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Pamela, LCSW
Pamela, LCSW, Psychotherapist/MSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 747
Experience:  25 years of experience in private practice and inpatient psychiatry;licensed in two states
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My almost 3 yr old wont sleep through the night. She says

Customer Question

My almost 3 yr old wont sleep through the night. She says shes scared but when asked of what, looks around to find something ike the wall or fan and then smiles. She has never slept with us in our room and still doesnt. We have tried everything to get her to sleep through the night, nothing works. What could be going on? and how can we help her get some much needed rest?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Pamela, LCSW replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer:

This sounds like a very frustrating situation for all involved. One approach that often works is called the "Ferber method". It is named for a doctor in Massachusetts named Richard Ferber. It explains how to help your child sleep in a series of steps designed to keep her there longer and longer. It does involve not responding to cries to get out of bed, which may be a bit troubling coming from a verbal three year old. However, I have many clients for whom this has worked and would recommend that you get the book from the library or book store.

I hope this helps and wish you luck.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We would do that and virtually do by placing her back in her bed each time she gets up, but with my 3 year old, she physically gets out of her bed to come into our room to tell us she's awake. SHort of locking her in her room, which I am extremely opposed to doing, we don't know what else to do. She will get up anywhere from 2-7 times a night. She goes back to her bed and back to sleep until she wakes up again and comes back into our room. We've tried bribing her with sweets and punishment for getting up but she seems to forget that when she wakes up.
Expert:  Pamela, LCSW replied 6 years ago.


I see. How about trying a behavioral chart in which she can put a star on each time she does not come in your room and after a certain amount of stars she can get a "prize". This would be a behavioral intervention using positive reinforcement.

If she forgets and comes in your room, perhaps you could gently remind her to get back so that she will get a star in the am. Often times, children help with the chart and decorate it how they like and she can pick whichever kind of stickers are her favorites and then know what she is working toward.

I hope that this approach will work for you.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We have that already, i ran out of room on the what have you already tried page. he will tell us at night when she comes in to our room that she doesn't want her sticker. She is a very smart and stubborn little girl. I guess we will have to just wait it out longer. Thank you for your input and advice but it seems we really have tried everything.
Expert:  Pamela, LCSW replied 6 years ago.


Sorry that these suggestions were not helpful to you. You may want to consult with your pediatrician or have him/her refer you to a child therapist for some short term behavioral work.


Pamela, LCSW and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you. I will do that!
Expert:  Pamela, LCSW replied 6 years ago.
Thank you and good luck