Baby with RLS

Very recently I recognised that my 9.5 month old little boy has RLS. I did plenty of research and viewed YouTube videos of babies with diagnosed RLS and he most definitely has it. He wakes up so many times a night, often in distress. He now sleeps with me on the bed (all done safely of course) so that I can keep him as settled as possible and try and get a little sleep myself. On bad nights he wakes well over ten times a night and spends half of it sleeping in my arms. He now also gets foot cramps some nights so I spend a fair amount of time rubbing his little feet to try and provide some comfort. I tried an Epsom salt bath but it didn't help.

I have had people hint/infer that he needs sleep training but I knew his restlessness wasn't as simple as that. This whole sleep training lark gets on my nerves - had I entered into it a few months ago and just let him cry I wouldn't have picked up his bad tummy due to allergies.

He is under paediatric care due to a cows milk allergy and we asked the paediatrician to contact us. She is great and when I explained that I am positive he has RLS she thankfully didn't question me. He has a blood test later this week to check things like calcium levels and I am truly hoping that it will be something as simple as this. My husband and my mother have RLS (I only suffered during pregnancy, which is how I first spotted his symptoms) so I suppose it could be primary. I'm just praying to him above that it isn't. My poor little boy!

On a selfish note, I am now dog tired and go back to work in just over two weeks and am genuinely worried how I am going to cope. I haven't mentioned this to them because I don't want them to get the wrong impression of him - that he is just sickly all the time, what with his allergies etc. My little boy will always come first though and I'm sure I'll find the strength from somewhere.

12 Replies

  • Its hard to treat babies with RLS as they cant take any meds like we do. Some mothers found a weighted blanket can help. If your mother has RLS then unfortunately he does probably have Primary RLS. There is a topic to the side of this page which says RLS in Children only looks like 5 comments but it might be worth looking.

  • Hi, thanks, will do.

  • It is soooooo hard when it is the little ones. Do NOT let anyone tell you that "sleep training" will calm his RLS. You are the mother, you have done your research, and I have watched numerous videos of babies to kid up to about 2 yrs old. They so obviously have RLS, when we know what to look for. People will suggest all kinds of things. Some little ones do well with weighted blankets, as well as adults. All I can do is say is listen to that voice in your head, and like good sleep hygiene for adults, sleep training and sleep hygiene do not do a thing when we have raging RLS. My nieces both have it, both my sisters and my nieces' kids. The 9 yr old has told me it "feels like someone is banging on my legs with hammers" and so on. The 13 yr old told me the other day she can't sleep, and her legs "bother" her for hours and it "just won't stop!". So, we do not need a doctor to say that have RLS, we know. You can do it. There is not much we can do for someone as young as your son and up to about 12 years old. There is a pediatrician in the US named Dr. Judith Owens, and I heard her speak on kids and RLS at an RLS conference in 2009 in Boston. She has a book on Amazon, the name escapes me, but if you search by her name you will find it.

  • Thank you very much, I will search for her and get the book. The last couple of nights have been just awful! Blood test tomorrow - here's hoping it's something that can be remedied.

  • Can't help you much on this but this site will give you a hope. You know your baby the best and will do everything you can. Good luck.


  • Thank you!

  • I find magnesium oil rubbed in my legs and feet at bedtime very helpful, don't know if it's suitable for babies though, I'd check with your doctor first, poor little thing hope he's better soon

  • Thank you. I'll check with the paediatrician as anything is worth a shot. I've heard some magnesium oils can sting a bit on application (which obviously wouldn't be ideal). Does the one you use, and if not which one is it?

  • Hi Zidane , I use the H&B magnesium oil spray for sleep it does sting a bit in the beginning until it gets into your system, someone suggested mixing it with some water to dilute the strength, also if you google "Magnesium for Kids " you'll get a lot of information , good luck

  • Is he your 1st child?

  • Yes he's our first.

  • Poor little mite. I heard of someone whose child (with RLS) responded very well to the Relaxis Pad. The child was much older - about 9 I think but it is a non-invasive treatment and I imagine you could put a baby to sleep on it and run it at a very low level. It is eye-wateringly expensive however (it ended up costing me over €1,000) and you need to get a prescription and someone who can take delivery of it in the US and then post it on to you. Actually I understand that there is apparently a European supplier now ...

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