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5 yr old, reading and general sleep problems.

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Southwestwhippet Tue 13-Oct-15 09:43:09

My 5 yr old DD had never been a good sleeper. She has consistently woken me in the night since she stopped co-sleeping age 2. She has offered a variety of excuses/reasons over the years for waking me but basically comes down to being bored in the night coupled with (I think) a sense of outrage that she is sleeping on her own which makes her obsess about the unfairness of it rather than trying to go back to sleep.

She is also difficult at bed time - I do a quiet routine of bath/milk/story/cuddle then I go downstairs but she will call me back up or start very loud crying at least once and (in the past multiple time) before she'll go to sleep. She has night lights and a grow-clock.

I've tried stickers charts with short term success and currently I've been rewarding with My Little Pony blind-bags for collecting 10 stickers. But often the only thing that works is me getting cross/shouty. I feel that it doesn't matter how kind, firm, patient I am, she refuses to stop calling me and waking me until I shout which makes me feel awful. ??

The newest problem is that her reading has suddenly taken off, she is free reading and absolutely loving it. I've been putting her to bed at 7 and agreed she can read until 8 but then lights out (I come up and tell her). I've also agreed that if she wakes up and there is one star on her grow-clock she can read until the grow clock goes off. But she just won't cooperate. Last night I asked her to finish up reading at 8, turned off light, gave a cuddle... Then she waited until I was downstairs and turned light back on and started reading again. I didn't realise this until gone 9 so she is tired and cross today. She has also been waking in the night and reading for hours and hours rather than trying to get back to sleep. I know this as I am 8months pregnant so I get up for a wee and see her.

The sticker chart is no longer working, she doesn't bothered about doing what I say, and sometimes after she has read for hours in the night or the evening she will then call me and wake me as she is completely awake.

I don't want to take the books away, I am proud of her reading and thrilled she is so keen, but she HAS to get more sleep. I also worry that if I take them away she will go back to calling me and waking me all the time. The reading has helped a little with this as she is at least able to occupy herself. She doesn't want to get up in the morning and is tired and fractious in the evenings/at weekends. Also I have a baby due is 5weeks and really could do without a yr1 5yr old regularly waking me up as well as a baby.

I'm so tired of shouting at her, talking about it, seeing her sorry and upset only for the behaviour to stop for that night but be just the same the next. I just want to cry every evening/night and I feel like a horrid parent. Any ideas, please help??? (sorry for essay)

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