How can I keep my child awake for their testing?

Any mamas with kids that have had to have an EEG that requires sleep deprivation? My two-year-old is getting tested to see if he is having absence seizures. He can only sleep 12-4 am. His test is at 9:30 an hour away. Any tips on how to make this work?! My kid loves his sleep.


I had to do this once for a year for my oldest. Nope, he fell asleep in the car on the way. Driving and little a staying awake is a NO go😬

I had to do this for an hour long drive with my son, and they recommended bringing and ice pack and every time he closed his eyes to gently touch his face with the ice pack. It worked a little, but eventually he just ignored the ice pack.

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What about letting him watch a show?

Only thing that I can think of is have someone else drive you so you can keep
Your kiddo awake. Or get a hotel as close as possible to the dr. So even if your little one falls asleep. It’s only a few minutes.


I had to keep my at the time 3 year old up for 24 hours for an EEG while I was pregnant. 10/10 wouldn’t recommend. We stayed up all night doing crafts and playing games and eating to keep her awake. I ended up having to get help so that I could sleep for a little bit because lack of sleep made my morning(all day) sickness even worse. It was brutal though. My daughter was getting an EEG to help evaluate for autism and brain misfires. Good luck to you mama!

I had to do this with my daughter and we had an hour drive to the hospital she was getting tested at. I ended up having my mother in law ride with me to keep my daughter awake while I drove us.

Could you possibly get a hotel closer? Driving for an hour is going to make it impossible for him to stay awake.:grimacing:

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I just did this with my 19 month old son on Thursday morning! If you want to pm me feel free to do so (to the original poster)!! So we are 2 hours away and he just had it at McMaster. I got a hotel just because one parent only can go and I knew the car ride was going to be game over. I had to wake him up at 4 am (went to bed late too) and his appointment was at 7:30. We did it! I just kept him excited when he first woke up (he was miserable the first 10 mins of course and trying to go back to sleep). Once he got “up” he was excited to be awake, we had breakfast and snacks until appointment time. On the 20 min drive from hotel to hospital I turned the music loudish and made myself look nutty acting hyped lol. He stayed awake the whole time and crashed for his eeg and slept the whole duration of his test :heart: it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be if that makes you feel any better! I’m super glad we did the hotel though there’s no way we would have made it without falling asleep otherwise lol

I had to do sleep deprivation for spinal surgery when I was 9…the hospital was 3 hours away. We stayed in motel cross the street so didnt risk crashing/sleeping. My dad and step mom acted movies, music trivia party, whatever I wanted for meals, cookies, swimming in the pool, work out room. Just kept me on my toes. I needed to be up for 36 hours. Which meant my parents too plus the 18 hour surgery they were going to be up too.

I don’t recommend driving to keep him awake. Maybe a sugar rush?

Can you use public transportation or have someone else drive? Maybe being on a train or bus will keep her awake? I had to do this with 1 of mine. Keeping him awake & staying awake myself was a nightmare. Ended up not being successful. Had to do it a second time. I feel for you Momma.

Why don’t you get a hotel or motel room for the evening closer to the place he has to have it done that way the drive isn’t so long. or call the doctor’s office they may have recommendations on how you can keep them awake.

On my goodness I dint have advice but I am sending waking energy your way. What moms do for our kiddos, nothing is to much for us moms .
I do eat salt and vinegar chips to help me keep from being drowsy in the car but not sure it’s good for this situation.

I had to do this for my daughter and i also had to drive 1 hr 1/2 drive to the hospital and I gave her my phone and lollies and chocolate to munch on to keep her awake :joy::joy:

Drive the hour at like 5am and then go to a park or do an activity until 9

My 4 year old had this last summer. Kept him up untill 2am woke him at 5 test was early in the morning. Took his blanket and favorite cuddle and he did great and he’s never slept anywhere out of his room his whole life.

My son had his first eeg when he was 2. The whole ride(and hour away) I sat in back with him and played and talked to him. I pretty much pestered him into staying awake.

Roll the windows down to keep the car cold and just talk a lot lol it sounds mean but it’s the only thing that kept my kid awake in the car. We also played duck duck goose and just acted like weirdos to keep him awake in the middle of the night.

You waited an hour before the test to ask for advice? Should have done it sooner, I’ve had to do this SO many times when he was a tot

Have someone ride with him in the back if at all possible. Had to do this with my daughter and that was the only way she would stay awake.

I went through this with my daughter. My daughter was around 19 months and she is a kid who loooves sleep. The hospital where my daughter received care was 2 and 1/2 hours from home so we rented a hotel room and stayed within 10 minutes of the hospital. It was hard. I’m a single mom so I had no other help so I had my mom with me to help keep her awake. We took walks outside every hour or so. We did sooo many activities and games to keep her awake. - play doh, magnetic sand, coloring, you name it we did it. It was sooo rough. Be prepared for so many meltdowns. Exhaustion for both you and your son. If you can get help, like family, I highly suggest it. It’ll take more than one person and the meltdowns because of exhaustion are hard to take alone. I personally cried a lot because I felt so bad because all she wanted to do was sleep.

I don’t have much input other than I had an EEG when I was about 4 for my epilepsy and I remember my dad driving and mom was in the backseat with me to keep me awake with a portable DVD player with my favorite movies (cars = sleep lol and this was 20 years ago). I hope everything turns out well for your little one :sparkling_heart:

Favorite show they get sucked into, Loud toys. If they like to sleep when it’s colder make it really warm or vise versa if the other way around. Rough house (wind them up). If they are like my son he is always hyper after a bath

I’ve it’s an option, someone ride in the back with him

take him to disney land

Have someone sit with him during the ride. We would sing songs or chat on the way. If it looked liked my little one was about to fall asleep, I would let her watch one of her shows on my phone. Just try to have a few things that could be entertaining. Watching shows was also very helpful at keeping her mind off of getting all the electrodes on and off her head for the EEG as well. Good luck!