sharonj's picture

Daughter not sleeping alone

My 10 year old daughter does not  fall asleep for hours when she is in her own bed, with the night light on.  As soon as she gets into my bed she is asleep in less than a minute.  I have tried everything from staying in bed with her and leaving when she falls asleep (she gets up within 10 minutes), to sitting at her desk in her room until she goes to sleep.  Most of the time she lies there awake.  I or my husband usually go into her bed to sleep and she is in our bed because we just get so tired that we need to sleep.  This has been going on for years.  And yes, I know, it's my fault :(  

If anybody has any suggestioins I would be so grateful. 



sharonj's picture

Hi Marti,

I know your advice is absolutely right.

About 1 1/2 years ago I went through putting her in her bed and leaving her there and walked her back to her bed if she came to my bed in the middle of the night...IT WORKED :)  But after a few months I had house guests and I needed her room for them. (I have a 2 bedroom apt) know the rest. And again, my mom is coming here for 2 months so I give her my daughters room and my daughter gets to sleep in my bed.

But, I will try again after she leaves.  Thanks so much for the advice.


nedemoe's picture

I have gone through this situation with my own daughter who is now 14.  I spent the first 8 years of her life sitting or lying beside her bed until she fell asleep.  If I got up to leave too soon she would sit up in panic and plead with me not to leave.  Sometime I would wake up on the floor by her bed at 1:00 in the morning and get up and go to my own bed for the rest of the night.  When she started going to school for full days she also started showing other signs of anxiety about being away from me.  My doctor insisted I should just be firm with her and put her in her room at night, close the door and let her scream and cry herself to sleep, but I ask you, what kind of mother can do that?  Not the kind of mother I am.  I eventually took her for an assessment at the Hospital for Sick Kids Anxiety Clinic and she was determined to have seperation anxiety disorder and some social phobias.  We enrolled her and ourselves in a 12 week workshop for children with anxiety disorders and it was amazingly effective.  About 12 children met together once a week to learn coping strategies for anxiety and at the same time their parents met seperately to learn ways to help our kids overcome these issues.  One of the things we did was develop a plan with the active participation of the child, to change one behavior.  For us it was the sleeping behavior.  Over a period of 6 weeks we gradually reduced the amount of time we spent in the bedroom with our daughter at night and the number of follow up visits.  My daughter took the lead in deciding how long visits would be and how long the spaces between visits would be too.  She also got to choose a prize for each week she was successful in carrying out the program with a bigger prize at the end of it, at which point she would be going to bed by herself.  It worked!  I believe she wanted to be able to sleep by herself but didn't know how to cope with her fears.  I think it's very important to respect what our children are experiencing and find ways to help them deal with whatever it is that is causing their problems.  If it is anxiety, treating it when they are young  will give them coping skills that they can use throughout their lives. 

Raeann's picture

I don't know what to tell you about her sleeping in her own bed at night.

But when your Mom comes instead of her sleeping in your bed. If you have enough room get a small blow up bed and put in on the floor in her room or your room. Depends if you Mom wants the privice. Good luck

dawn gallet's picture
dawn gallet

I have the same problem with my soon to be 11 year old.  My husband has to lay with her and when he goes to leave (whatever time in the night) she comes and finds him.  Night time is such a battle in our household because my 6 year old says it is not fair that her sister gets to sleep with a parent and she doesnt(she is right).  My 11 year old just started going to sleep overs but i think she passes out because she is extremely tired the next day.  I dont know how to just get through it.  We have tried bribes and threats and it seems like she wants to do it but she cant.  Any suggestions

Trisscity's picture

My situation is a little different. My daughter slept with me till she was 4 years old and I was in the process of trying to wean her and she started having seizures at night time. Once we got through the initial shock of that and got her medicated I wasn't in a hurry to get her into her own bed because I feel safer knowing that I'm in bed with her if anything happens (because she still has seizures just not as often with meds) but I did need her to fall asleep and be able to be asleep on her own. Eventually she needs to be in her own bed. So what I did was after she fell asleep with my help I got up and went and did my homework (college student), laundry, read a book, etc. Usually she'd get up within the hour looking for me. I continued to do this and over time she started staying in there longer and longer. Now she is 7 and never gets up unless she has a bad dream (rare) or if she has to go potty. Even then she's able to go right back in there and fall asleep. I have even begun to use the music choice on the TV. I play the classical music or the sounds of the season. Right now they are playing lots of really good Christmas music. This puts her to sleep within minutes.