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Ask earthsister Your Own Question

earthsister
earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
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my daughter is 5 year old. she does not like to sleep in her

Customer Question

my daughter is 5 year old. she does not like to sleep in her room at all. i ned help and any advice please
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

This is a very common question. Many children at one time or another protest sleeping in their own bed and want to be with mom and dad. They make up all kinds of stories about why they don't want to be in their own bedroom...from they hear noises, to there is a ghost in the closet, and so on.

Dr. L :

So your daughter is very normal and there are many books and techniques.

Dr. L :

Let's look at some possible strategies to solve this...

Dr. L :

Reconfigure Bedtime

If your child can't fall asleep without your presence, slowly withdraw yourself from the equation, Obleman says. Instead of lying in your bed together, sit on your child's bed until she falls asleep. After a few days, switch to a chair, then gradually move the chair closer to her doorway and into the hallway.

Take Small Steps

It may not be reasonable to demand that a child who's accustomed to sleeping in your bed suddenly stay in his own room all night, so try making the separation more gradual. “Some parents have told me that they've had their children sleep alongside their bed in a sleeping bag,“ McKenna says. “Or decide that they can have 15 minutes in your bed and then they go back.“

Shannon Choe of Berwyn, Pa., has an air mattress in her room in case her 2-, 4- or 7-year-old visits at night. “They get to be closer to us but not disrupt our sleep, and it's not so comfortable that they'll choose this option long-term," she says.

Be Consistent

It may be hard to walk your son back to his room at 3 a.m. when you have work in the morning, but be firm every night. “Think about the long term,“ Mindell says. “You'll have a few difficult nights, but soon, you'll all be sleeping all night."

Make it Worth Their While

Some parents offer sticker charts; others give rewards like extra playtime. Janine Bush of Boxboro, Mass., created a toy-ticket program to stop her 6-year-old son from sneaking into her bed at 2 a.m. When her son slept consecutive nights in his own bed, he won tickets to trade in for new toys.

Outsmart Quiet Footsteps

Hang a bell on your bedroom doorknob, and you'll notice when your child enters. “Say, 'When I hear that bell, it's a reminder that I get to put you back to bed," Mindell says.

Introduce a Clock

Place an inexpensive digital clock by your preschooler's bedside. “Put duct tape over the minutes and talk about the number she'll see in the dark," Obleman says. “Say, 'In our house, nobody gets up before 7. If it's not showing a 7, go back to

Dr. L :

The above ideas are from WebMD and I believe they may be helpful to you.

Dr. L :

Some may not apply...but take a look at this list and see what you would feel comfortable trying.

Dr. L :

What do you think about these suggestions?

Dr. L :

http://www.ivillage.com/sleep-help-get-kids-sleep-their-own-bed/6-b-427545

Dr. L :

The above is another helpful article.

Customer : I I will try it. It's just she is scared and I do not know why. I know it's normal but she screams cries and I feel helpless. I put her to bed at 830 and it takes so long for her to fall asleep like 3 hours so she falls asleep at 11 and that is to late. Then she wakes up and I put her back in her room and it takes like an hour to go back to bed. I feel helpless here.
Dr. L :

I can understand how you feel concerned about her screams and cries. But ... the thing is that she knows that if she protests that mom will come rescue her.

Dr. L :

And so you are getting in a power struggle with her..she cries and you give in. As hard as it is...you must resist this attempt to give in to her.

Dr. L :

I think this might be the best strategy for you:

Dr. L :

If your child can't fall asleep without your presence, slowly withdraw yourself from the equation, Obleman says. Instead of lying in your bed together, sit on your child's bed until she falls asleep. After a few days, switch to a chair, then gradually move the chair closer to her doorway and into the hallway.

Dr. L :

If you try this technique you are giving her the opportunity to get her used to sleeping alone in her room.

Dr. L :

This ought to bring less protest from her as you are not giving in to her totally...but letting this change little by little.

Dr. L :

Another technique that I have found helpful is letting your child pick out new sheets, bedspread, pillows and so forth and saying. "I want you to pick out things that will keep you safe in your room. What pillows will do that? What sheets will do that?" That gives her some control of her room and over her feelings of fear.

Dr. L :

Your daughter will outgrow this at some point. Sometimes these fears disappear when they want to have friends stay overnight, when you stay at a hotel during a vacation, or when you are guests at someone else's home.

Dr. L :

I see that you are offline. When you come online, I will be notified.

Dr. L :

Thank you.

Customer : I am moving on Friday with my fiancé she does like him. I just hope she will be okay to start a new life. How long can I ta
Customer : K to u on this. I mean am I going to get charged every month for 35.00 dollars now or this is only 1 shot pay. When my daughter gives me a hard time I get so mad and I yell at her saying she is acting like a baby and ect... I know that is wrong. What can info to relax about this. Like I said before I am concern. I told her if she gives me a hard time to go to bed that I will take a toy away from her or not playing with her friends the next day.mis that good or no what I did.
Expert:  earthsister replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I would like to add some additional input if I may, I do see that you have a recent query that is yet to be answered. I do agree with some of the options that the initial expert provided through WebMD; especially the one about sitting in a chair in her room, then gradually moving out over time, (I've actually tried this with my twins, and it worked). But primarily, I would like to suggest that you do not yell, and make threats to take away toys or other things if your daughter has problems sleeping alone, this may make the situation even more difficult for her as she will probably feel stressed as well as fear from this kind of reaction. The first step is to remain calm and patient about this situation. The more you make it a big deal by being upset about her not sleeping in her own room, the more of a big deal it becomes for her to be able to do it. Encourage your daughter to be a big girl, and praise and reward every positive effort that she makes toward doing so. You may even want to try, as an incentive not a bribe, offering her some reward for sleeping in her own bed; a trip to the zoo, a new doll or teddy bear, something reasonable. After she succeeds and receives her reward, you can use her success as encouragement to continue sleeping alone in her bed. But be sure to explain to her beforehand that this is a one time deal; you won't be rewarding her with a gift every time she sleeps in her own bed, but you will praise her. I hope some of this helps. If you have any comments or questions regarding my answer, please message for "earthsister." Thanks.

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