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3-hr+ naps

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  • 3-hr+ naps

    I have a 2 1/2 year-old who started having night terrors as they approached age two. This only happens at home. Apparently many nights at home are a struggle and there are many nights when they are up every few hours or wake up early in the morning and can't get back to sleep.

    They have recently kicked this behavior up at home, and their naptime here in the daycare can happen at any time. Sometimes they need a nap almost as soon as I have gotten settled in here. When I put them down at the regular naptime, they will sleep for three hours or longer. I take the blanket away, turn on the lights, turn on music, move around and tidy things up, talk to them, gently shake them, and all they do is roll over and curl up.

    They also get teary and miserable when they are sleepy, so first there is a 10 minute sobfest and then a three hour nap.

    I feel like daycare is just a place where all of their quality rest is happening instead of their quality learning and socializing. I recognize that the majority of this is due to whatever developmental hiccup or parental/environmental situation at home is ruining their night's sleep.

    Do you have any suggestions beyond asking the parents to itemize their nightly routine so we can discuss whether any changes can happen there?

    I know that the first step is to make sure that there are no screens after sundown, only soothing activities in the evening, room-darkening curtains, try some positive sleep associations like a warm bath and story time, avoid big snacks before bed. The parents are engaged and educated on childhood stages, so I feel like we probably won't find any big "Aha!" issues.

  • #2
    I'd suggest adding a sound machine to their room and a trial of kids potassium and iron supplements for a few days. It may or may not help, but would rule out nutritional deficiencies that cause muscle spasms (that really scare kids) at bedtime if it does not stop suddenly.

    If it is just developmental night terrors from an active imagination, time, patience and the bedtime routine you described will help.
    Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

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    • #3
      I’d tell his parents to take him to an ENT too. If his adenoids or tonsils or both are inflamed and causing blockage when breathing at night, it causes multiple wakings and night terrors. A regular pediatrician can’t really see or know what to look for so I wouldn’t suggest a regular ped.

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