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Interrupted nights with a 3 year old.

(15 Posts)
Viv Mon 05-Mar-01 14:13:27

My daughter having always slept reasonably well from a very early age has in the last couple of weeks been very difficult to get to sleep 'I can't go to sleep', being yelled at us repeatedly gets very wearing! Also she is waking in the night and crying, needing us to go into her and resettle her. On the odd occasion she has got really upset and wet the bed.
I would be interested to know if anyone else has been there as I can't think of any reason why she should be like this, no changes in routine, no stress at home, still seems very happy at nursery (and following other discussions on this site, we have done some digging here).
We have also tried to talk to her about this and she says she isn't afraid of anything, isn't having bad dreams etc.
So I am at a loss as where to go next, I really would appreciate your thoughts.

Debsb Mon 05-Mar-01 14:32:46

Is she having 'night terrors'? These seem to be different to nightmares in that the child frequently doesn't wake up, or if she does, is just distraught but cannot remember any nightmares. My eldest went through this at about the same age, as did the daughter of one of my friends (not heard of any boys!) I found that giving my daughter 'sleepy dream dust' did the trick. This is special dust given by the fairies in the garden, specifically to give them nice dreams. I did spend 10 - 15 minutes detailing all the things in the dream (may be holidays, playing at friends, going to park etc. It did seem to do the trick. The downside is that I'm still doing it 2 years later, and have had friends kids asking if they can have some!

Viv Mon 05-Mar-01 17:10:16

Thanks Debsb I'll give it a go tonight and let you know how I get on.

Batters Tue 06-Mar-01 22:00:16

Viv, my little girl (3 in May) went through somthing similar a few weeks ago, just after a bout of illness when she was waking up through being uncomfortable. For about 5 days, she went to sleep ok, but kept crying and waking up, and being generally upset. This was really unusual, normally it is 11 and a half hours unbroken sleep. My partner clutched at a straw and decided that the lamp that she has had in her room for around 18 months was making too much noise and being too bright. We took the lamp away (in spite of my doubt) and guess what? Back to a full nights sleep!! My little girl is extremely vocal but couldn't actually explain what was wrong, perhaps all she knew was that she was waking up when she didn't won't to. I guess what I am trying to say is, is there anything, noise or light, that your daughter could suddenly have become sensitive to? Anyway, best of luck!!

Tigermoth Wed 07-Mar-01 11:33:31

I read somewhere that having any sort of light in the bedroom, for adults or for children, is bad for sleep patterns. Tests had been done to prove this, apparently. The article recommended that even night lights should be phased out of children's rooms to aid deep sleep. The reason was even with your eyelids closed, you can still 'see' some light. Any one know anything more about this?

Emmagee Wed 07-Mar-01 14:07:09

Haven't read anything about this, but for those of us in London/major towns etc the light pollution is so bad that it's never REALLY dark. I just spent a few days out of London and loved the fact that my bedroom was black, but I don't think my sleep was any different

Bells Wed 07-Mar-01 14:34:28

Too right Emmagee. Not a problem of course faced by women MP's who enjoy 18 weeks maternity leave on full pay!

Bells Wed 07-Mar-01 14:35:25

Eek! Wrong section....

Rmea Thu 08-Mar-01 20:32:37

I have also heard of this "new" theory that light in the bedroom disrupts proper sleep patterns. I am also a big fan of dark bedrooms and I have lined all the bedroom curtains with black-out material. Only one of my children uses a night-light, the others all sleep in complete black. I put the night-light on the floor away from the bed so she cannot see it, but it gives a faint glow. Black-out curtains are brilliant in the summer because without them we all respond to the early light of the mornings. Another tip is to draw the curtains before the child enters the room for bed, so you don't have to (hopefully) go through the "but it's not dark yet" routine.
All 3 of my girls have suffered night terrors, one of them really badly and for a long time. They really are most distressing and alarming to deal with. My boy hasn't had them - and hopefullyu won't!

Viv Thu 08-Mar-01 20:42:23

Thanks everyone, I am trying to withdraw the nightlight at the moment so far we have agreed to have it on while she goes to sleep and when I go up to bed I turn it off. Only tried it one night so far so we'll see if it helps. We are trying the sleepy dream idea and it is certainly helping her get to sleep better although currently she is still waking up in the night very upset, but I do think we are making some progress. I'll keep you informed and many thanks again

Kels Tue 03-Jun-03 09:09:27

Hi, I have a 17 month old who's just started waking up REALLY early! Does anyone know where I can get black out material? I tried Allders and they said they didn't sell it and offered me a thin black cotton! Not very helpful!! Thanks.

easy Tue 03-Jun-03 14:28:54

I got a beautiful black-out blind from John Lewis. It does the job, but it is blue to match the decor, they do all colours.

If you want black-out fabric, (which is usually white), go to the curtain dept, they will sell it as curtain lining

easy Tue 03-Jun-03 14:31:26

BTW it worked for the last two years, but ds has now started waking early again, despite the blind.

I think some people just sense the start of day (but not me, until ds comes into the room shouting "Wake up sleepy heads" at 5.45 am).

Sheila Thu 05-Jun-03 13:27:49

My DS is regularly getting me up at 5.15 at the moment despite blackout linings to his bedroom curtains. A chink of light always seemes to get through. Also the birds make a LOT of noise at daybreak. There's an amorous woodpigeon who's particualrly troublesome...

Kels Thu 05-Jun-03 21:29:24

Many thanks, I got the lining from John Lewis Wednesday, put it up that day and Alex slept until 8:30 - WOW!!

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