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2,9 year old DD now scared of her own bed!

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pjmama Sat 04-Jul-09 09:41:14

My DD is an angel for bed usually. She goes to bed without any fuss, snuggles down and sleeps through for 12 hours. On the odd occasion I've tried to put her in with us, when she's been poorly and restless she's always asked to go back to her own bed - seems to like her own space and calls it "my pink bed".

However 2 nights ago she woke screaming at 4am, obviously having had a nightmare - this is the first time this has happened. She wasn't making much sense at the time, just kept saying "little bug" and "hide hide" and screamed if I put her down. So for the first time ever, she was happy to come and get in with us, where she went back to sleep.

The day after ever so often she'd start saying the same sort of thing and getting upset again. From what I can gather, I think the dream must have involved some kind of bug or spider under her duvet biting her.

Came to bedtime last night and the poor kid just would not get into her bed, she was terrified! I stripped the bed to show her nothing was there, and brought in Henry the big stuffed bulldog (who chases away bad dreams!), but no reassurances I could think of seemed to help. We ended up rocking her to sleep in the chair and then putting her down. She woke at 5am and wouldn't get back into bed. She wasn't hysterical this time, but she was adamant she wasn't getting back in - so she ended up in with us again.

Sorry for the rambling story, but I've no experience of dealing with nightmares and am not sure how to tackle this? Do I insist that she stays in her own bed, but stay with her, be reassuring etc and try to gradually retreat? Or do I allow her some leeway i.e. sleeping with us a bit until a bit of time has passed and she's got her confidence back?

Has anyone else had to handle something like tthis? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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