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Childhood-diseases

Question
Posted by: Katryn | 2007/07/09

Q.

Sleeping problems

My son is 3 and a half years old. He sleeps next to our bed on a mattress and refuses to sleep in his room. He has a habit of waking up and moaning without saying why and later we get so mad that we scream at him untill he wakes. We have been consistent with him when he does this but it doesn't seem to help. I ask him if something hurts and I check if he has a fever, but nothing seems to be wrong. Am I missing something? He never answers me and I don't know if he is just having a bad dream, but he doesn't want any comfort when he is in this state he just moans and screams. This can go on for an entire night!

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

He has a ready audience of both his parent's every night for his performace which he puts on for your 'entertainment.' The problem has been brought on because he was allowed to sleep on a mattress next to your bed which is where he thinks he should be. You need to convince him otherwise by making his bedroom and his bed just the pace he wants to be. So put him in his bed and read to him until he is asleep or falling asleep. Kiss him good night and leave the room.Leave a nightlight on in his room if he is afraid of the dark. If he appears at your bed take him back to his room each and every time and don't give in. If he cries let him cry for at least 5 minutes before you go to him and each time he cries again add a minute bedfore you go to him. Eventually he will get so tired that he will fall asleep. Remember the answer to this problem is to be firm but kind and patient.

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1
user comments

C.

Posted by: Colette | 2007/07/09

Hi Katryn,

Sounds like night terrors. Some children get them and they are not even aware of it. My son who is now 5 also used to get it. Best you can do is to leave him and let it playout. Don 't even mention it to him when he wakes because most of the time they are not even aware of it. Trying to wake them often makes things worse. An episode normally lasts about 15 to 20 minutes, if you interfere though it might take you another 40 minutes to get him back to sleep.Let him settle himself as much as possible.

A wonderfull book I can recommend is Gina Ford's book on sleep training and you might want to look into her other books as well.

Hope this helps.
Colette

Reply to Colette

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