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Help. Our 3 Year Old Wakes up Every Night at Either 12, 2 or 5 Am!

Hi. I am at wits end. Our 3 year old wakes up EVERY night and will not go back to sleep unless someone sleeps with her. We have tried the 'crying it out' deal but she gets so upset that she dry heaves and my husband can't handle watching his daughter so upset. We've tried taking away her favorites (Barbies, movies, etc). Nothing is working and I am losing my mind! Any suggestions would be VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks so much to all the incredible women who provided insight and advice. Although I'm not sure how this will turn out, I have to say I was "awakened" into realizing that my feelings of sheer frustration were probably more so because that is how I thought I "should" feel. I grew up in an Irish Catholic family where a child was not allowed to act like a child. Wow - you all enlightened me. I was disciplining my daughter for waking up in the middle of the night when she doesn't even know why she is doing it...and all she wants is security. Nonetheless, we all need our sleep. I will try several of the suggestions and let you all know how it goes. Thank you very much!!

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My son went through that. What worked for us is that we set the timer on the microwave for a five minutes and sat with him and cuddled. We explained that when the timer beeped, he had to go back to sleep. For whatever reason, he respected the timer. Then we set it for 4 minutes, 3 minutes, etc. Eventually, it was enough to go in, fix his covers and kiss him goodnight again.

I hope this helps! I know it's no fun.

Why dont you try a reward system? Set up a sticker chart and she receives a sticker every night she sleeps on her own, (even if you have to go in a rub her back or something for the first few nights). Then when she receives a set amount of stickers (7 or 10?) she can pick out a little toy at the store. I haven't done this but I know people who use it as a way to keep their kids in bed throughout the night.

try letting her listen to music. i use to put music on for my kids and it worked. and sit in the room until she falls asleep. hope this works.i also use to let them sleep with us and then when they fell sleep, i would carry them in bed

K.

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When you find out, let me know. My 5-yr old girl still does not sleep thru the night. I am up to bribing her with gifts each night she happens to stay in her bed. We are up to 7 nights now, not in a row though. She is looking forward to a Barbie House that cost's $59.00 so she needs to stay in her bed 59 times before this happens. She herself is very discouraged about not being able to stay asleep so I try not to make it so challenging because I don't want her stressing about it either. Hopefully by 18 everything will be O.K and all this will be as if it never happened.

Why dont you try a reward system? Set up a sticker chart and she receives a sticker every night she sleeps on her own, (even if you have to go in a rub her back or something for the first few nights). Then when she receives a set amount of stickers (7 or 10?) she can pick out a little toy at the store. I haven't done this but I know people who use it as a way to keep their kids in bed throughout the night.

try letting her listen to music. i use to put music on for my kids and it worked. and sit in the room until she falls asleep. hope this works.i also use to let them sleep with us and then when they fell sleep, i would carry them in bed

K.

Hi E.,

With my oldest daughter, I went through similar situations. As difficult as it is, you need to be patient, loving and firm. Depriving her of her toys will not work. It will confuse her since she herself is not aware of why she is waking up. It will only make her confused and anxious thereby increasing the waking up.

When she wakes up, walk or carry her back to bed, give her a hug and a kiss and explain in a firm but loving voice that she has to stay in bed. You could sit with her for a few minutes, maybe read aanother story, but explain that you will be leaving the room and she must stay in her bed. Each time she gets up to follow you, walk her back and tell her again she must stay in bed. Leave her door opened with a night light or a lamp covered with a light, sheer colored cloth. Give her her favorite toy to sleep with or a special teddy bear to keep her company. Play soft music to help relax her. It will take a couple of weeks or more to get her back on schedule but if you're consistent, it will work. At times, I used to put on a children's video with no sound to help my daughter fall asleep. The familiarity with the video made her feel safe.

During the day, keep her active and restrict naps to once a day and only before 3pm. Sleeping after 3 pm will make her fall asleep later and lead to her waking up more often during the night. Make sure she has a routine before bedtime. Sometimes a small snack before or after her bath can help her sleep through the night.

As for your husband spoiling her, I'm all for it. A child needs constant love and security in order to grow up into an independent and stable adult. I also don't agree with letting her cry it out. I believe that leads to a child growing up feeling insecure and lacking confidence.

In time things will go back to normal. God's blessings.

My 3 year old daughter has never really slept through the night since she was little. She was up 3-4 times a night every night almost. It got better when she turned 2 but even then she was still up once a night normally and now when she wakes up she is screaming and won't let me hold her or touch her. It's strange and has me a bit worried. Normally she will calmed down and let me lay with her after about 5-10 minutes and pure crying and screaming but boy I wish I knew what was bothering her. She's very vocal too with her voacabulary so I ask her if she had a bad dream or hurts...sometimes I get a yes from one of my questions but not normally. Anyone go through this? I'm worried she might be suffering from something but she is so mature and advanced for her age that I don't think it could be developmental....I don't know!

This is super difficult, and I am going through the same thing with my almost 3 year old who used to sleep through the night. I have always wondered if it was because she is in the middle of potty training and urinating in the night wakes her up. (She is still in a diaper). We have tried to set some reasonable boundaries like we can rub her back if she is in her bed with her eyes closed and quiet and have tried to encourage that we have to work together in this way to solve the problem, i.e. she has to contribute too. She was running into the hall and crying which often woke up my son (age 5). She is getting better, and our nights are getting better, but it is slow. She has a handheld nightlight that she can keep in the bed with her (designed for this). She has a bottle of water by her bed if she needs water and lotion for the "itchies." All of the above have been used as reasons she can't sleep. We let her keep a lamp on because she has also said she is afraid of the dark. Recently, I sleep in the guest room which is the next room instead of the master bedroom which is downstairs. Occasionally I will sleep in her room with her, but I'm trying to be very consistent about her sleeping in her room, i.e. not in our room. I think it helps to be sure you nurture yourself too because 24 hour parenting takes a toll, particularly if you are not sleeping. Take time to physicially and mentally be away from your little ones whether it's getting a workout, indulging in a coffee away from home, getting a pedicure. Those times away make you appreciate your little ones more.

I very much understand your frustration since we are struggling with our almost 3 year old son a lot lately over sleep issues--since he figured out that he is getting a baby sister in a few months. He sleeps through the night but bedtime has dragged out to 60-90 minutes and he doesn't like to stay in bed or go to sleep unless on of us stays with him. We also are trying to get him moved into a regular bed and out of a crib but are pretty much stalled. He wants to sleep in the regular bed but won't settle down and sleep there. He has been very clingy and has needed a lot of extra reassurance that Mommy and Daddy love him since finding out about the new baby.

The other thing that occurred to me is that her adoption may be playing a role in increasing her need for security and reassurance. You might want to read a little about adoption issues and use the adoption of your second child as a way to talk to her about the adoption process. There are lots of great books for children and adults out there as well as other support resources. I know NJ has an adoption information clearinghouse program that lends books.
Also free adoption counseling is available--it was set up as a support to children being adopted out of foster care but is available to anyone who needs it. (I worked as a counselor for an agency that had this program.) And of course there are tons of resources available online.

Hi,
I,ve just read about your concern. I had the same issue and still do sometimes. My daughter is 3years and 4 months old. From about 6 months old she started waking up at least 4 times a night. I remember of dreaming just to have a good night sleep , once. I was told to use all the methods such as let her cry it out, be tough, etc. I knew that all these methods only hurt my childs nervous system. We came to a conclusion that we have to be patient and attentive to her needs. We ask her a lot, what bothers her, what would she like and what she feels comfortable with. Although we think 3 year olds are still not able to think as we would like them to but they are actually very bright even smarter than us. Talk to your child , make her feel you are completely involved in her needs.
These sleepless nights will pass soon.
Good Luck and Lots of patience.

I can sense your frustration and you are not alone. Learning how to understand the individual night time needs of each family member is challenging. Each family is unique and I can't promise to give you an answer that will solve the problem. I am offering support to you in helping you discover your own answer because in your heart you know what is needed.

I also have a three year old and a nine year old.

There are many reasons for waking and it may take some creative problem solving to figure out what the need is. When the need is met it will be satisfied and then things will get back to 'normal'

Three year olds are going through a growth spurt and sometimes have vivid dreams and need the comfort of a parent nearby.

<will not go back to sleep unless someone sleeps with her.>
If everyone is able to sleep this is okay. Are you feeling that it's wrong to sleep with your child?

Congratulations to your husband to be so in-tune and attached to his child that he is sensitive to her needs.

This really is a time when the children are exploring more during the day and need to "touch base" for security at night. Wanting to be near mom and dad at night is natural and instinctual for the survival of the child. We loose sight of that sometimes in our modern world.

What helps me get through sleepless nights is that Parenting is a 24 hour job! Once I let go of all of the "shoulds" as in "She should be able to fall asleep on her own." I was able to pay more attention to our unique family & individual rhythms and needs. As a result we are all sleeping better and we have secure children as a payoff.

Here is a book that may help your family find some solutions. "Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep" By William Sears

and another thought...sometimes our children's needs trigger our own unmet needs from childhood. I feel compelled to share the following story with you. Sitting up late one night with my son I was feeling frustrated and a failure as a parent. I did some deep breathing meditation while holding my son and in my quiet state a childhood memory of myself and sleepless nights came to mind. I was five years old and afraid of "monsters" and would wake up and need to feel safe again. I was not allowed into my parents room for any reason as a kid. And from my five year old memory this feeling of "being left alone." was the worst. Realizing that my feelings of frustration with my own child's sleepless nights were rooted in this long "forgotten" childhood memory allowed me to see my child as the vulnerable little being that they are.

I've come to love the coziness of sharing a warm bed on a cold night snuggled in between my kids.

We use the Attachment Parenting Approach to parenting. Also another good book by Dr. Sears. He is really about taking care of the family and meeting each persons needs. I've developed a new perspective about spoiling vs. meeting needs after reading his book.

Peace & Good Luck
-L.

E.~ All of this is said in the gentlest and most caring way. I know it's hard to go without sleep because you've got a child that won't sleep; I've BTTD. Also, I know it is hard to give up your privacy. That said, I'd forget about Dr. Ferber and go with Dr. Sears instead. In other words, don't Ferberizer your little girl; let her sleep with you instead! If you are not comfortable with a "family bed" then investigate other options, such as putting her crib/toddler bed in your room. Also, rather than seeing your daughter as a naughty child who needs to be punished for disobeying you instructions that she sleep through the night on her own, consider that she is just a little girl who is doing the best she can do in a difficult situation: she is frightened and she is communicating that fear to her parents. So, don't punish her, comfort her! Consider that in many, many cultures, parents and children sleeping in the same room is the norm. Remember that at age three, separation anxiety is very common. Also, your daughter has extra reasons to fear separations: she has been abandoned by her birth family and then removed from her orphanage; that's two big adjustments in three years! I'm the mother of four, two of whom are adopted from China, BTW. I know these kids have been through so much, and we, as their parents, need to do everything we can to encourage bonding and attachment. FWIW, I don't think it's even POSSIBLE for your DH to be spoiling your DD; yeah, she needs loving limits, but she also needs to know that you are there for her 100%, no mattter what. Oh, and one last thought: by 5 am, she may be ready to be up for the day! Good luck! I know how hard this can be.

I wish I could give you advice on how to resolve the night waking, but we went though the same thing with our son at around the same age. It turned out to be that he was waking up at night because he was starting to sense the urge to go to the bathroom and it woke him. We started getting him up around 12:00 just to go to the bathroom and it really seemed to help! I am not sure if your daughter already wakes up in the mornings without accidents at night, but if not maybe this could be the reason for her as well.

My son is now 2 1/2 year old. My son used to wake up 3 to 4 times every nights. I had tried to let him cry for half an hour but I found that it made it worse. He woke up more often. Finally, I tried to response to him every time when he needed me. He eventually reduced his wake ups. ALL HE NEEDS IS SECURITY. I found that he felt unsecure when I was not there. When he knows that I will be always there, he sleeps much better.

My son still wakes up at least once or twice at night currently because of the noises come from the windows (train, siren, wind, etc), he can go back to sleep very fast when he sees me. I believe that things would go better. Just be patience!

Also, don't take away any toys that your daughter loves. Instead, you should allow her to choose one or two her favourite toys to sleep with her. It would help her to sleep better.

Here is another way of looking at it---I have no idea if this is relavant.
Perhaps your daughter is having nighmares or night terrors and waking up in sheer terror. If that is the case, punishment such as taking away her favorite toys will only intensify the horrible thing she is expereincing. Comfort and help with her nightmares would be more helpful. Perhaps sleeping with her during this period is OK. I know we all fear that if you start it will never end. I havn't experienced that. There are periods when one of daughters is having lots af anviety adn lots of nightmares, I slept with her when she would wake up in hte middle of the night, and then it passed.

It could also be about the arrival of your second child. That often brings on anxiety. Even if she does not "know" about it, she probably senses that something is up and that can cause the anxiety. Or it could be nothing specific, only normal toddler stage that she is gong through.

Dearest E.,
Why would you punish a child for crying in the middle of the night? Perhaps she has had bad dreams and needs comforting. Perhaps she has memories of her connection to her birth mother and cannot understand the separation. Yes, children ARE aware even at and before birth. Love the child, give her support, a feeling of safety, and she will grow to trust you as well as herself and her life. When you push against something, it makes it worse because you become stressed and then the child gets more stressed. The crying is only a "bad" thing because You Think so. Your husband is following his heart. Love RULES, my dear!

it seems that 3 years old is a bit old to "cry it out"... they understand more concepts at this point and "should" be able to comprehend that if they sleep better through the nite that YOU will be more apt to play more with them, take them to the park, etc. when you are rested, too.

i didn't read all the other posts, but maybe the reward system would work... with explaining that if she doesn't wake you, then you will be more rested to do fun things with her.

also, i don't know when you adopted her, but the whole idea of her needing the security to know you will be there to respond may not be far off...

have you tried a "sound machine" to filter out other noises or cars, etc. we have used this with our daughter for a long time and swear by it! I also use it when I take naps and everyone else is awake... it works great! (we got a small one at bed, bath and beyond that is portable... we take it when we travel).

i also just read that you are waiting for your 2nd daughter... did the waking start or increase when your 1st learned of this? it could be regression brought on by this stress... and she will grow out of it as she becomes confident of your love for her again...

i know you need your sleep! i totally understand.

maybe the book "no cry sleep solution" would help? i only looked through it, so i'm not sure if it's relevant to the 3 y.o. age.

good luck! and God bless you for adopting!!!

darci

I'm having the same problem with my 4 year old. Here are some of the things I'm trying and some my director here at the National Association of Mothers' Centers suggested:
- Taking her back to bed and lying down with her until she falls back to sleep then get back in your bed.
- Putting a sleeping bag in your room that she can get to when she comes in your room but to allow her to sleep in the sleeping bag next to your bed (not in your bed) for a short while. She may be scared in her room alone and needs to be near you.
- Let her sleep with her favorite toy (so long as it does not present a hazard)on the condition that she stays in her room and put a nightlight in her room.
- If your child knows the days of the week designate one nigt out of the week where she can sleep in your room. Make a big deal out of it like a special show to watch or activity - something she gets special for being a big girl and sleeping in her room the other nights.
I'm trying all of the above and will let you know how it works out. So far allowing my son to have a designated night where he can sleep in our room and lying down with him until he falls back to sleep has been working.

Wishing you a peaceful nights sleep.

I am in the same boat but now both my kids do this - 3 and 18 months .. it is horrible, especially since I am pregnant again. I have also tried the cry it out method and my younger son cried for three hours without giving in for 3 nights - that is when I gave up. I look forward to hearing advice from other moms on this topic.

I recently bought my two boys a full size bed and I am going to try having them sleep together - I am not sure if that will work.

E.--she is probably having bad dreams. Invite her to climb in with you and tell you about her dream, wait til you feel her body relax then ask her to tuck YOU in and go back to bed. It took me til my daughter was 4 to figure out that solution...good luck--

Hi E.,

As a mother of an almost 3 year old and a 10 month old I can totally relate to your situation. All I can tell you is that this goes in stages and they will do it for a couple of weeks and then magically stop. Have you tried a chart that she can see and when she has a good night she gets to put a sticker? You can remind her when she wakes up at night that if she is a good girl and goes back to bed that she will get a sticker in the morning. Or use any other incentive that works with her. If none of this works you just have to ride it out I am afraid. I too have a sensitive husband who does not like to hear the kids crying so the "crying it out" thing does not work in our house either..it certainly won't work when the new baby arrives or you will have a whole house awake at night. Good luck!

My son went through that. What worked for us is that we set the timer on the microwave for a five minutes and sat with him and cuddled. We explained that when the timer beeped, he had to go back to sleep. For whatever reason, he respected the timer. Then we set it for 4 minutes, 3 minutes, etc. Eventually, it was enough to go in, fix his covers and kiss him goodnight again.

I hope this helps! I know it's no fun.

Hi E.,

My daughter woke up every night from age 2 to almost 3 and would crawl into our bed. She wanted us. She shared her room with her brother, and she was not alone. We tried everything. I slept through it, but it was really hard on my husband because she liked to place her head by me and her feet by his head! When she was well into her threes I decided to just be resolved. I would let her fall asleep with me and then I would just take her back (initially, I just put her to sleep on a mattress next to our bed). Eventually, she stayed in her room. We read Ferber and all kinds of books, but each person and family is different. All I can really offer is the knowledge that this was a phase that passed. It is wonderful that your daughter seeks to be with you. If you can manage to sleep then just sleep. My husband could not deal with those feet, although he did for a long time (it is really wonderful to have a father spoil a daughter just a tad.) Ultimately, iron resolve on our part, a side bed, gentle reassurance, and growing up helped us.

Good luck,
Ana M.

Buy the book - How to Solve your Child's Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber. They sell it on Amazon and I used it with both of my girls - it works like a charm and was actually suggested to me when I had problems getting my first one to sleep! Good Luck To you!!!!!

Hi E., I first read through the responses you've been sent so far so I wouldn't duplicate suggestions. I would like to recommend several books. First,Nighttime Parenting by Dr. William Sears. He talks about the physiology of sleep and why children wake up in the middle of the night. Such facts might help you understand that this is not something children do on purpose to make our lives more challenging but that it is due to the developmental growth stages they are going through and it is a physical and emotional need as opposed to a whim or "bad habit". When childrens needs are met as they arise, they tend to outgrow that stage more smoothly and easily. Dr. James McKenna(google him) has done and published his research at the mother/baby sleep research lab at the University of Notre Dame. He has a new book out on this. He also explains the benefits of sleeping in close proximity to our children. Two other books are Sweet Dreams by Dr. Paul Fleiss and Good Nights by Dr. Jay Gordon. Remember this is a temporary stage in your child's life. A small amount of time when you look at the big picture. Spending the time now helping her will translate into mutual trust. She will know that you will help her when she needs it. You will help her develop into a secure, confident, critically thinking older child, teenager and adult. Do allow her to have access to you at night as she needs it. You will be rewarded down the road.

Good morning! my 2 year old slept with me so mine is probably going as well as yours :-)

seeing as she was adopted from china she might not be used to your home yet waking up in the middle of the night alone. I know this is a huge nono but do you have a sweet loveable pet? preferably a dog????? if our son freaks out in the middle of the night the dog gets up moaning and groaning goes in and snuggles up with him and he goes back to sleep-why then did he spend the night in our bed? anna didnt want to go so max slept in the middle of our bed with her.

try a new stuffed animal-just for nights like a glow worm their at every babies r us and are soothing and all that jazz. you can also try another nightlite, make sure the closet is closed, have daddy check for monsters.
the best thing i can say is every night tell her we are right here we can hear you if you call and we love you. if this doesnt work call her dr.-not for sleeping "aids" but to see if she has night tremmors and what they recomend to help her.

hope this helps,
K.

Hi E. - I've been there! We bought my son (both of them actually) stuffed pets to sleep with and told them that the panda was there to keep him company and that Pete the Panda loved him very much. It worked for the night time jitters but he was an early riser - 5 am too and that is just the way he was and still is. We then reinforced it with a reward if he stayed in his own room like a "big boy". Good luck!

Hi E.! It's funny you ask this now because I am in a class that was just talking about situations like this! Some of the ladies in the class mentioned giving the child incentives and making sleeping alone in bed fun. One lady would give her child a sticker for every night the child stayed/slept in bed by themselves. Once a certain number of stickers had been gained, the child got a new toy or book or got to choose where to get dinner. Sometimes positive reinforcements are better than punishments. Try making it worth her while to stay in bed alone...hope this helps!

M.

3yo's are so aware of what is going on.. I'm sure that she knows the new baby is coming and that is a huge unkown for her.

My son was 3 1/2 when by daughter was born. It was beyond difficult.. It took time patience and lots of hugs.. He was really angry and scared that things would change.

I am a 34yo RN and Midwife. My midwife often encouraged me in many ways with my kids. I think what she would tell you about your situation is ... Your daughter needs to know that her needs will be met, to feel secure. Being held by mom or dad in the night is a way for her to reconnect after a busy 3yo day. If you can hold her for 10-20 min or fall asleep for an hour or two with her it might give her what she needs. when you become uncomfortable and need your space... Deposit her back to her bed or even better she may be happy to sleep on a small mattress on the floor in your room.

http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId...

this is a little bed is a valuable purchase that can be used for travel as well.

I put an electric throw on my daughter with another blanket and she is warm even in the winter.

http://www.electricblanket.net/p-15-biddeford-electric-wa...

basically, letting your kids sleep with you is such a thing and everyone has opinions about it. My son has always slet with us during some portion of the night. he is now 5 and in his own bed all night long. as your kids grow what everyone needs is always changing. do what works for your kids and also for your self. Make sure you set boundaries and get your rest. she just wants to know you are available when she needs your love.

you call call me on your cell if you wish
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Our son had similar problems from birth. At your daughter's age, we made sure there was no stimulating activities after dinner - rough play, television, movies. Now that he's older that includes video or computer-based games, even stimulating board games. It is just too much brain stimulation.

I reviewed his evening meal for stimulating foods including sugar-based drinks (we took out apple juice, for example). Some kids wake up because they're hungry, so plenty of protein at dinner to last through the night. At that age my son didn't like meat, so I had to search for meals that he would eat, like dinosaur-shaped chicken pieces.

Between dinner and bedtime, we focussed on family togetherness activities, like playing board games, reading books together (nothing scarey) and other toy play. My son is very creative, so we tried to balance mind-stimulating play and comfort activities. We read stories together and prayed at bedtime. This isn't about spoiling the child but about making them feel loved and valued.

At 3, your daughter should be able to articulate some of her thoughts and fears and you can query her upon waking about how she feels and what she's thinking. Our son was highly articulate at that time of night - it was amusing what came out of his mouth! But very insightful.

If she wakes you up, I would make her do something that makes her uncomfortable as part of the process - and I do not mean punishing her. This will help to make her think when she wakes up the next time, does she really want to have to do X? For example, at 3, my son was still waking up to potty. I would sit with him and force him to wake up and talk to me so that when he went back to bed he had to snuggle back to sleep. He didn't really want to wake up, but it made him think twice about the next time he woke me up whether he wanted to really wake up.

Also, I would make sure she is getting enough sleep but waking up at the same time every day, including weekends. If she's getting a nap, you might cut back on naptime in order to force her to sleep more soundly at night.

I don't know if these suggestions will help you, but I certainly empathize. My son woke up at least once per week until kindergarten, even though he had been in daily pre-school. Once school started, it built his self-esteem that he could do more on his own and this need for comfort went away naturally. I think this is also a clue. Smoothering her with love and hugs may make her very dependent on you emotionally, especially at 2AM.

D.

I had my son when I was 45, he used to wake up and ask me to sleep with him..and i did, whenever he needed me, or climb into our bed, and i let him. It was no sweat off of my back it made him feel more secure..he is now 11 and still comes and watches tv with my husband and i in our bed..somestimes we don't understand children's fears, what they think about. or what they are dreaming...I made up my mind(my husband didn't always agree with me) I have this child he needs to know that no matter what I am there for him to comfort, to make feel secure. and loved. I don't know how old this child was when you adopted her...does she have memories..did she have some night terrors where she was...was she old enough to miss her home land? We have no idea of memories children have. My son told me when he was born he saw a desert place and then light and warmth..he has told me this since he could talk...sometimes we want our children to grow up and adapt faster then they know how..please just comfort her and as she gets older you can explain your love for her ..but for now, just show her. I hope this helps, sometimes people think I am to soft but with so much lack of love in the world today, whats a few minutes in the long run to comfort and to raise a secure child?

Hi E.,
My 4 year old has been having the same separation issue. We are going on our fifth night of him sleeping in his own room. On the first night, I laid with him in his bed until he was sound asleep. I thought he would be fine until I heard someone crying and screaming at me from the foot of my bed at 4 in the morning that I had left him. I comforted him and praised him for staying in his room for as long as he did. I reminded him that he is becoming a very big boy and he would soon be able to stay the whole night by himself. The second and third night were a breeze because I reinforced the big boy theory at dinner and at bath time. Last night he had a relapse and did not want to go to his room without me. I again laid with him until he went to sleep and he was fine through the night. I also encourage him that we will have sleepovers from time to time. He in my room and me in his. Good Luck to you. I know it seems like a hard task but this to shall pass.

I am a proud mother of my 7 year old, I can say that I've been in your shoes. My lil one was the same way, I can try to say here are a few things that you may want to try, not saying that they will work and maybe they will:

-try to maybe putting her to bed listening to her favorite music,
-try letting her play with her toys while she is trying to fall asleep,
-try giving her a warm drink prior to puttiing her to bed....

You may think I'm nuts BUT I've seen this before..... Adopted from China? Extra shots? Lots of shots at a time? Most shots still have thimerosol in them. Your regular pediatrician will argue this point but it's true. It was only SUGGESTED by the CDC back in the 90's that drug companies remove OR REDUCE thimerosol. It is not gone. Just saying if it were me I'd check into the possibility of mercury toxicity. A regular hair or urine analysis will only tell you how much is being excreted. You want to know how much is trapped in her body - and it's at a cellular level. I can refer you to links and groups online, groups with docs, naturopaths, and DAN! docs who treat this every day. Let me know...

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