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10.5 DD won’t sleep in her bed

22 replies

MrsWhirly · 20/05/2018 22:04

My DD has me and DH on our knees. She won’t sleep in her own room, hasn’t done for some 3 yrs.

She says she’s scared, scared or the dark - she has been screaming and crying in her room for the last hour.

We never have any time alone, both work ful time I am forced to go to bed with her every night at 9pm. Husband has to sleep in the sofa. Affecting every aspect of our relationship. There is no room for a bed in our room, I can’t have her on the floor as I need to open wardrobes to get ready for work etc.

We are literally at breaking point.

OP posts:
SadieHH · 20/05/2018 22:13

Snap. I have both of mine in with me. Eldest is 10. Tried to get her into her own room again tonight and she's just come back. We've tried everything. DH sleeps in one of the girls' bedrooms so he's ok but I can't see any way to end this.

delilahbucket · 20/05/2018 22:17

Tomorrow you need to rethink a bedtime strategy. New routine completely, with specific bedtime things happen at specific times. Make sure she knows exactly what will happen and when. Ask her what will help her sleep, and give her the opportunity to wind down and feel tired. No screens, low lighting, letting her stay up a bit later, plenty of activity during the day. Do not make bedtime feel like a punishment and do not send her to her room if she is naughty. Make sure her room is well aired and not too warm.
This age have very active imaginations, so keep the room free from clutter that causes shadows and have a night light if necessary.

Nogodsnomasters · 20/05/2018 22:18

Is she due to start secondary school in Sept? My god I feel for you. The fact that it's gone on for over 3 years without being addressed means it's really going to be hard to break but you will just have to remain consistent for many weeks or you will end back up at square one. She is old enough to discuss/reason with so you need to sit her down during the day in a calm manner with a notepad/pen and ask her to help you come up with a list of what would make her feel safe enough to sleep in her own room, does she want a bright light on, a nightlight, door wide open with landing light on, curtains never drawn etc just to name a few suggestions to encourage her. Whatever makes the room feel safe you need to do it, whether that's redecorating it or helping her pick out something special to take to bed with her whatever. Then tell her you will try anything on her list (within reason of course) but she must in return try to sleep in her room once you have accommodated her needs. Possibly discuss some rewards for every successful night in the room also as an incentive. Good luck xo

JiltedJohnsJulie · 23/05/2018 07:19

I really feel for you OP. Our 10 yo really still sleeps in our bed and it’s hard, can’t imagine if it was every night for 3 years.

One thing that helps my DD is the Sleepy Lotion from Lush.

Audree · 25/05/2018 15:08

I would consult a doctor.

Aprilmightbemynewname · 25/05/2018 15:10

What are the repercussions for her behaviour?

Raven88 · 25/05/2018 15:10

Why not let her sleep with the light on?

PerspicaciaTick · 25/05/2018 15:39

A reward chart may help. The rule being she must sleep in her room between x. pm and y. am. She can sleep with her light on, a nightlight, the landing light... whatever suits you all. She can have audio books on. If she comes into your room or makes a fuss then she misses out on that night's reward.

Come up with two levels of reward. A small treat she can earn each week if she stays in her room 6 out of the 7 nights. A big treat she can earn if she keeps it up until the start of the new school year.

Write it down, get everyone to sign it.

Aprilmightbemynewname · 25/05/2018 16:19

Imo negative consequences could work. She is old enough to know/understand the effects on you /dh.
Maybe you can be too tired to take her to xyz. She needs to grasp you /dh are entitled to some time together.

NorthernSpirit · 26/05/2018 12:21

Some tough love required. At over 10 (amongst 11)? She should be sleeping in her own bed. This isn’t good for you and it’s not good for your relationship with your husband. How are you intimate?

You need to be tough. Take her back to her own room and stick with it. You really should of addressed this years ago.

WinnersClub · 26/05/2018 12:28

Assuming she was sleeping alone up to age 7, What happened 3yrs ago that precipitated her sleeping in your bed?

ladybee28 · 26/05/2018 20:59

Assuming she was sleeping alone up to age 7, What happened 3yrs ago that precipitated her sleeping in your bed?


Also, maybe I'm a bit too 'tough love' with some things like this, but unless there's real emotional issues going on (which I can't tell for sure from your post and why I'm curious about WinnersClub's question above) I'd be tempted to pick a long weekend or some time you don't have to work for a few days and stand your ground all night long for a few nights. Take her back to bed every time she comes in until she gets the message, even if it means you're both up the entire night, and the night after that...

Really not fun in the short-term, but I'm wondering if she's simply doing this because she knows it works?

MrsWhirly · 28/05/2018 15:29

Hi all, thank you for you helpful replies. I’ve been away so unable to reply.

This really started when I gave birth to DS. My DH was completely hands off and took to sleeping in the spare room so he would not be disturbed at night.

Newborn DS would wake DD up and then I would be left to deal with her and BF newborn alone, so just let her sleep with me.

OP posts:
Gottokondo · 28/05/2018 17:57

Time to put a lock on your door.

flashnazia · 28/05/2018 18:06

I think some of the replies are brutal! At 10 they have overactive imaginations and can feel very vulnerable and scared at night. How far away is her room to yours?

Dobbythesockelf · 28/05/2018 18:10

I really struggled with sleeping by myself at around this age. I used to get really scared of the dark. My mum and me made a deal, I would have a night light and if I woke up before a certain time I was allowed to read. If I woke up in the early hours of the morning I could go in and get her. She would either take me back to bed and stay with me for a bit or I would go into her bed. It didn't last forever and I remember feeling more in control and I learnt to cope with the dark by myself over time.

Pompom42 · 28/05/2018 18:10

My daughter was the same as this and has slept in my bed for years. When I had second DD I had them both in my bed. All of a sudden at 12.5 years old she left of her own accord without me saying anything. I still don't have my bed to myself though as youngest DD still in with me.

Pompom42 · 28/05/2018 18:11

I don't mean left obv I mean gone in her own room

J3551011 · 28/05/2018 18:16

I sat with my dd until she was asleep. I moved further from her bed each night until I was right by the door. I then moved to just outside the door and would sit til she was asleep. If she woke up in the night I would tell her that if she laid quietly in her bed i’d Come in and kiss her in 5 minutes, and i’d stay awake and do that every 5 minutes until she went to sleep. It was torture having to stay awake but after about a month she stopped coming in or i’d Just have to go in and kiss her once. She knew that if she made a fuss or shouted through i’d not go in. She was only about 4 or 5 though. Not sure it’d work with an older child xx

MakeItRain · 29/05/2018 15:24

My dd was exactly the same at that age. But now 2 years later takes herself off to bed completely happily. (Probably for the last year or so now).
A turning point for her was her year 6 residential funnily enough. I think she just mixed with all sorts of other sleepers and realised some found it hard to sleep but it was fine and they just stayed awake chatting.
Her fear was in not actually being able to get to sleep, so she would come in my bed and get upset in there instead of her own. She just reads now if she can't sleep.
My younger ds also comes up to my bed in the middle of every night.
I never really got or get stressed about it though, so it's never really become a big thing for us. Maybe it's easier as I'm a single parent though so there's lots of room!
I think I would say try not to get too worried as it will most likely stop of its own accord before too long.

Steeley113 · 29/05/2018 15:29

She’s 10, not 2! Tell her to go to bed! If she has a meltdown over it, ground her. She’s old enough (and way too big) to understand she can’t sleep in your bed.

fuzzyfozzy · 29/05/2018 17:00

Is it just a habit
Is she lonely
Is she scared
Is she messing you about??
Think it through, get a plan that you'll both stick to and share it with her.
Follow through

Good luck

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