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3yr old won't stay in her bed anymore - exhausted

(6 Posts)
PassMeTheFrazzlesPlease Wed 28-Jan-15 12:26:50

Please help!

My 3 (almost 4) yr old DD has always been an absolute dream of a child. She slept through very early and has always been an independent, happy and generally easy.

In the last three months, she has suddenly become very clingy and will not let me out of her sight during the day. She follows me from room to room and sits on my lap all the time. She evens waits outside the bathroom door when I am in there. She goes to preschool happily for a couple of mornings though.

An imaginary friend has also appeared recently. He has been around a lot more this week.

She has started talking about death a lot and worrying about dying and about me and DH dying.

These are all things I can cope with, I am giving her as much reassurance and love as possible and assuming it is just a phase due to her age.

The thing I can't cope with is that she is coming out of her room again and again at night & won't go back to bed.

If I try and put her back in her room, she screams so loudly that she wakes her twin siblings up (then I have three of them crying at 2am, which is tricky to cope with!). She has started coming into bed with DH and me. None of us really sleep though. She is a figetdy, restless sleeper and often wakes up to chat or sing.

I am SO tired. We have tried a Gro Clock and reward chart. It doesn't work.

She says she is having bad dreams about witches, trolls and big bad wolves. Her imaginary friend is a big bad wolf hmm but she says he is nice most of the time.

The only thing I can think of is for DH to go into the spare room and for DD to sleep with me. But, if that starts, how will we ever get back to normal? We could also move her toddler bed into our room.

I also tired that I can't actually think of anything else. We've had broken sleep every night for about three months and she is usually up several times shouting and crying. She is also tired the next day which means she is very whiny and emotional and has tantrums over small things.

Any ideas? <feeling hopeful>

PassMeTheFrazzlesPlease Wed 28-Jan-15 12:28:01

DD is not in the same room as the twins BTW, but she screams so loudly that she wakes them in their room next door.

WorkingBling Wed 28-Jan-15 12:35:18

I could have written this post (minus the twins) about a month ago practically. DS kept telling me he was scared or that he was sad. And asking about death. We did also have some stuff going on as a family which I think stressed him out though and I am also very pregnant.

He slept in with me and DH slept in his room for a bit if necessary. Then we got him to sleep in his room but I would lie with him in the night if necessary. Ditto, I would give him plenty of notice that I was leaving the room in the evening but would come back when he called, even if I didn't stay.

We implemented a reward chart with a very good prize and upped the requirements for getting a star over time so in the beginning it was just not waking mummy up and crying endlessly (but waking me for a cuddle in bed was okay) until we got to sleeping in his own bed for the whole night for the last few stars. He was up 10 seconds after my alarm went off this morning to get his final star and prize - who knows how long he'd been awake waiting. grin

DH and I have just tried to be endlessly patient and do what is best to allow all of us to get sleep. Him in our bed was the one that stressed me out the most but it only went on in total for about two weeks as we constantly told him he could get better/extra stars if he slept in his own room until one night we laughed as he came into our bed at bedtime and then about 10 minutes later announced he wanted a star and left again.

I don't think there's a quick fix or easy solution to this kind of problem. You just kind of have to keep going in survival mode for a while. Also, I took comfort from the fact that the nursery told me that quite a few parents had been saying sleep had got bad again for some reason. Maybe it's an age thing?

Oh, and ENDLESS praise from me, DH and nursery staff whenever he slept well or in his own bed. You'd think he'd run a marathon in world record time on one leg he got so much praise!

Crazyqueenofthecatladies Wed 28-Jan-15 14:19:14

My dd is v similar. As a prem it was 11 days til I could even hold her so even at 3 I never begrudged her seeking me out for comfort. But once it was every night it got exhausting. What worked for her was the groclock coupled with an extra duvet. She has awful circulation from her early start and I genuinely think she was seeking me out when she got cold - despite her duvet and umpteen blankets. She is so snug now she stays put til the yellow sun comes on, and sometimes even sleeps in.

PassMeTheFrazzlesPlease Thu 29-Jan-15 14:23:12

Thank you workingbling & crazyqueen - it is nice to know I'm not alone!

Reading your posts also made me realise I have been a bit unfair to DD for the last couple of days as I have been telling her off for not staying in bed and being a bit snappy with her sad

Last night, I let her sleep in my bed. She had an extra duvet over her to see if that helped - she slept ALL night! Until 7.30am. DD seems much happier today and hasn't been following me around so much either.

We are sticking with this for a few weeks, until we are all caught up. Then, will start a plan to get her back in her own bed with a reward chart... We are going to put fairy lights in her room to hopefully make her feels safer, as she doesn't like the dark. Fingers crossed. For now though, I am just happy to have had a proper sleep. It is the nicest feeling grin

WorkingBling Fri 30-Jan-15 15:36:13

Yup. Once you both get a bit of sleep it's amazing how much easier things feel, even if you are stressed about the precedent! Good luck. Hope it continues.

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