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Author: snippee Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 42342  
Subject: Re: Crying in the morning Date: 9/6/2012 11:11 PM
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Hunger? I know you said he won't eat but if there's any way to get a little bit of semi-nutritious food into him, that might help stabilize his blood sugar and mood. Is there a food he likes that you could leave in his room for when he wakes up? Something like a small bowl of dry cereal, some crackers or packet of fruit snacks might help even a little bit.

On that note, do you have any suspicions about what he's eating during the day that might be affecting his ability to settle down at night?

Sorry to overstate the obvious, but he's overtired and running on a sleep deficit, the opposite of the sleep-begets-sleep adage. (Yes, there are outlier kids who can function just fine on very little sleep but, based on your description, he doesn't seem to be one of them, poor guy.) I was going to suggest sitting in the dark room at bed time (and the occasional forced nap time) with him until he fell asleep but you've already tried that so i'm tapped out. All i can offer is empathy.

Tigger (age 4.5) is s-l-o-w-l-y dropping his nap and he has always had really unpredictable sleep habits so i never know what to expect with him. He and Hobbes (7.5) never got the memo that, when you stay up late, it's only logical to sleep in the next morning, so i feel you on the late night/early morning thing. When Tigger naps, i sit with him (listening to podcasts or watching TV or surfing on the iPad - with headphones, obvs - or e-reading) until he falls asleep. The rules are that he has to lie quiet, still and with his eyes closed. He can choose the number of minutes he has to lie there, following the rules - usually around 10-15 - and is almost always asleep before then. If not, he's allowed to get up and play quietly for awhile and i mentally steel myself for a cranky afternoon while also cheering the fact that he'll go to bed when Hobbes does, around 7:30.

I used to sit with him at night, too, but he's gotten better about falling asleep on his own. Had to do it with Hobbes, too. Probably several things one could criticize me for choosing to do that but it became the lesser of two evils - the kid needed sleep and that was the easiest way to guarantee he'd get it. Crisis management 101. I generally try to follow Tracy Hogg's "start as you mean to go on" advice but sometimes, you have to just get through the night/day/afternoon/week/month/phase/epoch. Once he was better rested, we could better handle the behavioral issues behind the problem.

The only other thing i can think of seems a little extreme but it's becoming more common for kids: Sleep study. See if there's a place near you that offers this. A friend here did this with her kid (who has somewhat severe sensory issues) and it really helped them a lot.

Hope you find some answers and get some rest. SOON.
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