How do I get a six year old who has intense nightmares to stop sleeping in our bed?

Holly - posted on 08/02/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )




My daughter has been unable to go to sleep on her own since she was three years old. Even when she was an infant, it was nearly impossible without the crying, etc.

For the last few years, she'll start out in her bed (with me lying on the floor next to her), wake up screaming or crying, and come into our bed. For the last few months, she now just starts out in our bed because I'm tired of the years of bringing her back to her bed. Now, my marriage is having troubles. Help! I'll take any advice at all. Thank you.


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Maya - posted on 03/17/2013




Hi, usually my daughter comes into my room ALL the time! But it's stopped because every night I put a princess hat on her and grab a play sword. I act like a knight and save her from the evil wizard (dad). Then I bestow on her a magical kiss that will form a force field around her and filter out bad dreams but let in good dreams. She believes in my kiss and falls asleep very fast. Now this is a routine and I'm finally sleeping, try this. Good Luck!!

Robyn - posted on 08/02/2009




Dont worry this is normal at this age! The little ones imagination is working in overtime . She will grow out of it, untill she does something I have done is recite a little poem, prayer or give her a special item that "will keep the bad dreams away" it works but be warned it itself will become a habit and she will need you to do it every night. Something I tried with my son was a magic kiss ( something I did every night anyway). It worked he is 8 now I have to make him kiss me at night!! haha

Dorian - posted on 08/02/2009




OMG MY SON DOES THIS AND HES NINE i also did when i was a child..i started lettin him read some scriptures before bedtime and its helped ..but wish i could figure out y this happens ...i filter his tv shows to make sure hes not watching anything thats provoking the dreams and he still has a little trouble but not as much as before..good luck to you

Shreyna - posted on 08/02/2009




My younger sister and I shared a room when we were little. She use to have nightmares about giant spiders attacking her. She would wake up screaming. So I would go to her bed and help comfort her. She had those nightmares because one of our uncles locked her in a closet for not behaving and telling her there were spiders in the closet and they were going to get her. I'm not saying that some may have done something to your daughter. But, do you know what her nightmares are? Maybe it's connected to something. Try talking to her about her nightmares and have her tell you every detail (I'm sure you probably have done that, but it might help you think about it deeper). Trying going to build a bear and let her pick out a stuffed animal for her to sleep with. You could also give her a blankie to sleep with if she doesn't already have one. I know I would hide under my blankie if I got scared. To this day I like to have a blanket even if I'm not cold, just for comfort. IF you are religious, you could play church music in her room. Or you could just play nice calm relaxing instramental music in her room. You could have a dream catcher over her bead and teach her what dream catchers are. Does she still take naps? If so, is she taking them with you? Try to get her to take naps by herself if that is the case. Maybe for the first couple of days she could take her nap in her room by herself, and once she get use to that then have her go to bed at night by herself. Maybe even have her bedroom light or a lamp on as if it was day. I hope this helps. good luck.

Pamela - posted on 08/02/2009




Hi Holly

It sounds like your having a few problems.I would recommend starting by spending some time playing in her room with her and then setting a constant bed time routine of a shower or bath, pjs on then a story and then lights out. With my son we use a night light as well and have a gate at his door so he can still see us. On the first few nights of the new routine you might not get any sleep. Start by doing the new routine then closing the door and waiting for 5 mins if she is crying before you go back in re-settle her and then say "i will be back soon" and walk out again wait 10mins then if she is still crying go back in and resettle her without talking to her so she understands that its bedtime and not play time, then gradually increase the time by 5 mins each time she will eventually go to sleep in her own bed it may take a while but don't give in. I know it will be hard especially when they are crying. It took us 3 nights to get our son used to being in his own room without us. I hope that helps. With your marriage problems if you can work on getting your daughter to sleep in her own bed it will allow you both time for each other. Goodluck

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