Posted in Behavior, Sleep, Preschoolers

Feeling Depressed/Need A Plan

Anonymous

My family is military, and we have moved twice in the past year alone. It’s me and my two little kids and we are staying at my in-laws’ place for a little while. My in-laws are really great, and even help me with nighttime stuff with the kiddos, which I love. The problem is with my 3 year old. She’s a sensitive kid, but also VERY smart and manipulative. For the longest time when it was me and my husband, my husband would give in to her when she would have nighttime tantrums or say “I’m scared”. He would sleep in her room on her floor. I can definitely tell the difference between when she’s really scared, and when she is just saying that in order to be manipulative. Since we got here, she’s been doing okay, but more recently (don’t know what the trigger was) she started saying “I’m scared” and throwing fits in the middle of the night. The biggest issue is that this house is a 3 bedroom and she is now sharing a room with my 15 month old, so when she does this she wakes the baby up. I don’t mind holding firm in getting her back to bed repeatedly, but I do mind it when I have to take care of the baby, too. I had just gotten the baby used to sleeping through the night on her own when she started pulling this stuff. So I took the baby in my room last night just so she wouldn’t be disturbed by her sister, and now I am probably going to have to deal with both of them night waking again. Plus I’m preggo with #3, so there’s that. I’m exhausted and depressed, especially dealing with this stuff in front of my in-laws, who are seeing me at my worst. They are very supportive but I still feel bad about disturbing their sleep and the fact that they are now having to deal with this, too. I just feel so upset and like I can’t control the situation. I really need a plan. I have tried reassuring her, sitting in the hallway or even on her bed until she goes back to sleep. She now has a lamp by her bed in the room, daddy sent her a special stuffed animal and she has lots of stuffies, she has a noise machine, I have even left the door open with the hall light on, and she still says that she’s scared. I am at the point where I don’t know if it’s true or not but I feel there is nothing left I can do about it except be firm and consistent about putting her back to bed. And before anyone suggests, sleeping with me is not an option. She crowds me and pushes me off the side of the bed, and I still don’t sleep well-not to mention I don’t want her in our bed or room when baby #3 comes. Any ideas? 😭 Sorry for the novel.

  • Diana
    Nov 27

    Try just sitting down and asking your child during the day, for example: Mom: “i know you’ve been having trouble sleeping through the night lately... and you have to sleep in your bed and mommy sleeps in her bed in her room. What can we do to help you stay in your bed all night?” Child: “you sleep with me?” Mom: “no, I have to sleep in my own bed, what about if we put a picture of me near your bed? Child: looks tentative Mom: “would you be more comfortable if you could hear me?” Child: looks excited at the idea, “uh huh” Mom: “then I’m going to leave this recording of me saying (whatever is comforting and common in your family) and you can hit ‘play’ anytime you need to” Or the conversation might deviate into monsters and how to scare them away, etc, etc... But I would let your child feel like she’s leading the conversation so that in the middle of the night you can tell her, “now remember, we discussed this and you decided on ___, so you have to go back to bed now, but we can talk about it again once the sun’s up”

  • Eleanor
    Dec 02

    When I was scared at night my parents had a blanket or sleeping bag on their bedroom floor for me. I only used it when I really was scared! Floors aren’t too comfy. Before that I would say I was scared so I could snuggle them 😂

  • Anonymous
    Dec 04

    I just let them come in my bed. Once they fall back to sleep I put them in their bed....or don’t. It’s just a phase and 3 is still pretty little. Lots of change is hard on everyone but especially little ones.