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3 year old won't sleep alone

(5 Posts)
Mookin Mon 29-Oct-12 10:45:18

I just moved in with my partner who has a three and a half year old from another relationship, who we have every other weekend. We would love to have her more often but the mother will not allow it.
The problem is at home she sleeps in the same room as her mother, and up until now she has slept in the same room as her father at weekends because he only had a studio flat.
For the first time this weekend we tried to get her to sleep in her own room and experienced the expected adjustment problems. Its a big shock for her afterall.

We tried to make the evening as relaxing as possible - bath time, reading, milk etc, but she just wouldn?t go down and had huge screaming kicking hissy fit until her dad sat there and held her hand while she fell asleep. Then she had a screaming tantrum whenever she woke up (every 40 minutes) and realized a parent wasn?t there. She wouldn?t stay in her bedroom, even if we gently and firmly kept leading her back (we tried for nearly an hour until we took pity on the neighbours). I don?t know if the problem was that my partner kept engaging with her and cuddling and trying to reason with her every time he took her back to her room? In the end one or the other of us ended up sitting by her bed on and off all night trying to stop the screaming.

Please do you have any suggestions? Is it even possible to get her into a routine when we only have her every other weekend? Should her dad just set up a camp bed there until she grows out of it?

Thanks a lot!

slartybartfast Mon 29-Oct-12 11:01:26

i wouldnt change what she does when she is with her mother. espeically as it isnt very often she stays with her father.

Mookin Mon 29-Oct-12 16:00:33

Oh no its certainly not for us to make any suggestions to her mums routine. Wouldn't dream of it. I just wondered if it was worth the effort of trying to establish a radically different routine from the one thats she is used to during the week ?

Perhaps its better not to upset her or the apple cart?

traipsingalong Mon 29-Oct-12 17:27:01

I think it's going to be very difficult to change what is, for her, the habit of a lifetime. I also think it might be better not to do it just yet, because she will come to resent you personally for it. The reason I say that is that a friend's mother once told me that during the second world war, her father was away fighting, and during that time, she slept with her mother. When her father came back from the war, she was expected to sleep alone, while he took 'her' place in with her mother.

She said for years, she resented him and felt that he was in competition with her for her mother's affections. It is only now, in her old(ish) age, that she feels sorry for the way she behaved towards him when he came back from the war. Apparently he'd brought her a beautiful wooden horse that he'd carved himself, but she refused to touch it.

Anyway - I digress - if this little girl has been used to sleeping with her daddy in his studio flat, and now he is living in a new property and you have taken her place in his bed, then she might be forgiven for feeling a little put out....

Mookin Wed 31-Oct-12 09:22:14

Thanks for the advice. This is definitely something we need to think about somemore. We see her precious little enough and it seems dumb to waste it being tired and angry on all sides!

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