Sleep Issue with Almost 3Yr Old

Updated on March 09, 2009
K.S. asks from Clinton Township, MI
9 answers

My Daughter will be three in a couple weeks, she has always been a good sleeper since she was born. She is in a twin bed (daybed actually)and has been out of a crib for a year now. She is our only child and we have a bedtime routine and have since she was born. Now with the problem:
For the past few months she started with the I'm scared in her room (from monsters to the book) we have worked through that and that is not so much the issue anymore. We know the being scared of that stuff is typical for her age but now she is getting up 3-4 times in the night when she hears the horn of the train. We live near a train and have since she was born and it has never bothered her before, she has always liked trains (we go on rides when available). She hardly ever gets up when the train is blowing it's horn when we are up it only happens after midnight when we are fast asleep. This can be very hard since the train can come by twice in an hour and sometimes they blow the horn for what seems forever. She has ears like you would not believe and can hear it miles away. I don't know what to do, I am not getting a good night sleep and now when she hears it at 5am (comes by like clock work) she will not go back to bed. This makes for some long days and I am not sure what to do. We have a night light in her room, she has her security blank and baby and we leave the door cracked for her. Do we get a CD player and try and drown out the sound of the horn? We have tried everything, during the daytime and at nap the horn does not bother her only after we are all in bed. I am hoping you mom's could give me some ideas!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your advice, on Friday I purchased a cd/radio that my daughter got to pick out (hello kitty) and a soothing CD. We have had no issues since, she sleeps through the night so we are back on track again. She is a much happier 3yr old during the day and so am I now that I am not getting up 3-4 times a night. Thank you again

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

Hi K., I feel your pain. I have a 6 year old that I adopted from foster care at the age of 3. He has struggled with his night demons since day one. He would crawl in bed with my husband and I and hold on to us for dear life every night. Although, the loving was sweet, I couldn't get a good night sleep and it was wearing on me. About a month ago, I started a new routine. I started rubbing his feet with peppermint lotion. It feels good to him and gets him very relaxed, but he can also feel the tingling of the peppermint after I've gone so he still gets comfort from it. I also spritz lavendar spray on his pillow and around his room. I told him that monsters don't like pretty smelling things they only like stinky stuff and this will keep them away. But, lavendar is known for helping to give soothing sleep. For the past month, he has been sleeping through the whole night. He hasn't gotten up once! Hope that helps!



answers from Grand Rapids on

i used a sound machine with my son when he was about a year old, and it saved us from many sleepless nights. i recommend you try one. the one i bought was around $10-15 and had several sounds to choose from. my sons favorite sounded like waves.
honestly, i think this is just a phase and she'll get over it pretty soon. i remember my oldest, who's almost 4, had a month or so where she'd wake up about whatever (usually 'a dinosaur is in my room!') and we'd just tell her everything was fine, if it was a noise we'd just plain tell her what it was, that it was nighttime and it was time for sleeping. sometimes she'd lie awake for awhile, sometimes she'd scream for awhile. i think it's just they're developing a sense of a larger world beyond their house or bedroom and they get over it after awhile.
best wishes! hope you get some sleep soon!!!!!



answers from Detroit on

Sorry to hear about your difficulties. How about trying a white noise machine (I think that is what they are called). You can get one that makes the sound of the waves of the ocean ect. Hope this helps. J.



answers from Detroit on

We are late-night TV watchers and my grandson lived with us during high school, which started early. We got a "white noise machine" that has different sounds you can choose. It helped a lot.



answers from Detroit on

Hi K., I see you allready have a couple of responses regarding a sound machine but I would like to say these work wonders. I have had one in my son's room since he was born, now 9, and just got him one that has an alarm clock that has the option to project the time on the ceiling that helps as a night light. My husband and I sleep with one as well. These block out sounds just enough to be smoothing and relaxing to sleep much better. But in case of an emergency, you would still be able to hear the smoke alarms. They have different options such as, rain, ocean, birds, waterfall etc.. I would highly recommend purchasing one. You can get them at K-mart, Target, Meijer or that place that sells all those massage gadgets, chairs, etc.. in the mall, but these are a little more pricey. Good luck and keep us updated. If you have any questions please feel free to email me.

Good Luck,
S. s.



answers from Detroit on

Hi, My name is E. and I have 7 kids. Their ages range from 10 to 22.
There is no quick fix and you need to understand that this will take time to work through. Kids go through phases and have their insecurities to work through.
I highly recommend using soft sound to drown out the noise. I used classical music for my children. I played it softly while they slept.
I used to drive my parents crazy as a child. When I had a nightmare and couldn't sleep, I always crawled into bed with them and my dad ended up in my bed! Sometimes kids just need the reassurance that they are safe and they always look to their parents for that reassurance.
While she is going through this and you are losing sleep, make sure you take at least 30 mins. out of your day to nap, too. Moms never give themselves permission to take a break and take care of themselves. Turn everything off and get the rest you need to accomplish your goals and take care of your family!

Also, has she seen anything scary? Someone playing scary video games, or watching a scary movie? This can trigger nightmares. I know it did for me when I was young!

Keep us posted on how you are doing!



answers from Detroit on


Try a sound machine. They have ones with lights, music, etc. I use just plain ones.

I use them in my kid's rooms, and in mine. They work great, and would cover up the sound of the train whistle.

You don't have to "blare" them either-I set mine on the lower settings, and this covers my husbands shower in the morning, the baby's crying, the t.v., cars going by etc.

Look at Target or Meijer. They usually are around 20-30 dollars. I even found one at the Salvation Army (I have FIVE total-we have a cottage in Holly we go to on the weekends).

Oh, they have different sounds, but I keep mine set on the rainfall. This covers sound well, and is a good choice.

Good luck!




answers from Detroit on

My situation was a bit different. My three year old was scared to sleep in his bed alone. He tried sleeping between us, but he moved so much that I said he could not do so. He then decided to sleep on the floor, but I warned him that without my glasses I may step on him on my way to the bathroom through the night. His sleeping in our room was short lived when he thought that I may step on him. He is 26 years old today, but is still afraid of being home alone in the dark. All the lights are left on. Perhaps you need to leave a hallway light on as well.



answers from Detroit on

i think the night fear is pretty common at that age, but fears in general are, too. I'd examine the rest of her days and experiences that may be triggering this. Logical or not, she may be afraid due to a tv show, a glimpse at a nasty news story, etc. Things she used to not register are going to now that she's getting aware of herself in relation to the rest of the world. One of my sons has anxieties and we got a book with relaxation scripts that we read while playing an ocean sounds cd before sleep. They worked really well to clear his head of troubling thoughts. (Basically its meditation) If you want the name of the book I used, let me know and I'll dig it up. Caution with the nightlight. I really think the light made him wake up more often, but he was adamant about having it on. He's 12 now and doing well. Still turns his closet light on sometimes, and worries about war and the economy more than he should, but he understands his mind better.

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