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Help for 5 year old dd who is not sleeping

(2 Posts)
emanon Sun 16-Dec-07 20:23:16

My 5, nearly 6 year old daughter has always slept extremely well and we have never had any problems.

In recent weeks she has been coming into our bedroom maybe once or twice a night but is quickly settled when returning her to her room.

However, during the last 5 nights she has been coming into our room approx 7 times each night and on one occasion 12 times. She is obviously having trouble sleeping and will not stay in her room. My DH and I are shattered.

I am not sure why this happening. She is perfectly happy during the day, my only slight concern is whether there is anything going on at school.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this and does anyone know how to deal with it as we are having trouble coping with the sleep deprivation!

cory Mon 17-Dec-07 09:22:51

My ds grew quite sensitive around this age; this is an age where they find out a lot of scary things about what life is like out there: they begin to get a concept of death, they start understanding the news (or what other kids tell them about the news). All necessary things, of course, but scarey. There may also be playground issues that are not serious enough for the teacher to need to deal with, but are still worrying for a young child. And you never know what fears a 5-year-old might harbour: I remember being terrified by a stamp album because I knew it harboured a stamp with a mummy case and somewhere inside this mummy case, on the stamp, in the album, there was a dead body...

Our solution to nightly visits was unorthodox: when our ds turned up in our bedroom the first time, we let him stay and snuggled up with him. This is how things were commonly done in Sweden where I grew up, but dh tells me he and his brother were also allowed to do this. You won't find it in any modern Anglo-American childrearing book though (unless of the attachment parenting school).

Our view was that nightmares tend to happen a few hours into the night anyway (by which time any sex life we might have would have been seen to), this way everybody can get back to sleep quickly, and if the bed gets too crowded there is always the bed vacated by the sleepless child...

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