever it is you do to help her sleep by 6:30 and not let her get up and do anything else until she is asleep. Sit with her in the dark if that's what it takes. I do let me child stay up a little late sometime, but she has to option of waking up whenever she wants. She'll sometimes go to bed 11pm, but wakes up 10:30am. If I let her stay up as late as she wanted, she would also probably stay up all night, but kids need sleep and they often need to be put to sleep. You daughter sounds like she is really suffering from lack of sleep. Skip the naps and put her to bed very early.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
If I were to leave her in her bed and not interact with her then she will just be awake but in bed in the dark. I started turning on the TV because I am completely exhausted and I can't stay up any later. I'm going to see about switching her daycare. I've told them a million times that she cannot take a nap because she doesn't sleep at night and they said she HAS to take a nap.
post #12 of 14
Chimomma, while that may work for some kids, it definitely isn't a solution for others. We tried just sitting in bed in the dark with my daughter. Basically she screamed and cried until she fell asleep....at the same time she usually does. I'm sure not all kids would do that, but for some it just not a gentle solution.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlover2017 View Post
She goes out to play for at least 30 minutes while at daycare and i take her out to play a lot on the weekend. I forgot to mention that on the weekend I don't let her take her nap and she sleeps 12 hours at night.
i was going to say drop the nap...beg your day care provider to drop it. I can't believe they don't have "quiet time" as an option. i think you just answered your own question and most 3 year olds I know don't nap anymore. Honeslty, I'd switch providers if this one can't comply with your request. After all, YOU are the customer! They are providing you with a service you're paying for! Good luck!
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenLiz View Post
i was going to say drop the nap...beg your day care provider to drop it. I can't believe they don't have "quiet time" as an option. i think you just answered your own question and most 3 year olds I know don't nap anymore. Honeslty, I'd switch providers if this one can't comply with your request. After all, YOU are the customer! They are providing you with a service you're paying for! Good luck!
Yes! Ds was long done with naps at that age and luckily he was verbal enough to tell them so at pre-school. No more naps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlover2017 View Post
If I were to leave her in her bed and not interact with her then she will just be awake but in bed in the dark. I started turning on the TV because I am completely exhausted and I can't stay up any later. I'm going to see about switching her daycare. I've told them a million times that she cannot take a nap because she doesn't sleep at night and they said she HAS to take a nap.
There has been loads of research that shows that the TV can be a stimulant to the sense and cause children and adults alike to form really bad sleep habits and not be able to sleep. I know it is hard for you stay awake, but it's not a good idea to use the TV. It is very likely disturbing her sleep and also...try just letting yourself fall asleep next to her...sleep begets sleep...if she sees you sleeping, she may follow your lead.

So what I did when DS was having trouble falling asleep at just under 3yo was I started reading big boy stories to him after his bath, a REALLY REALLY long story. Without fail he fell asleep every night at around three pages. The weird thing was I could have read him 15 short picture books an sung him 10 songs and he might have just started to drift off, but if I started a long story, he would be in rapture one minute and sound asleep the next. I read him the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor and every night I would mark where we left off and pick up from there....it took us about 6 months to finish it.

But seriously...you need to fire that daycare. It easy for THEM to have her take a nap...but you need a day care that works for you, not them.
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