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Ask Adviser Mills C.C.D. Your Own Question

Adviser Mills C.C.D.
Adviser Mills C.C.D., Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 153
Experience:  15 years Plus, Preschool Owner, Teen Mentor
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We have 2 daughters ages 3 and 6 1/2, about a month ago

Customer Question

Hi, we have 2 daughters ages 3 and 6 1/2, about a month ago my eldest threw up and was a bit traumatized about the incident, the following days she was afraid she was going to throw up again and it was hard for her to go to sleep, she then complained that her tummy hurts constantly and we had a doctor check her and letting us know she is healthy. The following days she was playful and normal but as soon as we told her that it's bedtime she started "creating" a stomach ache and refused to go to sleep crying and yelling, same story the next day and the next day. Last week it changed to "something is stuck in my throat" and "my heart is not beating right". We explained to her many times that she is ok and healthy but this still happens every night... She would be ok all day playing and having fun and as soon as it's bedtime she would say the same thing. If we leave the room she will get out of bed to look for us, when we put her back in bed she would cry and yell and will get out again and again and again waking up her sister who sleeps next to her. Would appreciate any advise to resolve this. thanks a lot!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Adviser Mills C.C.D. replied 1 year ago.
It sounds like she is having difficulty with the process of bedtime. I would suggest a routine that eased her into this bedtime transition. First, you will want to make sure she is not having nightmares or any fears about her sleeping arrangement. Once, you have cleared all of that, a schedule that starts early preparing her for bed usually works.
This can involve.. Bath, music, a book or even going out to look at the stars. Whatever you can find that calms her. Basically, you need to take the transition of bed and make it rigid. Also, make sure there is nothing in the morning that is stressing her. Some of the symptoms you described can mean anxiety. If she is attending a school etc. Make sure that you keep the communication open about waking up. Sometimes the morning can cause the stress at night.
Starting a rigid relaxing bed time routine usually clears up this sort of issue. I wish you all the best. You are welcome to ask more details. I really hope this helps
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** her sister do have a very routine bedtime which involved a bath, story time, hugs and kisses. She used to fall asleep right away for the last several years but the past few weeks everything had changed. She wakes up happy in the morning and as I have mentioned she is good all day, I can read her a bedtime story and she will be jumping up and down and playing but as soon as I say that it's time to sleep she starts saying "something is stuck in my throat" and "I can't breath" and then the whole ritual begins... Even if I talk to her to calm her down for 30 minutes as soon as I leave the room she will get out of bed and the whole thing will start again...
Expert:  Adviser Mills C.C.D. replied 1 year ago.
Have you tried a reward system in regards ***** ***** in bed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes but it didn't work, she "invents" something is stuck in her throat but then actually believes it to be real and gets all hysterical about it
Expert:  Adviser Mills C.C.D. replied 1 year ago.
The first thing would be to make sure you are validating her emotions. If there have been changes in her life recently, she could be dealing with something she cannot verbalize.
The second thing would be to talk during the day. Not at night when the behavior starts but during the day when she is calm. Speak to her about the importance of sleep and her emotions surrounding it. Help her understand the disruption it causes. You can also find books about children that have trouble falling asleep and share them with her.
About her throat, the throat closing can be a panic scenario. If this continues, you may want to further consult your doctor.
Once you speak to her about consequences of her actions during the day. She is at the developmental stage to make the right decision. Continue working with her. Also, understand this is something she is experiencing, she may have insomnia. Not to mention, everyone has different sleeping patterns. She most likely would fall asleep if she was exhausted.
The most powerful thing you can use here is communication. Enforced with understanding and strengthened with consequences.
She needs to understand that this happens but there is a way to not interupt everyone's nightly routine.
I hope this helps.