How do I get my 4 year old to sleep through the night?

How do I get my 4 year old to sleep through the night?

by Patrice
(Lancashire, UK)

Question

Please help me!!!!I have a four year old boy who hasn't really slept through the night since he was born!He has no problem falling asleep (we have a good bedtime routine - no television, caffeine, one on one time with mum and dad etc)The problem he has is that he wakes 2/3 times a night - He's not up for long but myself and my husband are really struggling with the interrupted sleep - and I'm sure my son's behaviour/concentration would be better if he slept without waking.I've tried everything I can think of! - Reward charts,leaving lights on, monster spray, withdrawal of treats, shouting and nothing seems to work long term.Last week he slept for 3 nights without waking us up - once he even went to the toilet on his own, which he was very proud of.We obviously made a big thing of this but he has slipped back into his old ways.I think that this is a habit but I don't know how to break it.When he was a baby he suffered from really bad reflux (and he was a prem baby) so we were constantly in his bedroom when he was being sick because of the risk of him choking on his vomit.I don't know if his behavior stems from this but any advice you can give me to help this situation would be greatly appreciated!He also wakes up after a couple of hours wet through with sweat so we have taken to not putting a top on him and he's back with his summer quilt - but its minus 3 outside at the moment!He's not dry at night and wondered if this maybe another cause!!

Answer
From my experience there have been cases where night sweat affects a childs REM sleep.

I am not outrightly saying that they sweat is what makes him wake up at night. It is difficult to really say

cos i have not seen the child in question.

Have you seen a sleep doctor or a peaditrician?

i think you need to take him to see one.

The issue of this being a habit is highly likely. Depends on how free handed you have become with him.

Is he an only child? Is he 2nd 3rd or 4th?

You will have to begin "wean" him a lil bit.

Take decisive steps to make him correct his attitude.

If you can respond to some of the questions above i can give more advice.

You may also want to check the following pages i have on children and sleep problems.


Childhood Insomnia, Melatonin and children, Baby sleep patterns and Sleep in Children.

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