Almost 3Yr Old Daughter Waking up EVERY NIGHT to Sleep with mom/dad-HELP!

Updated on April 06, 2008
N.M. asks from Dumont, NJ
4 answers

My loving husband and I have a lovely almost 3year old little girl. Since 6 weeks of age, she slept comfortabley thru the night and when she hit 9 months she went thru night terrors, which my pediatrian said and to sooth her from her screaming uncontrollable, we took her to our bed. BAD CHOICE. Yes, I know.. I always said we would not be THOSE types of parents but it was my husband that took her to the bed first! I like to blame him and polk fun at hime over it! LOL. Anyway, since then, she would go to sleep at 8PM and then awake anytime after 12AM and we would take her out of the crib and into our beds. At the time, we lived in an apt and she was in our room. BUT last year we moved and she has her own room now. (bought our first home! )We still put her down in the "big girl bed" and EVERY night, but around 12AM or whatever time, she awakes crying and asking to come downstairs with us. She is upstairs,and we are down stairs.It is just killing me. I have gotten used to it, and I deal with it, but I REALLY need to fix this. I tell her she is a big girl and all that positive reinforcement and I even tell her that we will buy her a toy the next day. NOTHING works for us. We are planning on our second child next summer and by then she will be 4yrs old. I NEED to get her trained so she is not awake in the middle of the night. Our new born with be with us in our room for the first few months. How do I get out of this rut of a sleeping pattern? Besides that, she is happy, and healthy, and very communicative to us. Everything is great... I just need to fix this sleeping pattern and fast!

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S.C.

answers from New York on

Hi N.,

I have had on and off problems with my child sleeping through the night. Unfortunately, the only thing that has worked for me is to let her cry it out. This method is not for everyone but if you can deal with crying for a night, you usually get good results. When she starts whining or crying in the middle of the night, I just calmly tell her that she is a big girl and has to sleep in her own bed. When she cries, I calmly repeat the same thing. Sometimes I also sit in her room on a rocking chair by her bed. This way she knows that I am with her but when she falls asleep, I can go back to my own bed. I have also found that "sleepy time music" is very helpful. Good luck.

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A.T.

answers from New York on

Hopefully, you have a twin bed for her and skipped the toddler bed....if this is so, you need to sleep with her in her room. My daughter did the same thing for the longest and I found that dealing with the problem in her own territory was easier than having her in mine. She began wanting to sleep with us. Claimed she was scared, thirsty, bathroom....you name it, she came up with it. Being daddy's girl, daddy allowed it. As did I for a while for the sake of sleep. But after a while, an elbow in my ear and a knee in my belly just got to be too much for me, so....I decided to make it fun for her and dedicate a specific time for bed for her as well as something fun to do such as reading together, talking, playing hangman, a puzzle.....all in her bed. It took dedication and patience but she now sleeps in her own bed. Be prepared to spend a few nights with her at first or even soothe her in the dark until she is asleep and steal away once she is in a deep sleep. If she has a toddler bed, then make it a camp out or sleep over style of bedtime. Key is to hold it all in her room. Good Luck.

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M.F.

answers from New York on

HI N.,

WHEN MY DAUGHTER DID THE SAME THING AT THE SAME AGE, MY HUSBAND GOT FED UP AND LET HER SLEEP ON THE SOFA. WRONG-SO WRONG!I THINK THE ONLY THING IS TO, FOR RIGHT NOW IS TO PHYSICALLY PUT HER INTO BED, I MEAN GENTLY. REPETITION WORKS WITH CHILDREN. EVERYNIGHT JUST GET UP NUDGE HER TOWARDS HER BED, TUCK HER IN, (TRY TO IGNORE THE WHINING, IF YOU LISTEN THEY WILL USE IT AGAINST you!)AND REASURE HER (iF ANYTHING IS ON HER MIND),THAT THINGS ARE OK. MY DAUGHTER HATES TO BE ALONE, BUT NOW BY THE WAY, I DEALT WITH THE SAME PROBLEM FOR APPROX. 4-5 YEARS! NOW SHE SLEEPS IN HER BED. I BOUGHT A GAURDIEN ANGEL. MY SISTER GAVE ME A BLANKET WITH AN ANGEL AND AN INFANT ON IT THAT WE USE ON TOP TO MAKE HER FEEL SAFE. A CROSS. GAURDIAN ANGLES SEEM TO WORK. LET HER LOAD UP THE PILLOWS, SLEEP WITHOUT UNDERWEAR-WHAT I MEAN IS TRY SOME THINGS TO MAKE HER FEEL SAFE AND COMFORTABLE, LET HER MAKE A CHOICE, BUT IN HER BED.I EVEN WENT AS FAR AS PUTTING HER NEW LITTLE RANCH HOUSE NEXT TO HER, WRAPPED IN A BLANKY AND IT WORKED.
I KNOW THIS EXHAUSTING, BUT IT WILL PASS. JUST CONTINUE TO STEER HER TO HER OWN BED.
GOOD LUCK! I HOPE I HAVE HELPED YOU.

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L.R.

answers from New York on

Hi N.,
Your dilemma about sleep arrangements is common. Each family is unique and each person has unique needs. When you are sleep deprived it does seem like there will never be a restful night ever again.

Our young people need our physical comfort even in their toddler years and on up. I have a 9 year old daughter and a 3 1/2 year old son.

I worked full time until my daughter was 5 years old and sleeping together at night helped us to keep connected to each other after those long days. I can see how for your daughter that being away from you all day is difficult and then being separated by an entire floor at night would feel a bit isolating to her.

>>>we took her to our bed. BAD CHOICE. Yes, I know.. I always >>>said we would not be THOSE types of parents but it was my >>>husband that took her to the bed first!
You are very fortunate to have a husband who values his daughters feelings and needs and is willing to night-time parent with you.

What is it about THOSE types of parents that is not appealing to you?

I would like to recommend a very good book for you to read , "Good Nights" by Jay Gordon and Maria Goodavag. It's a good book to help remind us that parenting is not just a nine to five job and that people no matter what age have needs at night-time.

Here is a website with some information about night time parenting that you may find helpful http://www.attachmentparenting.org/principles/night.php

Here is information for you about a local parenting support group that has very useful information about night time parenting.

The Attachment Parenting Group of Bergen County, NJ. This is the email group that is part of the Attachment Parenting International Support Group for Bergen County, New Jersey. We meet monthly, on the fourth Thursday of the month from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. At the New Milford Library. Every 4th month the meeting is in the evening from 7 - 9pm. All are welcome!

[email protected]____.com

L. :)

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