When do I worry about my kid not getting enough sleep?
June 2, 2011 12:35 PM Subscribe
I think my 3 year-old isn't getting enough sleep, and it's affecting her behavior. When should I worry, and what books might help?
Our child was never a good sleeper. She slept in our room until she was 2 1/2 years old (Our old flat was a single bedroom). Some weeks were great, others were long jags of either her waking and one of us waking with her to give her a dummy or bottle and calming her down, or her screaming violently for hours while we stared at the ceiling. She knew we were there in the bedroom with her by 8 months, so letting her CIO seemed cruel.
Now we're in a 3 bedroom and she has her own room. We've got baby #2 on the way, so we need her to sleep better before he comes in August.
At least three times a week she wakes up. Sometimes it's because she has to wee or poo, often it's because of nightmares. Once she's awake she'll often stay awake for hours on end. One night in recent memory I responded to her cries about a nightmare ("I'm scared, I'm cold, I need you, there are baddies, I'm hungry") and our daughter burst through the toddler gate to her room and ran around the living room like a hyperactive laughing maniac. It took THREE HOURS to get her into bed.
I've been ready to accept that she's simply not a good sleeper, but then our nanny recently told us that our daughter seems unresponsive and low energy during her classes. When all the other kids are listening to the teacher, our kid is obviously distracted, never follows directions and goads the other kids into goofing off. Part of me wants to scoff and say, "She's only 3, who cares if she doesn't seem interested in music class?" but our nanny says the other kids are responsive and engaged while our kid seems lethargic.
Her current schedule is this:
830-9: nanny arrives
9-12: nanny takes her to playground and/or some kiddie class
1-3: "quiet time" where our nanny puts our daughter in her bedroom, daughter plays quietly
3-5: play time/playground
5-6: dinner, bath
7-730: we get home from work
730-830: stories, bedtime routine (sometimes she goes to bed without a racket, sometimes it's a huge power struggle where she cries at her babygate which we variously ignore or go in and put her calmly into her bed again). She's ideally in bed by 830 though.
Nighttime: sometimes she sleeps through the night, sometimes she's up between 2 and 4AM for several hours.
What books helped you when your almost preschooler wasn't sleeping through the night? We've tried everything in the No Cry Sleep Solution For Toddlers book. We've done charts where she gets stickers for staying bed, letting her cry it out, going in to get her and bringing her to our bed. Our nanny says she's well-behaved (if logy) during the day, but when she's with us she's extremely volatile, emotional and grouchy.
anonymous because parenting threads get awkward.