do you allow your child to sleep in your room after a nightmare? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-17-2012, 05:49 PM
 
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We have a family bedroom (each person has their own bed on the floor in our giant open attic). My 6 and 8 year old know they can jump into my bed when they are scared. To me, it is a very fundamental thing I can offer. It doesn't happen much but I feel glad to give it. I do usually send them back to their own beds because I am a light sleeper and besides, I am literally in the room anyway.

Kids. I got two of 'em.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:21 PM
 
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We have a family bed so I'm not really speaking from experience but after reading your updates, I think this may be your answer:
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Originally Posted by indigosky View Post

Although it does mean that I'm in their room to nurse at least a couple times most nights. That's what ended up helping her fall asleep most recently: the little one woke up so I sat in their room and nursed while the big one fell back to sleep.

You could treat it the same way you treat nursing the baby. You go in there, stay as long as she needs you, stay until she falls asleep, maybe you fall asleep too while you're in there. You can still creep out after she's asleep if you need to work, you can maintain your bedroom boundaries, but you're there for her to help her back to sleep for as long as she needs you. Maybe move an extra mattress into their room so you can be more comfortable & finish out the night in their room if you want to or she needs you to. I don't think she needs to be in YOUR bed or bedroom for you to provide that comfort, it's simply that many of us find it easier to just have the kid come in your room instead of vice versa. I used to WAH so I know the unique struggles that may bring... and I also used to have horrible nightmares/night fears and spent almost every night on my parents' floor, so I know how much that extra security may be needed!

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Old 12-17-2012, 06:26 PM
 
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The younger one is just starting to transition to her own room, so she ends up with us most nights anyway at some point or another. The older one does come in sometimes when she's had a nightmare, but it's very rare - maybe once a year or something. She's 10. I think it's important that she know the option exists. My husband says that she's big enough we don't all fit though so he moves into the guest room if she moves in. We play musical beds. But it's probably not even once a year and if she comes in it's a pretty serious nightmare, so we work with it.

I remember having horrible nightmares a couple of times and begging to sleep at least on the floor in my parents' room because they were so bad, and being yelled at, and then falling asleep on the floor in the hall next to their doorand getting in trouble for that when the woke up in the morning. I don't want my kids to feel that.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

The younger one is just starting to transition to her own room, so she ends up with us most nights anyway at some point or another. The older one does come in sometimes when she's had a nightmare, but it's very rare - maybe once a year or something. She's 10. I think it's important that she know the option exists. My husband says that she's big enough we don't all fit though so he moves into the guest room if she moves in. We play musical beds. But it's probably not even once a year and if she comes in it's a pretty serious nightmare, so we work with it.
I remember having horrible nightmares a couple of times and begging to sleep at least on the floor in my parents' room because they were so bad, and being yelled at, and then falling asleep on the floor in the hall next to their doorand getting in trouble for that when the woke up in the morning. I don't want my kids to feel that.

Yup, my parents made me sleep in the hall outside their closed door. WTF?? I would have night terrors and scary hallucinations and be stuck out on a freezing hallway with just a scratchy thing rug to sleep on. Pretty terrible. I can't imagine doing that to my kids!

Kids. I got two of 'em.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:22 PM
 
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I let my kids sleep with me any time they want to, which includes after a nightmare. I remember being sent back to my room as a kid and the feeling I had was not pleasant because I was not only still scared but my parent weren't "there" for me when I needed them.
 

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Old 12-31-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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I was either brought into my parents' bed when I had a nightmare, or (more likely) my mom would come and sleep with me in my bed until I was back asleep. My mother "saving" me from nightmares is still some of my best childhood memories of her.

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Old 12-31-2012, 08:41 PM
 
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I absolutely let my DD (age 10) sleep with me whenever she is scared and lots of other times too. I still get angry when I think of being left alone with my nightmares as a child.

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Old 12-31-2012, 08:52 PM
 
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hug.gif This is horrible Silverring. I too wasn't allowed in my parents' room, but my brother was. Sucks.
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Originally Posted by Silverring View Post

The only times I remember breaking the rule and going into my parents' bedroom was when I told them I heard a cat fall down my chimney (there was a boarded up fireplace in my room.)  I got told to get out and I sat all night listening to it scrabbling around in there and crying.

Eventually, in the morning, they believed me because they could hear it too.  It was a magpie.

The other time was when I hurt my neck somehow in my sleep and I couldn't move it.  I was told to go wash my face but I couldn't lift my hands up to my face and again I just lay in pain until someone eventually believed me.  I had to wear a neck brace afterwards.

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:12 PM
 
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My kids can come to bed with us whenever they want. They're 6 and 8 (the 11 month old doesn't enjoy co-sleeping, so she sleeps in her crib). My 6yo still comes in a few times per month, 8yo less often. I wouldn't turn them away if they were having a nightmare :(


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Old 01-01-2013, 12:53 PM
 
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I would, but I understand why the situation is difficult with your workspace in the same room.  Does this usually happen after you've already gone to bed, or while you're still up working?

 

We weren't dealing with nightmares, but we had a pallet on the floor for one of my twins who really wanted to be near me at night. He started there, I removed him when I went to bed, and he woke and returned at some point late in the night.   So starting one place and ending in another is a viable option. You might just need to say it explicitly to your child.

 

About a week ago, I woke up with someone wormed up to me. I clearly sleep deeper than I used to, because it was a surprise to me and didn't know which kid it was. Turned out it was one of the 7 year olds, the one who hasn't slept in my bed since about 18 months. When I asked later what brought him to my bed, he said he'd had a bad dream. 


Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by indigosky View Post

Thanks, Meepycat. I agree about how it helps to get your brain doing some other stuff before going back to sleep. I try to do that with DD, too, but I like some of your ideas and I think I'll add in even more of them.
The reality is that sleeping in our room at 4 a.m. (the time she had her most recent nightmare±) isn't a big deal -- we're not working then. What I want to avoid is having her fall back into a pattern of wanting to be in our room all the time, since we just recently managed to end that pattern and we were all feeling good about it. (The Floppy Sleep Game CD rocks! Or is is it the Sleepy Flop Game? I always get mixed up.) But maybe they're two completely different issues -- I'm open to a policy that says, "You can come into our room in X situation/time but not Y situation/time." I just don't want to turn it into a constant begging/negotiating/explaining/reminding about the policy thing, and it feels like there's some risk of that. Of course I hated being alone and scared after a nightmare, too. I wasn't mad at my parents, but I was still scared.


I understand about not wanting to fall back into the pattern - when my 5yo daughter started having nightmares now and then, I worried that she would get into the habit of coming to our bed and we'd have to do the beg/negotiate...etc... For us, when she comes to our bed, no one sleeps well and we all get really cranky with each other. She knows that too, so when she has nightmares once and a while and asked to come in, I gently remind her of it! But I never ever leave her alone awake and scared. We get up, pee, have a drink of water, lots of hugs... Sometimes if she's really upset and says she doesn't want to be alone, I sit with her with her christmas lights on and we go through her whole basket of stuffed animals. I talk about each one, and line them all up against the wall on her bed and say how they're all there to keep her company. We call them her friends. One at a time, the bear goes to sit with curious george, the duck with the doll...etc. Even if it takes an hour before I can go back to bed, it's worth it because we will all sleep better. She really likes it, she turns over to face the wall with all her friends lined up with her. I leave the christmas lights on so she doesn't fall asleep in the dark. I always go back if she needs me. This seems to work well for us, everyone gets to sleep happily :)

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:03 PM
 
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"Ive actually never had that happen.  i wouldnt let the boys stay in my room.  DD still sleeps with us most of the time but if she was over 4 and in her own room i would help her back to bed. i wouldnt want to make a habit of coming into my room every night.  we sleep with our door locked anyway"

 

Sharlla, you keep your door locked and your kids are in their own separate rooms?  I'm wondering what your reasoning is for locking the door.  Are you a light sleeper?  I would worry that in case of an emergency my kids wouldn't be able to get to me. 

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Old 01-05-2013, 09:42 PM
 
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A good nights sleep was most important for me. There is no way I was waking up and walking down the hall to feed a baby. My babies all slept with us (king size bed) until they were sleeping all night in their own beds. The golden rule in our house is "don't wake mommy." Our door is always open (we would freeze if it was shut) Most of the time they just climbed into our bed and went back to sleep. After they weaned themselves they were taught to get a snack or drink if they were hungry in the middle of the night. My daughter had those night terrors, but she would just fall right back to sleep.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:13 AM
 
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I lay down next to them till they go back to sleep but if they wake up later the same nite I will let them sleep In our room. Although my son still sleeps with us at nite and is almost 4 we are going to hopefully trasition him soon to his own bed.

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