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Question
Posted by: Susan | 2012-05-02

Fear for going to bed

My 3 year old granddaughter does not want to go sleep in her own room at night- something that she did for about 8months prior to my children moving in with us. She is going to a day care centre since the beginning of the year, got a little sister in February ( she was the only child up to then ), my son got divorced from the girls mother and she has been living with him since birth. - his ex-wifes daughter stayed with him and they now got married- so my grandchild who knew her as her big sister is now calling her mommy. I knbow it all sounds strange but that''s the facts!. They lived in a flat where as I said my granddaughter slept in her own room but they have moved in with us in February. Now little Chiney does not want to sleep in her own room, says she is afraid and wants to sleep with us on a mattress. She had trouble sleepin when we said she must stay in her room- woke up during the night and does not register when you talk to her- got very upset ! I started giving her Natura rescue and the situation has improved but she still is very unhappy when you tell her that she must sleep in her own room-she obeys but cries a lot and does not fall asleep easily and than she wakes up three or four times during the night. Can everything that happened to her in these few months be the problem and must we force her to sleep in her own bed or is it okay to let her sleep when grand-pa and ma for a few months tills she settles down.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

An excellent response from Purple. She has indeed faced so many changes and challenges in her little life within a fairly short space of time.
The situation sounds unusually complex ( do I understand that her dad married his ex-wife's daughter ? )
Talk calmly with the child, chatting about what she now says she feels afraid of, to try to understand this better.
It may be worth considering having her assessed by a child psychiatrist or child psychologist - I'm thinking of your comment that when she wakes at night she "does not register when you talk to her". Maybe there's a sleep problem, like Night Terrors.
Its not necessary to "force" her to sleep on her own ; explaining that this is temporary, until she regains her confidence, such as she used to have, letting her sleep on a mattress in your room shouldn't cause problems.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2012-05-02

She''s been through a lot of changes in her little life and it sounds like she is looking for comfort. She will eventually sleep in her bed. Can you or her dad not lie with her a bit as she goes off to sleep or let her sleep on a matress on the floor in one of your rooms. She is very young and is probably frightened.

Does she have a special teddy bear to sleep wtih and a night light? These can help a bit, but its probably company she needs. She will grow out of this, but she needs lots of love and comfort at the moment.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-05-02

An excellent response from Purple. She has indeed faced so many changes and challenges in her little life within a fairly short space of time.
The situation sounds unusually complex ( do I understand that her dad married his ex-wife's daughter ? )
Talk calmly with the child, chatting about what she now says she feels afraid of, to try to understand this better.
It may be worth considering having her assessed by a child psychiatrist or child psychologist - I'm thinking of your comment that when she wakes at night she "does not register when you talk to her". Maybe there's a sleep problem, like Night Terrors.
Its not necessary to "force" her to sleep on her own ; explaining that this is temporary, until she regains her confidence, such as she used to have, letting her sleep on a mattress in your room shouldn't cause problems.

Reply to cybershrink

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