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5 year old night rages

(3 Posts)
Jellywobbles100 Mon 05-Jan-15 09:27:45

I have signed up specifically to seek advice as my 5 year old (nearly 6) dd who was a fantastic sleeper as a baby, has gradually become worse at staying asleep. When she wakes, she almost enjoys any attention positive or negative. She throws herself in to a rage which can last anything up to two hours.
She is otherwise a well balanced, intelligent child doing well at school. We have tried to ensure she has had plenty of fresh air and excerise to tire her out physically. We have always followed the same bedtime routine which is calm and soothing but she is obsessed with bedtime rituals and having things just so.
She will wake in the night and come through to us with an issue, such as needing the toilet, leg ache, tummy ache etc. she refuses to settle, she may go back to bed but then get up minutes later and come back through. We have tried softly softly, ignoring her, putting her back in bed without conversation. She can become so angry in the night, she's evening hit us. In the morning she's remorseful so she remembers as we have considered she's asleep but don't beleive this to be the case.
After a year of this, I need help. I've done everything to give her the best start in life and feel pretty downhearted that I'm struggling to know how to deal with this effectively.

Rockdoctor Tue 06-Jan-15 12:42:20

I don't have any answers but wanted to say you're not the only one who has a 5 year old with sleeping problems. I browse this section occasionally but find it frustrating that most of the discussions relate to babies and younger toddlers....

Anyway, after a horrendous Christmas, I have decided that it is now time to take my (nearly) 5 year old to the GP to see if there is an underlying issue. At the moment we get around it by co-sleeping, made easier by the fact I am on my own. She cannot self-settle but does go to sleep in her own bed every night. Most nights she will wander in to me between 1am and 3am, and then sleep next to me for the rest of the night. She almost always complains of "scary dreams" as the reason she wakes up. Before Christmas she was managing to sleep in her own bed for extended periods and we used a reward chart for this, but now we seem to be back to old habits and I think it's time for professional help.

Jellywobbles100 Wed 07-Jan-15 14:36:14

Thanks for messaging. Its so reassuring to know it happens to other people. You can feel such a failure in the middle of the night. It must be so hard on your own. I would definitely have gone down the co-sleeping route if it was just me but I'm good cop and hubby is bad cop!
Its interesting you're thinking of seeking advice. I took my dd to the GP this week. No underlying health problems. She enquired about her diet, bedtime routine, no tv/ipad etc in the bedroom, not giving her late night drinks to discourage toilet visits etc. To be honest as lovely as the GP was, she had no idea.
I have two children and its always hard to spend time with the first on her own so I decided to ask someone to look after my youngest and I took my five year old out for a piece of cake and a grown up natter just the two of us. Ive spent this week putting my youngest to bed and letting my five year old stay up a bit longer. We have school reading book time, Ive been reading to her and have a little chat about our day. I do this in my room with low lighting and try to really praise her for being grown up etc. For the past two nights she has gone down perfectly and only been up once in the night for the loo.
I'm wondering whether its just a good old fashioned attention thing. I realise I'm only two days in and it could all go pear-shaped tonight, but I'm hopeful that giving her some grown up one-to-one time will help her feel 'grown up and special'. I really praised her this morning so I'm hoping the positive feedback will be more effective than chastising the bad behaviour! Fingers crossed.

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