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4 yo will not go the f**k to sleep

(23 Posts)
PickledLily Thu 18-Feb-16 19:23:31

She's knackered. She's been having night terrors and is scared of monsters. She is refusing to go to bed, i normally have to stay with her for her to sleep. She's now really wound up because I keep leaving the room because she wont stay in bed. What do I do? I am so close to losing the plot with her, I'm at my wits end. Help. What do I do? Accept she isn't going to sleep? Keep putting her back? She has separation anxiety during the day too.

PickledLily Thu 18-Feb-16 19:24:55

I've put her back in bed 20 times already. As soon as she's back in bed she bounces out again saying she's not tired.

dickiedavisthunderthighs Thu 18-Feb-16 19:32:13

It sounds like she's turning this into a game. Put her back into bed and give her a book to read/look at pictures. Tell her that if she's a good girl and stays in bed then you'll check on her in 20 mins and giver her a cuddle (she'll be sparko in 10). Then tell her if she gets out of bed again then tomorrow she'll lose something she likes, eg TV time.

Believeitornot Thu 18-Feb-16 19:35:13

She is scared of monsters. That's your answer right there surely?

I had awful nightmares at that age - still remember some of them now. Terrifying. My mum just left me to it.

So now I'm a massive softie and sit with my two (6&4) until they fall asleep. It is usually quick and easy. My 6 year old is getting better - he doesn't really need us anymore and I can see my 4 year old is also improving.

Go easy on her but make it boring. Sit with her, don't react to any requests for wees etc just take her quietly and back to bed. Then sit with her til she sleeps

Then maybe try gradual retreat?

ExasperatedAlmostAlways Thu 18-Feb-16 19:36:59

I remember someone saying about a 'monster spray' when their little ones were scared. They used a after bottle and spray it round the room and the monsters would disappear and never come back and it worked a treat.

PickledLily Thu 18-Feb-16 19:38:25

She won't let me sit with her. She's thrashing about and kicking me. Which is why I said I wouldn't stay in the room if she was going to kick me, that she doesn't have to go to sleep but that she can read, but she wont have it.

TeaT1me Thu 18-Feb-16 19:38:41

Mines similar. She had sleep apnea so she genuinely did used to wake terrified..

I'm worried about my little ones separationanxiety as September doesn't seem far away.

PickledLily Thu 18-Feb-16 19:39:43

We tried monster spray. More monsters appear.

KittyandTeal Thu 18-Feb-16 19:40:45

My db used to have awful dreams about a dragon (not helped by me jumping out of the dark at him)

Our ndn put together a dragon kit to get rid of it, a full kind of ritual complete with talc and glitter as magic dust which he sprinkled around his bed before he slept etc.

It worked amazingly! My poor mum had tried everything but this was the thing that worked with him.

Unfortunately nothing could stop my nuclear apocalypse dreams, I still have them when I'm stressed or anxious!

KittyandTeal Thu 18-Feb-16 19:41:28

Sorry X posts. That's wasn't helpful then

PickledLily Thu 18-Feb-16 19:42:52

She had sleep apnoea too, its scary, I feel for you. Dd had her tonsils out and sleeps much better now. Once she's asleep and not having night terrors.

Believeitornot Thu 18-Feb-16 19:43:35

Just sit in the room? Or just outside the door

Another thing which helps is relaxing music. We play jack and Jill drives me insane which works a treat

PickledLily Thu 18-Feb-16 19:51:21

Hmm, I might try the music again, to see if she stays still.

Thank you for all the suggestions, it's helping keep me sane!

Believeitornot Thu 18-Feb-16 19:57:02

I would go for the easiest option tonight then in the morning when you're less wound up, make a plan for bedtimes.
So music, stay with her so she doesn't get wound up. Explain you will stay if she lies quietly.

TeaT1me Thu 18-Feb-16 20:11:53

I honestly think it's linked. I think some get night terrors after the operation from when I was reading about it. Bedroom and sleep for so many years (3.5) in my daughters case was linked with waking up not being able to breathe so genuinely was scarey and frightening. It must be hard to lose that link.

Oh but as a parent. You so hope they get it by 4 don't you..

PickledLily Thu 18-Feb-16 22:04:34

She has finally gone to sleep. But only after an hour of bloody awful panpipe music on youtube calmed her down, only for her then to go crazy when the music didn't have pictures. I lost it sad and said that only girls that go to bed get to go to birthday parties (not my finest hour) before giving up and taking her downstairs while we ate, and now she's fast asleep next to me in bed.
DH is putting her to bed tomorrow night, but not sure what the plan is. Rapid return, judging by tonight, isn't going to work. I do think she is genuinely terrified of going to sleep at the moment, but she is also going through a 'being in control' phrase too. What a delightful combination

Granny is popping by tomorrow, so maybe she can take the monsters with her wink

PickledLily Thu 18-Feb-16 22:18:20

Sorry to hear about your dreams kitty, that must be terrifying. I've forgotten how real dreams can feel, not nice.

Teatime, yes I think you are right. 3.5y here too, with silent reflux until 2.5y. I think DD has only ever slept through on less than 10 occasions.

Thanks everyone for listening and not being judgemental, it has helped me feel a bit more calm and not so crappy and inept at parenting as I felt earlier.

Believeitornot Thu 18-Feb-16 22:20:04

I think that gradual retreat might be kinder. So sit with her for a few days then by the door. A good trick is to do the one minute return. So say "I'm going to the toilet. I'll be back in a minute". And make sure you go back in one minute so she trusts you will return. You do that every night for a few nights. Then you stretch the time out to a few minutes. I do this with my oldest one - making sure I leave the room just when I think he's about to sleep and he trusts I'll come back. Then he falls asleep alone - not always but sometimes. So you could do a speeded up version for dd.

Plus plenty of physical exercise and have a little talk at bedtime with the lights off. It is amazing what their little brain come up with at that time. I used to tell ds stories when he was 4 with the lights out - helped him to unwind I think.

I wouldn't mention the monsters unless she did - so don't bring it up when granny is here. If she mentions it at bedtime just listen to her fears and tell her what she can do (call you for example).

We have music via speakers so nothing for her to watch. It is the same song over and over and over and over so she is used to it.

TeaT1me Thu 18-Feb-16 22:25:32

It really isnt crap parenting, it really isn't. You only really understand your child waking terrified every 40mins or so because they can't breath if you've been through it. Every. Single.Night.

But the parent of the 6month old just learning to sleep through will give you a "look" and other mums at preschool will be wondering what you're doing wrong and friends will helpfully say "oh its just learnt behaviour now shes had the op isnt it" and make you feel worse.... and.... breathe.

TeaT1me Thu 18-Feb-16 22:26:38

We have the light on low. She has slept through a few times and its getting better in our case but usually wiht a scream or two before midnight and coming into our bed about 2/3....

PickledLily Thu 18-Feb-16 22:50:06

I've been trying gradual retreat since she was 1, the furthest I achieved was a chair next to the bed! I'm lucky if she will let go of me at all at night these days. Still, I try. On the plus side, she normally falls asleep within 10 mins.

I really like the idea of talking after lights out, I think that might help a lot.

Thanks teatime, you're the first person I've come across that has also experienced the sleep apnoea problem. If I had a penny for every time someone had said 'just leave her to cry, she'll soon learn'...

pickledlily much sympathy. I have a nearly 4 year old who is a total sleep resistor. Often spend 2 hours trying to get him to bed. Ironically, his twin is the one with ongoing reflux issues- his settled by 9 months. Their 5 year old sister isn't much better either. I did have a wonderful period where sleep was good (after using an emotional wellbeing sleep consultant for my refluxer) and we also paid for help with my current refusnik. I thought we'd get stuffed with rapid return. Which I couldn't have done with 3 small children to get to bed by myself but it wasn't. I can't tell you all her secrets online, but she was amazing (Ann Caird of nurturing sleep) and very gentle. Utterly transformed my life and the refluxer (on his meds) now sleeps!

PickledLily Fri 19-Feb-16 09:56:03

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll look her up.

In the meantime, I need a plan for tonight. It did suddenly occur to me that DD only gave her dummy up last week (her suggestion one morning, but she changed her mind by bedtime, by which point the dummy fairy had already visited confused).

So, I'll try music tonight. Hopefully I will get her to nap today which will stop her being overtired at bedtime. Any other suggestions? I don't think a sticker chart/bribery will work, it hasn't so far. She's being very clingy this week, so maybe I just need to spend more time with her (tricky, I work FT).

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