Wednesday, March 05, 2008

We now interrupt your regular programming….

I am humbled. I need your help. I need help with a six year who is waking every night claiming nightmares. A six year old who wants to climb into our bed every night around 2 a.m., which would be fine, but this six year old is a restless sleeper, like a dolphin out of water, she is so strong and solid, that when she flails around it really affects my and Jo’s sleep. There is no gentle rubbing of her back to try and get to go back to sleep in her bed – nosiree, there are full on tears, wailing, forcing us to comply with her demands so she doesn’t wake up the three year old (who can be a fragile sleeper at times as well). My compassion for her is giving way to anger as I am starting to feel like I am being played. She can’t tell us what these nightmares are about, and no reassuring appeases her. She just wants to be in our bed, between Jo and I.
Any advice? Do I bribe her? Threaten her? Gag her? Don’t make me call Nanny 911!


mamatulip said...


No advice, just hopes that it stops soon.

alison said...

I weaned Rae out of my bed by telling her that she could only sleep with me every second night, then after a while, every third night, and so on until she was in her bed fulltime (mostly). But she wasn't having nightmares. Both girls know that if they have nightmares they can come jump in with me.

That's a hard one, because if she's having nightmares, then you don't want to be mean to her by making her go back to her own bed, but if the nightmares are just an excuse, you want to nip the habit in the bud. I'm not being much help, am I.

You could try lying down with her in her bed when she has a nightmare. That works with Leah. She'll call out to me, then I'll go lie with her and she'll tell me about her dream and then I tell her it's gone and she can go back to sleep and I wait there til she falls back asleep. It usually takes about 5 minutes. Of course, sometimes I fall asleep lying there and we end up sharing her twin bed.

Good luck.

alison said...

Ooops, just reread your post and found out the 'lie in her bed' thing doesn't work. Don't know how I missed it the first time through.

Hmmm, how about getting some linen spray (I have some lavender linen/room spray from Avon) and give her pillow a spray. The scent is soothing and you can tell her that it keeps the nightmares away. You could to a reward system, that if she can stay in her own bed (you could still go in and soothe her if she has a bad dream) for 5 nights in a row (or however many) you'll take her for ice cream/trip to the dollar store/ stickers/insert reward here.

Might work.

Chantal said...

Still have a crib mattress handy? Or an air mattress? Maybe put one on the floor in your room and tell her that she is welcome to pad into your room when she gets scared, but that she has to sleep there?

Carrie Wilson Link said...

No advice, only love.