Survival Tips For Your Toddler’s Sleep Deprived EEG

So Why Keep Them Awake? And How Long For?
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Basically it guarantees a better result. When you’re super tired, there’s a greater chance to record unusual electrical activity in the brain. A sleep deprived EEG test is usually ordered after your little one has been through a standard EEG that came back with inconclusive results.

Please note this is a general guideline. Each hospital may have different requirements, so make sure to read your appointment letter carefully. 

0 – 11 months: Normal bedtime the night before. Wake child at 5am day of test. Keep awake until you arrive with no naps or dozing.
1 – 3 years: Bedtime two hours later than normal the night before. Wake child two hours earlier than normal day of test. Keep awake until you arrive with no naps or dozing.
4 years and older: Keep your child awake until midnight the night before. Wake child at 4am day of test. Keep awake until you arrive with no naps or dozing.

And How In The Hell Should I Exactly Do That?

Role Play

Sleep deprived eeg toddler survival tips doctor who dress up

To show your child in advance what the EEG will feel like, pop stickers on their head and bandage them up. This shows them that they have nothing to fear from the process.

Treat Them
survive your toddlers sleep deprived eeg doctor who fish fingers and custard

Organise their favourite dinner and dessert and make it a special event. Pop on their favourite movie, or play a family game. Basically find a way to spoil them to keep their energy up, and stop them dreading the morning.

Don’t Blink
toddler sleep deprived eeg doctor who don't blink

Crucial step here. Leave them alone for a second and they will nod off. This is most important in the car on the way to the appointment. That is your danger zone. Have someone sit in the back with them, and keep rousing them if needed.

Embrace Teamwork
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If you can, try to make sure one adult in the house gets some sleep while the other stays up. That way they can take the morning shift keeping them awake while you get a little extra shut eye.

Avoid Physical Activity
toddler sleep deprived eeg the doctor running gif

While it might keep them busy, it’s also going to mega tire them out, so avoid it unless you absolutely have to.

Don’t Get Them Wet
toddler sleep deprived eeg doctor who rain david tennant sad ten

While a lot of people recommend baths and showers to keep a child awake, I’m going to call shenanigans. If bathing your child is part of the bedtime routine, wait to do this until they are actually going to sleep, otherwise you’re signalling their little body is time to get their sleepy pants on. They will still have to have a bath/shower eventually, as you need to wash their hair in preparation for the electrodes to be glued on.


 Where Can I Get More Information

toddler sleep deprived eeg tips doctor who books gif

What to Expect From Your Toddler’s EEG

RCH EEG Fact Sheet

Chadkids: What You Need To Know About Your EEG


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  1. This is some great information for parents who might have toddlers going through the sleep deprived EEG. I never knew what it entailed, so if my son had to go through it I would have been unsure. Thanks for these tips and for shedding some light on it. I hope Bear is doing okay.

  2. Sounds like a very intensive and involved process. I never had this with any of my boys when they were toddlers. Great tips for some one going through this.

  3. It seems so cruel and yet I know its reasons. My daughter had to do with her then 16 yo teen. They went on a ghost tour amongst other things. I just yawn thinking about it. Oh, and EEG showed nothing, as did the 24 hour wearing electrodes but she still has a form of epilepsy according to the specialist. sigh.
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 21/52 and next week’s prompt is Hobbies.

  4. Awesome advice and tips. The keeping them from sleeping sounds tricky. It’s always the way they don’t sleep when you want them too and sleep when you don’t want!

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