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DD6 - sleep refusing...

(4 Posts)
lostforinspiration Wed 03-Jun-15 21:36:04

DD is 6. She is challenging in many ways. She has always been challenging at bedtime, and even as a baby used to lie awake in her cot for hours gurgling until 9.30 or 10. At the moment she is allowed to read until approximately 8pm and then lights off. Whereupon begins a 2 hour saga of ups and downs, needing wees, drinks, loud declarations that sleep is boring etc etc.

If you leave her to turn her light out when she is ready she just doesn’t do it. She doesn’t seem to be able to stop. She reads very quickly, finishes one book, hops out of bed for another and so it goes on. We have tried letting her go to sleep when she is ready but after a week of her going to sleep past 11 and increasingly vile behaviour we stopped.

If one of us sits with her until she goes to sleep she gets very angry and resentful. But if you don’t sit with her if she’s not reading she’ll be rolling around in the bed humming loudly (her interpretation of being quiet!). When she does go to sleep she sleeps straight through the night.

I tried “Sitting Still Like a Frog” tonight after someone recommended it. It is a mindfulness book/CD with a going to sleep relaxation exercise. You have to focus on your busy thoughts and then redirect your attention to your calm belly where there are no thoughts. She listened, and then 5 minutes later appeared saying “Mummy some thoughts have got into my belly and I don’t know what to do” in an incredibly sarcastic tone….

I am very anxious that she does get enough sleep as her behaviour is very bad at school and worse if she hasn’t had enough sleep. But equally I have this sense that it is a power struggle I can’t “win”. Am slightly at wits end.

Has anyone taken a decision to let their DC find their own sleep patters and how long did it take to work?

FoxyJane Wed 03-Jun-15 21:50:15

Do you have a black out blind or curtain?

If not this might help. I'm afraid I would also remove all distractions from her room so no toys or books.

I would allow your dd to choose one book for bedtime and allow her to read until lights out. So if you put dd to bed at 7pm she could take one book. You make clear lights out are at 8pm at half 7 go into dd and let her know she has half an hour and then take the book away.

Tie this in with a sticker chart, so if dd goes to bed according to your rules all week she gets to do something fun or earns something.

Be firm and make sure you set a bedtime, I have two ds with asd and sleep is never a priority for them but with boundaries and working out how best to make bedtime least anxiety stressing they sleep from 7pm until 7am.

Hope you get a quiet night soon.

lostforinspiration Wed 03-Jun-15 21:57:27

Thank you Foxy - yes she does have a blackout. It does help a bit.

Have you actually done the removing all toys and books thing? I have thought about it before but she would be so upset am not sure I could go through with it - she likes to play in her room by herself a fair bit.

Maybe I will try a sticker chart again, sometimes they work...
Thanks again.

FoxyJane Wed 03-Jun-15 22:58:21

Yes I've removed all toys, I've often reintroduced each item back to the room on a weekly basis if the sticker chart is achieved.

It's hard to do, but I've learnt ds 4 is best in a toy free room. He has his soft toys, a keyboard and a few cars we keep in his drawer but he no longer plays all night. I've found if he can't see his toys and has his soft toys in bed and a couple of favourite vehicles in bed too he sleeps much better as there is no distraction or temptation.

I've also confiscated light bulbs once or twice and left only a torch.

I really hope you find a good solution, I've been a tired and grumpy parent with tired and grump kids it's just so exhausting. Good luck.

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