Toddler 22 months never sleeps through the night

(Louisville, KY)

My 22 month old grandson has always been up 3 or 4 times a night. He has gotten better, now he's up twice a night. He stays with us one night a week, since he was about 2 months old, to give his parents a night of sleep.

Last night he went to bed at 10PM and woke up at 2AM and was up until 6AM (has happened in past).

He was wide awake, I held him rocked him and nothing could get him back to sleep. Finally we got up and he was very excited and seemed overly happy, jumped up and down on caffeine.

He is very defiant, throws himself on the ground when he does not get his way, but snaps out of it fairly quickly. He does not cry often but constantly wants something he can't have or to do something that he's not allowed.

He gets obsessive about some things and we cannot distract him. He plays with the electrical cords, TV controls, Remotes. He like real things more than his toys, he plays with old stereos, cell phones, locks. At the play ground, he plays with the mulch, sticks.

He is very smart, knows some of the alphabet and can do some counting.

His Grandfather was Bipolar and his father is also.
Do you think my Grandson is bipolar?


Many of the symptoms you are reporting could be indicative of bipolar, but many other things as well. Certainly sleep disturbance is a concern that can cause major issues for any child with mood and disposition whether they are bipolar or not. The sleep disturbance could be indicative of a mood disorder; it also could be due to something else. As I have said before, it is not possible to make a diagnosis of bipolar disorder on the internet in this manner, and it must be done by a professional who has experience with this illness in children.

I believe if a child has a parent and grandparent that are bipolar they are at a very high risk to develop this illness themselves. Additionally we know that children who have a parent with bipolar disorder are more likely to have other psychiatric issues as well. There is a lot of crossover with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, other anxiety disorders, ADHD, and Aspergers .

I would continuously monitor those issues you are concerned about, because your grandson is at very high risk to develop some mental health issues. He is lucky to have a grandparent like you, who is committed to understanding and getting him help. I would strongly suggest you take him to see someone locally about his sleep issues.

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