Monsters

Crystal - posted on 01/17/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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OK HELP!!! Ashlyn (almost 33 months old) is starting to have nightmares about a monster. We have givin her a flashlight, she has a night light, she has a special "mommy & daddy safe pillow", and Sean checks her room at night also. BUT she is waking up and doesn't want to go back to sleep. I do NOT wanna get her back in the habit of sleeping w us, but we all need sleep and don't know what else to do! HELP!!!

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[deleted account]

My son had a similar problem--it didn't matter that we were protecting him from monsters when he was awake b/c they only came to him in sleep. Does that make since--the monster spray didn't work b/c he had to be awake to use it, and once he was awake, he was safe from the monster. It's sort of a catch 22....

What we figured out was that his nightmares increased when he got less sleep. This happened b/c he started to dream before he was in a deep enough sleep (b/c he was overly tired), thus the dreaming woke him up. Most dreams are scary or stressful b/c they are our subconscious sorting through our information and getting rid of what we don't need, storing what we do in long term memory--it's just not pleasant. We don't usually remember b/c we are in an unconscious state, and if you are lucky enough to sleep deeply through the end of the sleep cycle (you have several each night) you should have no memory of the dream once you are in a conscious state. But if you are not in a deep sleep, your conscious mind will retain some of the memory, or the stress of dreaming will wake you up. That's what may be happening.

Some things that can cause us not to reach a deep enough sleep are stress, uncertainty or worry, or lack of sleep. Try giving her more time to sleep--earlier bedtime, longer naps. And if she seems stressed (often the stress does not come from seeing something on tv, but from a change in her daily routine) try cuddling with her at nap time and making sure she knows that her life will not change dramatically ei--you are always going to be there for her.

hope this helps some...

Annie - posted on 01/17/2010

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Is she legitimately scared or has she just realized that the "cry monster" trick gets her extra mommy and daddy time in the middle of the night? Little kids can be more manipulative than you'd expect. The only other thing I can think of is just to make sure you are confident when you tell her it's okay and that there are no monsters because monsters don't exist. Is she watching anything scary during the day? Sometimes even the most seemingly-benign things can be scary to little kids. My aunt took my little cousin to the theater when he was about 3 and they had to leave before it even started because he lost it over the Fandango paper bag puppets and had nightmares for weeks! She might be a little too young to see a monster (even cartoon one) on TV and understand that monsters don't really exist. Good luck.

A side note, I can remember being 5 or so and having nightmares, my dad would come in and lay with me for about ten minutes and tell me a story that was calming and happy and then tell me that it was okay and he'd go on back to his room.

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She is probably just adjusting to not having the nap anymore--it is both a major schedule change and a change in her sleep cycle patterns. The bad dreams and night wakings should go away in just a few weeks once she gets used to the new sleep patterns :)

Crystal - posted on 01/17/2010

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She did recently stop taking naps during the day, but she only needs 10 to 14 hours of sleep a day anyway (according to the doctor, its not uncommon to replace nap time w quiet time) so that is what we do. She lays in my bed while brother (16 months) takes a nap in his room. He sleeps 2 to 3 hours so we just lay down, NO talking until he wakes up. Their bed time is the same every night. Between 8 and 8:20. We have had the same routine since she was a baby. We worked brother into that. We get up at the same time, we eat snacks, lunch, nap, snacks, dinner, bath, stories, prayer, bed.....same same same!! But maybe since she stopped the naps she is still tired and thats where the dreams are coming from. Thanks for your help!! God Bless

Crystal - posted on 01/17/2010

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Thanks ladies!! The spray bottle I have heard. The problem is is that she is not scared of the monsters, but they are still waking her nevertheless. ?!?!?!

Laura - posted on 01/17/2010

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get in2 her imagination, get a hand full ov glitter/talcum powder and tell her its fairydust, get her and you a wand, tell her this is magic fairydust and its goin 2 make the monsters disappear, go to her room throw it up in the air n say look the fairys have come to take the monsters away, chase them with her down the staisr and out the front door and tell her the fairys have took the monsters away and there not cumin back and sound really excited while doing this, hope this helps my nephew 4 is very imaginitive and it worked a treat xx laura xx

Andrea - posted on 01/17/2010

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Take a spray bottle put water and gliter or whatever you want.. Mark it as Monster Spray.. Let he spray her room to keep the monsters out.. I have doing this with my 25 month old son.. It has been a life saver.. He spays under his bed,closet, dressers and ect.. Hope this is helpful.. best wishes and take care...

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