3yr old who wont sleep

i also have major sleeping issues with my 3 year old daughter with SPD. and the less sleep she gets the worse the sensory meltdowns. there is not much we can do to help her when she has the meltdowns, she wants "up" yet does not want to be touch so she pushes me away when i come near her and starts to scream louder. i feel so overwhelmed and now my 18 month old son who is generally a calm and cuddly boy is copying her behaviors. For those that have tried melatonin, does it work? My daughters issues with sleep are: trouble falling asleep, waking too early in the morning then refusing to nap, and refusing bedtime all together. I am also switching her fish oil to ProEFA. My daughter is typically developing except for the SPD diagnosis which is mainly affecting her social emotional progress.

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Jan 16, 2012
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re: more thoughts
by: Anonymous

thanks for all your input. i am so happy i found this website so i can connect with other parents that may be going through the same thing i am. most of my friends just dont understand or think i am crazy for doing some of the things i do!
my DD doesn't nap consistently anymore, she needs it but fights it (surprise surprise!!, she's been fighting sleep since she was born!). she has been napping all this week, i think to make up for the poor night sleep.

i will look into that book and also the diet. i'm thinking of going to an allergist just to rule out sensitivities to wheat/egg etc., if its even possible to detect that.
thanks again

Jan 15, 2012
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More thoughts
by: Anonymous

Yes, if you've been having bad nights consistently for a while, I would say that she's probably very over-tired/sleep deprived which leads to worse sleep. It is a terrible self-perpetuating cycle!

Does she still nap? If so do anything you can to get her to take good naps during the day. At one point for us it meant driving her around for 2+ hours in the afternoon for a couple weeks to get her back on track (she would only sleep in the car).

Make sure her bedtime is super consistent - don't let her stay up later thinking that it will make her sleep better. That will most certainly make things worse.

Also, I totally agree with the person who commented on dietary changes. I'm the one who gave you the melatonin suggestion but should have mentioned that we also do a modified Feingold diet and are gluten free. The dietary changes really helped my daughter's night terrors and anxiety (as well as nearly eliminating her tactile defensiveness).

I would also recommend checking out a book called, "What's Eating Your Child?" by Kelly Dorfman. It has a lot of great info.
I hope you are able to wade through all the info and find what works for your little one. Good for you, mommy, for working hard to figure it out!

Jan 14, 2012
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Now not sleeping thru night!!
by: Anonymous

The past few nights my daughter also stopped sleeping through the night which she has always before. Last night she could be directed back to bed 2 x and the 3rd I had to lay in bed with her. Tonight even after the melatonin she was up crying and can't fall back asleep!! She falls asleep alone every night. I am at my wits end and don't know what to do. I she possible still overtired from all these night wakings in te past 2 weeks and just has to catch up? I can't let her cry. She will wake my 18 month old. Please help!

Jan 14, 2012
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Thanks
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for your input. I tried a 1/2 dose tonight for the first time and I'm not sure if it's a coincidence but I saw a difference! We are coming off a bad week so she was tired so I can't really tell for sure we will see in a few days.
She is sensitive to foods and have thought about altering her diet but it is very difficult since she is in school and I can't control the snacks they give her. I should look into it more but it seems something too difficult unless she was home (and I was home) on a daily basis

Jan 14, 2012
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food???
by: Anonymous

HI THERE!

i have a 2 and 3yo...both with sleep issues, separation anxiety, sensory and the 3yo has very defiant mood swings. I have tried OT and behavioral therapy both VERY VERY light sleepers, the 2yo especially takes hours to fall asleep and then wakes at the drop of a hat (i.e. i couldn't walk into her room even at 2am) with very restless sleep, won't sleep anywhere but home (and as i said, very poor sleep there as well) and would scream EVERY.SINGLE.BED.TIME.

I had a HUGE response typed out, but it was too long...so I will give you the cliff notes version

After research I decided I was desperate and going to try a food elimination diet (there are a number of them, I opted for Feingold).

It didn't take long before we saw some sleep improvements (no screaming and my 2yo's naps went from an hour and a half to three hours). IN ADDITION, the sensory issues lessened.

Additionally, (if you haven't done any of this that is ;o) googling salicylates. omg, what an eye opener. It talks about how some of the healthiest of foods (apples and berries and cucumbers and olive oil etc) can WIRE kids and aggravate sensory issues and disrupt sleep etc.

it just might be worth it to try for a few weeks.....the changes in the stress level in our home, and the changes in my kids is enough to make me want to cry (not being dramatic here!!).

SERIOUSLY, bc in adding back foods (to experiment) we are seeing some of the old behaviors, and when you get even 2 days of "normal" and then being reminded of that 'old' behaviors is scary....because you think "omg, what if it is back!!!"

my point in all of this is that i feel your pain...i have been there, i have stressed, yelled, cried, cried, cried, and maybe this can help you too.

good luck

Jan 13, 2012
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Melatonin
by: Anonymous

We recently started our daughter on melatonin and YES it works! We started with a 1/2 mg dose and it was enough to see a great improvement. We give it to her before bedtime routine and by the time we turn out the light it takes only minutes for her to fall asleep.

I only wish we would have tried it sooner because it makes our nights (and days!) so much better.

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