i've autistic 3yr old son. please advice on how to make him sleep better. right now he sleeps around a sum of 9hrs per day.
around 2yr of age his sleeping trouble started. it was as if he is not at all tired to feel sleepy. so, i began using cloth hammock to put him to sleep. at first he used to sleep within few minutes after i put him in hammock. but these days it takes two hours to put him to sleep in hammock. if i dont put him in hammock he wouldnt sleep at all. he will continue playing and never signals me of being sleepy.
let me tell you his bizzare sleeping timings:
afternoon nap is around 4pm. he sleeps for 2 or 3 hrs (sound sleep). then at night he sleeps around 1 or 2am. he wakes up around 8am. but this sleep is not continuous, we wakes up in between, but not completely awake. it is as if he's sleeping very lightly for few hours. at that time i've to swing him in hammock. from 6am to 8am he has sound sleep. very rarely he sleeps well throughout the night. if i avoid his afternoon nap he sleeps around 10pm at night but will be wide awake in the midnight and stays awake for 3hours or more. that is even more problematic. because of him i sleep for just 5-6hrs per day which is not continuous. i look dull and tired throughout the day.
here in india doctors are not paying much attention to his sleeplessness. i read about melatonin used in US. there are no such remedies in india to help kids sleep. are there any tricks or tips to try at home? i tried bathing him and massaging before putting him to sleep. sadly it makes him more fresh for playing further. maybe he is afraid of the dark, not so much afraid to play at night but scared to close his eyes maybe. please advice.
i've to add to my above query that he has eating disorder. he is never full. this could be a reason for his sleeplessness. he accepts only milk and biscuits. rarely he accepts something else (like rice, veg, fruit juice, bread, cake etc). he likes soft sweets and soft chocolate, but we allow him to have those very rarely. i'm not able to make him eat better and not able to make him sleep better. please advice.
It sounds like his nap is way too long. When children get a nap that is too long they have trouble sleeping at night. If you give him a nap have it be earlier in the day, around noon. Don't let him nap so late in the day anymore. 3 year olds need more than 9 hours of sleep a day. It is very important to their development. I am sure he will sleep much better when you get rid of those late naps.
If you want to get him to eat better, ask your pediatrician about a feeding clinic. The therapist can help you incorporate more foods into his diet.
I KNOW EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT, BUT I STOPPED GIVING MY SON A NAP AT 2 1/2 BECAUSE HE ONLY WOULD NAP LATE AND NOT SLEEP UNTIL 1 OR 2 AM. ONCE HE STARTED A REAL ROUTINE AND SLEEP PATTERN WITH PLENTY OF EXERCISE HE WOULD SLEEP 11 OR MORE HRS A NIGHT. MELATONIN DOES HELP HIM WHEN HE HAS A RESTLESS NIGHT, YOU COULD START AT 1MG AND WORK YOUR WAY UP. ALSO HIS EATING PATTERNS SHOULD BE CHANGED, HE COULD POSSIBLY HAVE ALLERGIES, HAVE YOU TRIED THE GLUTEN FREE CASEIN FREE DIET? MY SON HAS BEEN ON FOR 2 YRS AND I HAVE SEEN MANY IMPROVEMENTS. THE FACT THAT HE ONLY WANTS MILK AND BISCUITS IS A REAL SIGN THAT IS THE REAL CAUSE OF HIS PROBLEMS. HE WILL HATE IT AT FIRST AND BECOME A REAL MONSTER BUT YOU MAY SEE A HUGE IMPROVEMENT IN SLEEP AND POSSIBLY OTHER BEHAVIORS. I HOPE THIS HELPS AND WISH YOU WELL
I think Reina123 got very good advise. I have different issue. My daughter doesn't take a nap, usually sleeps well. But once a week minimum she gets up at 3 or 4 am and play for a hour and half. The sleeps again at 5:30. She is 5 and it is disturbing her classroom behavior. Please advice.
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