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nighttime anxiety
motherof3_2 posted:
Hello everyone. New here and had a few concerns about my 3yr old. I'm not a new mother by anyones imagination (this is #3 after 2 of my own & 2 step-sons), but this has me stumped. Recently my 3yr old started having anxiety (I think) issues at bedtime, kind of a frantic "mommy stay with me" . She was doing fine sleeping in her own room until her older sister moved her room around. We moved it back & I've removed all the toys that are scarey or frighten her at night, & we follow the same bedtime routine as always. I lay on a mat until she goes to sleep, sometimes all night. I knew the first time I did this it was a bad habit, but really didn't know what to do.
None of the other kids have had this issue and my husband is ready to smack her bum and close the door. I'm not sure this will solve the problem. My daughter is VERY strong willed and I have to wonder if this is a manipulative move on her part. I've always been a stay-at-home mom until this last spring, but she's only gone 2 1/2 days and she loves to go to the sitter (not day care) to play with her 2 daughters.
Anyone have any ideas that I can try? She has favorite blankets/toys and she just got a dreamlite. Plus she has nitelights in her room.
QTpie2009 responded:
I feel for you. We are fighting the same battle with our DS. We have tried everything too but he continues to be scared of his room. I have smacked his bum and he does stay in his room after that. I feel bad because I know he's scared but I don't know what else ot do. He will stay in his room for a week or two but then it starts again and he's crawling in bed with us or fighting me to put him in his bed
jlynnpaine responded:
My DD recently went through some fear of the dark. She had a night light and a dream light but kept saying that she saw monsters in her room. We now leave a lamp on in her room all night and she's not had any problems since then.

I personally would not spank for this issue. If she truly is scared, then that is just cruel in my opinion to punish her for being afraid. What I would do is something that I recently read about in a magazine article. Tell your daughter that you will stay in the room with her for a few minutes. Then tell her that you have to go do something in another room and that you'll be back in a couple of minutes. Come back in two minutes and stay for another 3-5 minutes, repeat, stretching out the time between coming back. Once she's asleep, you don't go back in. According to the article, it takes about 3 days of this and then you shouldn't have to do it anymore. It reassures them that you will be there when they need you.

If she's simply just missing you from you going back to work, I'd try to make sure to spend extra time in the evenings before bed snuggling and playing one on one so that she gets some extra attention that she may be missing. Good luck! I know how frustrating it is when they won't sleep.
Jodi (28), DH (24), Shaelynn (2), DD2 (due 5/16)
Adamski replied to jlynnpaine's response:
I found that my little ones would wet their beds through anxiety and this used to really bother me, I couldnt really see what I could do so I tried to stay with them as long as I could without them realising. Id tuck them under their comforter but then do other things I had to do in the room (paperwork etc). Often your mere presence, rather than attention, will be enough to soothe their anxieties. I found it pretty traumatic though not being able to help them initially

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