3 year old still does NOT sleep through the night

Stephanie - posted on 05/19/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I am at my wits end and don’t know what to do. My three year old daughter still does not sleep through the night or at least not consistently. She will sleep through the night maybe one night in a week or two week time span. All the other nights she wakes up once, twice maybe three times or more during the night. In the morning I am so tired, with a low level of patience and high level of frustration and cranky. I feel awful that I am that way. She has never been a good sleeper.



Some background information, during her first year I always rocked her to sleep never realizing that she needed to learn to fall asleep on her own. I was not a fan of Crying It Out so I slowly had her learn to fall asleep on her own. She now falls asleep on her own for both bedtime and naptime and has been doing so about a year and a half. I just don’t understand why she needs so much reassurance during the night. And how do I solve this problem, so I can get some sleep? During the middle of the night, she calls me into her room for stuff like her hair is in her face or her blanket needs to be fixed or to tell me something or for some other reason that I really don’t know why. She is still in her crib and has no interest in changing to a bed. She insists on the door being open and must have the lights on. She has a nightlight that is on and we have recessed lighting in her bedroom on a dimmer so they are on but dimmed down low. Sometimes she calls me in because when she looks out her bedroom door it is dark in the rest of the house. I explain to her that it is night time and that is why it is dark in the house. She will start crying and screaming. I tell her that she needs to be quiet because her baby brother and Daddy are sleeping but she won’t stop. I have to threaten to close the door but she still won’t stop, so then I close her door for a minute and open it up and she will finally stop screaming and lie back down. By the time this battle is over and I get back to bed, I can’t sleep. Or if we don’t have a battle then after calling me into her room two or three times then I am up and can’t go back to sleep.



I have no idea what to do and I really need to do something to help this situation. I am just so tired and worn out. I would have thought she would have outgrown this by now. Does anyone have any advice, suggestions or anything to help me figure out what I can do so she will sleep better???



Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance.

Stephanie

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Suzannah - posted on 05/21/2009

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A read about a technique one time that might be helpful, though I haven't tried it myself. You can give her two objects (for example, artificial flowers or cut out shapes) when you put her down at night. Explain that she has these two things to trade to mommy for a visit to her room. So if she calls you into her room for any reason, she needs to give one to you. When they are gone, you will no longer come to her room when she calls. The idea is that she will feel safe knowing that she could see you if she really needed to and will therefore stop calling for you constantly. She might also want to hold onto one of the objects, not use them all up, so she would try to resist calling for you right away and keep one. I guess you would have to be tough and really not go in if she has no more to give you. Just an idea. Good luck!

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