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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all…I am desperately needing Mothering help.
I used to post here a kazillion times daily when my daughter was younger, but have been MIA for the last couple years. Here is my story. I was married and had my daughter, who is now 7. When we had her…we did the family bed and the whole shebang. She weaned the month before she turned 4, and at that point I worked on getting her to her own bed. She got to where she would go to sleep in there, but would always end up in our bed. It was not a big deal to either of us and life carried on. Fast forward a year….I was blindsided by an impromptu divorce the month before she turned 5. On our own, we moved 3 times that next year trying to regroup. During that time she slept with me…because it was practical and because she was having a hard enough time in general without having to readjust to three different rooms. Last year we got settled in an apartment and she had her own room. I worked to get her situated in there, and again…she would start out in her bed and usually end up with me in bed. Again…it was not that big of a deal to me. Partly because I was raised in the family bed and it was just normal. And honestly, I was working a ton to try and keep us afloat, and by evening time I just wanted to go to sleep and that was the path of least resistance. Then a few months in our apartment complex caught fire…we had to make the run out at 2am…3 people died, and once again my child was scared to death of sleeping alone. So the last several months she had been back in bed with me.

Part two…I have been dating a wonderful man the last year, and we are moving things forward and are planning to get married and have lots o babies.  He is absolutely fantastic..great with my daughter…have a large house with a great yard and all kinds of space. A couple weeks ago we move in there. My daughter was just fine with it and loves him to death. She has a room across the hall. I camped out in her room that first week, and after that would do bedtime with her and then she wanders into bed with us during the night. The issues are lying here…
a)I don't sleep well when she is in bed...she is very restless
b)She has gone from crawling in bed at 5am to crawling in bed at 11pm…which means less and less sleep for me
c)She has always had bedtime anxiety…she never just wakes up and rolls over and goes back to sleep…she makes a mad run for me...always been that way. I don't care if she climbs in my bed, but I do not want her to be constantly having all of this anxiety. Bedtime is and had always been some big negative thing for her…to the point that I lay with her till she goes to sleep cause she flips otherwise.

Other bits…I have a really solid bedtime routine with her…lots of wind down time etc. I know that life has been one big transition for her, and that we are in the middle of another tramatic transition. I am trying to find the balance of starting so good positive habits now, but also not overloading her. She doesn't sleep well. I don't sleep well. My sig other is wonderfully supportive in whatever we need to do. He does not flip about her climbing in bed…and isn't pushing one way of the other. He does see me struggling, her being tired and anxiety ridden about bedtime…and it is no good all the way around.

I know this is the foundation I have laid, and am not upset with my DD for having the habits she does. I just need to know how I can undo all of this and help her transition, and her anxiety, etc. She and I have talked and talked about it to no avail. She is a very strong willed and spirited child….and I have not slept a full night in 7 years.

Anyone have any advice on how to set up a plan to help us set a good sleep habit, without adding to her bedtime angst?

And if anyone got this far in my incoherent sleepless rambling, thank you. 
 

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Wow!
You guys have been thru a lot. I can see why she would want you near.

With my disclaimer that I have in no way been in your situation...

Have you thought about putting a mat/mattress in your room next to your side of the bed? She could come in and lay down near you.

What about having her start out in your bed and slowly "weaning" her back to her room? First in your bed, then on a bed next to/at the foot of yours, etc. It seems your SO is open to helping her adjust. It might put a crimp in your intimacy for a while ~ but probably worth the investment.

Good luck! Hope you get some other ideas!
 

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I second the mattress of pallet in the floor next to your bed. I sometimes would sleep in the floor of my parents room up until I got married at 22yo
: it was a comfort thing and I liked being near them. I did it more when I was younger and less as I grew. Maybe this is what she needs to know that you are very close if she needs you all she has to do is raise up and look at you. Worth a shot.
 

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I don't really know - but lots of hugs to you. It sounds like you are a wonderful mama!!!

Maybe she is old enough to get really excited about decorating her own room so the she can have super fun sleep overs?

ORRR - when I was a little girl I was TERRIFIED of the dark. My dad, who was a chemist by trade, made me a "monster potion" that I sprayed every night before I went to be at the entrance to my bedroom, in the hallway, under the bed, at the window and in the closet. This was very effective at keeping the monsters away. My parents helped me with this every night and it was a very dramatic and somber routine. Then I set up my stuffed animals in military rows so they could combat what ever while I slept. I slept with my Big Bear - who all the family knew was especially protective of me. My dog slept on and/or under the bed so I knew that she would bark if there was a burgler or kidnapper. When I found out about the risk of fire - I insisted on a fire ladder that I could hang from my window - and we did emergency fire drills, and I was in charge of testing the fire alarm. Also, my mom told me that as long as I stayed under my sheets nothing imaginary could hurt me.

Wow, writing all of that out makes me seem like a wierd little kid!! Hmmmmm!!
I guess I have always liked planning for contingencies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
GOsh thanks guys. This is just so much transition at one time for us. And for those of you that think you are weird...I had AP parents...and at almost 28...when I go home to visit, my mom and daughter and I almost always end up in the same sleeping space..lol.
 

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My ds1 turned 7 today. He is sleeping right now..... in our room on the floor! Where he has slept at least 90% of the time for the last few years. Last night he slept in his own room, but only b/c the 2 year old agreed to sleep with him so he had someone to cuddle. We're trying to get them to do that more often.

I think it's normal for a 7 yo to still not want to sleep alone. Try a sleeping bag or something on the floor so she's at least not in your bed.
 

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I would say that at this point, you need to let your daughter know what you've decided is best for her and stick to it. Don't discuss it anymore. If you want her to stay in her bed or her room, let her know. If you don't care where she sleeps, get a futon for your room, let her know that she can sleep there, but not in the big bed. I would guess that anymore discussion and worrying about her anxiety will just serve to increase her anxiety even more.

Look, between all the moves and the fire (!) I can certainly see why your daughter feels that she's not secure at night. But all the talking about it must make her think that you have no way to relieve her of her fears. Tell her that you do. If you want her to stay in her room, put a bedside lamp within easy reach of her pillow. Put a radio or CD player right next to it. Turning on the light and hearing human voices goes along way toward dispelling those things that go bump in the night. I would also try a sticker chart for rewarding her if and when she's able to spend the entire night in her own room. At first, you will probably have to walk her back to bed, put the light and the music on, and help her calm down. I know that's tough to do when you haven't slept yourself. But think about it this way...when will it be easier to do, now, or when you are newly pregnant?
 

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I see that the OP is almost a year old.

Did the poster mean to update us?
 
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