19 answers

Growing Leg Cramps & "Can't Sleep"

My son is 5 and has been waking in the middle of the night ALOT lately. He is either saying his legs hurt, with his big tears rolling down his face, or that he cant sleep, 5 out of 7 nights. I give him some tylenol when he says his legs hurt and wrap them with a warm wrap. Is there anything else you can suggest I do, while we work through the growing process?
As for the "Can't Sleep" have any of you had that problem? It is becoming a regular issue on a weekly basis it seems. He says maybe 1 out of the 5 nights he had a bad dream, but the other times, it is just a whining I can't sleep...while he walks through our room. Says it is not fair that he has to sleep alone. What do I do?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Use Motrin, Tylenol has never worked very well with my sons for real pain. Growing pains are normal, but uncomfortable. If it does not go away take him to the pediatrician.

More Answers

Keep up with the good nutrition suggested and know that growing pains are normal. Unfortunately they bother us in the middle of the night! Be thankful your son is growing and give him some Tylenol or Motrin. As for sleeping alone, don't bend on this one. He needs to maintain his independence. You'll both be happier in the long run.

1 mom found this helpful


My daughter gets growing pains quite often and they are quite painful, the best I could ever do is give her the Motrin or Tylenol. As for the not sleeping through the night, my oldest daughter has a tough time getting to sleep so I bought a bottle of Melatonin at Target and give her 1/2 of one about 1/2 hour before bed and she has a much better night sleep and the Melatonin helps her to keep in a regular sleeping habit. I don't have to give it to her every night, just when she seems to be getting out of sync.

1 mom found this helpful

Yep. Been there. When our son was going thru that, we taught him how to stretch his muscles before bed. During the day, in the summer, his muscles were getting more of a work out than they were used to. In the night time, he would get cramps. The good news is, this too will pass.

Good luck!


Dear Nicole A.,

We experienced the leg cramps and terrible pain with our now 12-year old granddaughter when she was around your son's age. I gave her a low dose of ibuprophen and it would last for 12 hours or so. As for the not going to sleep, perhaps you could provide a stereo and allow him to play some type of soothing music around bed time and tell him he must stay in his room except to use the toilet. Give him some type of reward that he would really like to receive. Sounds like he is scared and lonely.

Our grandkids have to be in their rooms by their designated bed time, but you cannot FORCE your son to fall asleep. If he continues this lack of sleep very long, I would take him to the doctor and ask that some tests be run to find out if there is a physiological reason for this. If that is all ruled out, then it is a mind thing.

I also pray that God gives me ideas when I am stumped. He has the best mind of all. I am learning more and more that I know nothing and He knows everything. I have no better ideas than others and can often learn something that God put in my life to be learned.

L. C.

The old wives tale about warm milk at bedtime is really true. Calcium is a relaxer. If he doesn't want warm milk how about a calcium supplement about an hour before bed. That works also. Growing pains are real, but I would be careful about giving him tylenol every night.

I am not sure what you do for your Spa Business, but a good massage for your son's legs and feet may do wonders? I always give my son a good round of Reflexology and a lower leg rub (and myself) before bedtime. There are many good oils out there to get as long as you purchase the correct / cold-pressed kinds as these have safe properties for you and your son.

As for sleeping alone: we are still working on this one ourselves!

I have a little sister who, too would complain of that problem she has flat arches in her feet which was causing her legs to hurt when she was lying still. She has to wear special arched shoes or inserts.

Another thing I was thinking - I have Restless Leg Syndrome and my mom told me that when I was younger it would act up at night and I would tell her my legs hurt and feel funny (if you aren't familiar with RLS, it's an uncontrolable urge to move your legs, it's not fun!), I was too young to really put into words what was wrong. That may not be the case with him but it's a though.

Good luck!

My mom always made us drink milk and it ALWAYS HELPED!!

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