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6 year old won't stay in bed

(4 Posts)
Wackywelshy Sat 16-May-20 11:09:45

Hi all, first time poster long time lurker.....I need a handhold or a hug or something. It's gonna be long so sorry.

Bit of background, me and BF been together 15 years(we both 31)not married coz we bought a house instead, we have a 13 year old DD and a 6 year old DD, happy and close family, until my 6YO has to go to bed at least.

She's a great kid, listens to us, happy, cheerful, playful, crazy....a normal 6YO(if there is such a thing)but she refuses to stay in bed at night time and it's got us to breaking point as a family. We have tried everything yet she gets out of bed constantly during the night saying she can't sleep. It's not once or twice a night, it's 10-15 times a night at worst and carrying on until midnight some nights. It's been going on bout a year now, some weeks she's amazing and we don't have any bad nights but then we have weeks and weeks of her getting out of bed.

We have done the whole nice voiced "come on it's bedtime", We have laid with her to help but that just makes it worse, We have done supernannys trick of putting them back to bed saying nothing, I've followed every damn sleep "trick" and none of it helps. I've even done a chart marking all the times she wakes up and then taking toys of hers for each mark until she starts staying in bed and earning them back for each night she stays in bed but still nothing.

I've made sure she has no issues with the dark(put in a nightlight), made sure her room is calming and cosy, made sure she's not having any anxiety when it comes to bed time and she seems fine but still won't stay. I've spoke to teacher to see how she is settling in school etc in case that was the reason but she's got plenty of friends, loves school and teacher said no problems. I've spoke to DD6 about why she can't stay in bed and her answer is either "dunno" or "I can't sleep"

She has an hour before bed to brush teeth, have some water and then a quiet activity in her room(usually reading/audiobook or colouring) then she uses the toilet and I tuck her in so she has a nice routine every night, she has a decent bedtime(8 on a school day 9 on a weekend) and gets up early(always awake by 7:30am) so it's not like she's going to bed too early or too wound up etc.
Obviously the lockdown isn't helping, it's knocked our entire household out of "normality", as it has for so many others, but I've kept what routine is possible so I can't blame the lockdown.

Last night I reached the breaking point. DD13 broke down and said she can't take her sister getting up all the time coz it's disruptive to her sleep too and I saw red. I yelled at DD6 quite nastily....didn't say nasty words but my tone was just vulgar and I'm ashamed of it.

I am begging for a bit of help....wether it's ideas to help her sleep, help her stay in bed or just somebody to say "I've been there girl, it'll get better have a wine"


Well behaved 6 year old becomes sleep wrecking, bed escaper at night and I'm begging for help

OP’s posts: |
qwertypie Sun 17-May-20 10:13:55

This sounds so stressful, I'm sorry you're having to deal with it. flowers Sleep disruption is like a form of torture!

I can't really offer advice as we're in a similar boat.

DS is 5 and still wakes in the night, calling out for us. So to enable everyone to get some sleep, my husband shares a room with him (DH can get back to sleep easily, whereas having a wakeful child has given me anxiety-induced insomnia!)

It sounds like your daughter maybe wants some closeness and comfort. I know other parents have had success by putting a mattress on the floor of their room where the child can go in the night if they wake. Could be one idea.

Sorry not to have been much help!

SomeoneElseEntirelyNow Sun 17-May-20 10:17:55

8/9pm sounds pretty late for a 6yr old tbh, though that might be me being old fashioned... i don't have any helpful suggestions, my DD isnt there yet and when i went through this phase at 5ish my parents just tied my bedroom door shut with a dressing gown cord!

It sounds like she knows she can get away with messing around so does so. Maybe its time for the gloves to come off completely?

LittleFoxKit Sun 17-May-20 10:51:18

This may not help..

But specifically with lockdown are you all getting enough exercise? I need at least 8 hours but ideally anything between 8 and 10 hours a night to be able to function and not be exhausted by 8pm but due to not getting as much exercise or activity as normal I'm finding sleep really hard as I'm simply not tired. It's awful as usually I'd be asleep by 10/11, I cant get to sleep till 2/3am >.<

You could potentially try a essential oil humidifier with variations of night time/relaxation essential oils, as surprising we found that helped hugely with my DSS who was a awful sleeper and would get up every 10 minutes with a million excuses and refuse to sleep or stay in bed until gone midnight, and as he shared a room with my DSD it meant she was upset and frustrated at not being able to sleep.

Other then that you can eliminate screen time for a hour or two before bed (sounds like you do that anyway) and avoid activities that cause excitement and hype.

Otherwise it's worth remembering optimum sleep requirements start to go down at 6years to around 10.45 hours and 10.30 hours at 7, so it may be that shes getting too much sleep but too little exercise and stimulation (which cant be helped due to lockdown!), and if shes up at 7.30 every day you could attempt moving bedtime back by 15/10 minutes, do it for a few weeks and see if that helps then either move it back again or then make bedtime the time that allows her to sleep easier but still get up as normal at 7.30, function normally and not be over tired at bedtime?

As not everyone including children needs exactly the same amount of sleep, my dsd needed considerably less sleep when she was the same age as her brother and would naturally wake up at 6 am consistantly while her brother would naturally sleep till 8am with the same bedtimes at the same ages respectively.

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