Hello, I have a six year old daughter and I can't get her to go to sleep or stay asleep.I have become very desprate, I also have 2 other children, I know this is wrong but I have had to slip her a " mickey" almost once a week just so everyone in the house can get a good night sleep.
When it comes to bed time she starts by saying she is scared but doesn't know of what. She also complains about haveing bad dreams, But she is also very clingie to me during the day. Could this be a separation or somthing? I have tried to reward her IF she stays in her own bed. ( we now own a guinie pig) This has not worked, She has two nightlights in her room, But nothing seems to be working. From the time she was a baby she slept on her own until the age of four when this started. Any advice you can give will be applied I'm all out of ideas. Thanks
Mother Nature will take care of the sleep part, but you have to be sure your daughter goes to bed in her own bed and remains there throughout the night - these are the goals. You have probably reached a point where you are unwittingly abetting her behavior, although of course I'm not sure about that.
Your general approach of an incentive system makes sense, but be sure the incentive is something that occurs on a daily basis (e.g., a favorite TV show). Be rigid about the expectation that she go to bed in her own bed (don't start her sleeping somewhere else), and insist that she stay in her own bed.
Under no circumstances should you permit her to join you in your bed, or sleep on the floor next to you, etc. This problem probably started as age-typical nighttime fears at the age of four, and then developed into a habit pattern. To the extent that you can change your behavior, your daughter will follow suit.
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