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Scared 4 year old at night


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My three kids (7,6&4) spend all their time together during the day. But at night, DD is alone in her room and the boys are together. DD (4 yrs) has trouble falling asleep and for the last several weeks she's been crying and carrying on that she's scared. I've tried everything - lamp on in her room, I tape the curtains to the windows so she can't "see the shadows outside", we keep the tv on in the living room whether we're watching it or not so there's noise and it's not so quiet that she hears all the scary sounds outside of... I don't know, neighbor's car door slamming, cat walking through the bushes. We even moved one of her brothers in there with her, but he fell asleep quickly last night and she's crying at 9:30 that she's scared. I gave her a plastic gun to shoot the monsters. DH has gone in there and had her tell him everything she's afraid of, we sit in there and listen to and identify every single noise we hear. What else is there to do?Or are we just being played because she can't fall asleep and wants some company? Having her sleep in our room is not an option!;)

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My boy (9) is the same way........ what has helped has been a cd player playing music with natural sounds and a couple of nightlights.

 

He still gets out of bed and comes and finds me and hugs me and tries to stay up later. I've told him that if he keeps telling himself (and us) that he might be scared or is scared that he WILL be scared. So now he comes out fewer times and tells me, "I'm not going to be afraid, Mom!" We all have a good laugh and he is off to bed...usually for good.

 

My middle child used to do this, also.....and somewhere she picked up this saying, "I'm a big brave dog! I'm a big brave dog!" and she would go to bed. I guess she was channeling her inner Clifford. LOL

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DD has to have a CD of lullabies on never-ending repeat to drown out any sounds that bug her. Sometimes I have to turn on a fan on top of the music. And I leave a light on in her room. It's scary to be three or four!

 

She still gets up a couple of times a night crying and wanting me to come sleep with her. She doesn't want in my room, she wants me in hers. Still trying to figure out how to get through this one.

 

What I'm trying to say, poorly, is that I don't think it's that unusual and maybe it would be helpful to put her in with her brothers to sleep? If DD had siblings that's what I'd be doing.

 

Good luck!

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We're in the midst of this with my 6yo. He isn't scared tho. He's just lonely. He can identify those feelings. He has always been a kid that time-out has worked well for because he just doesn't like to be alone. We are at our wits end though because his big sister doesn't want him in her bed and we don't want him in ours. He slaps and kicks and snuggles too close at night and none of us can sleep with him comfortably. Last night was the final straw. i wound up on the couch when he got in our bed so he could have my space and not crowd dh and keep him up.

 

DH has suggested a pallet in our bedroom. His thought was that he'd be with us but not in our bed, and it would be uncomfortable enough that he'd want to go back to his own bed. First of all, I don't like the idea of him on the floor like a dog or something. Second of all, I'm not convinced he'd ever find it uncomfortable enough.

 

Right now we have him listen to books on tape to fall asleep, and I do try to wear him out during the day. I also set a timer and go back in there in intervals to check on him. Kind of like a "cry it out" technique. but he's not crying. Something about knowing I am coming back to check on him helps. I usually only have to do it once or twice before he's out. Now it's just a matter of dealing with him coming to our room at 2am. I'm usually so exhausted that I let him in.:glare:

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DD never liked being alone either. She reasoned that since her brothers had each other, dh and I were together, she should be able to sleep with someone, too. What finally helped was putting in a Jim Weiss CD at night. Good Night is excellent for young children. It is soothing and creates positive imagery.

 

I think this really is her problem, rather than actual fear. But she knows if she says she's scared we'll come to her. I just ordered that CD from Amazon. Thanks for the advice.

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I think this really is her problem, rather than actual fear. But she knows if she says she's scared we'll come to her. I just ordered that CD from Amazon. Thanks for the advice.

 

What we did for dd was to lay down with her for about 10 minutes with the cd. After that, I would need to "go to the bathroom" or "get a drink of water." I would periodically check back with her. She usually fell asleep in under 30 minutes. If I had just turned on the CD and left, it probably wouldn't have worked.

 

You might want to see if your library has any of his other ones. Animal tales is another good one. (Actually all of them are great, but these are the ones I remember using as part of the bedtime routine.)

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