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My 5 year old daughter WILL NOT sleep alone.
Family & Parenting / 12:44 PM - Tuesday March 31, 2009

My 5 year old daughter WILL NOT sleep alone.

Since she was two, she's always gotten up in the middle of the night and came into my bed. I'm a very heavy sleeper and don't realize it until I wake up in the morning. Last October, while Halloween movies were being advertised on tv, she caught a glimpse of Chucky and ever since then her dad and I have been through hell. At first she wouldn't even go to the bathroom alone. Its gotten better, but she's still afraid at night and its a battle getting her to stay in bed. I read to her every night and try to make bedtime relaxing. She always wants her light on, so I have to wait for her to fall asleep and then turn it off. Nothing really works. And this has been going on like this for 3 years now.

Her dad lives a few blocks away, we've been apart since she was 5 months old. She's always gone over to his house, one night a week at first and within the last few months, a few nights a week. Its been working out great, but last night he said she threw the biggest tantrum he's ever seen in a child. Throwing herself around, stopping breathing, just freaked out. She's never done that with me, if she did I would let her cry it out in her room. I think she gets more attention with him.

Anyway. What do I do? I need to get her to go to bed IN HER BED and sleep there all night. This is getting ridiculous. I can't take it anymore and don't know what to do.

Update: March 31, 2009.
Thank you everyone. All of your answers have helped me out. I really appreciate it.

- Asked by bubbletoes, A Creative, Female, 29-35, Technical

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Five years old is plenty old enough to understand rules.

Explain to her there is a new rule. No coming to Mommy's bed.

I would help her be successful at the new rule by offering her a small prize for accomplishing the goal.

Such as -- say she loves pancakes for breakfast (or wearing her pink dress or whatever). If she stays in her bed all night -- she 'wins' the prize.

After a few successful nights, then get a calendar and move the reward to one week of sleeping in her bed.

You get the idea.

You're the parent. You make the rules. ENFORCE the rules.

- Response by utahmom, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Managerial

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She is manipulating you both. She wears you (and her dad) out, and she knows it. So why SHOULD she stop? If a certain behavior gets you what you want, you will not stop doing it - not unless there is serious intervention.

Put her in her bed. Leave the lights on all night if she wants them on - who cares? But EVERY time she gets up and comes to your bed, you get up, take her by the hand, and lead her back to her bed. Every single time. If you have to do it 20 times a night every night for a month. Eventually, she WILL stay in her own bed. It will be tiring. It will be maddening. It will be frustrating. But it will also be successful IF you don't give in to her even once, no matter WHAT she does.

And tantrums get ignored. Without a "payoff" (attention) the behavior WILL stop.

- Response by justpassingthru, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Financial / Banking

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Your child had a severe fright from seeing Chucky and I would suggest you take her to a good child psychologist to get to the bottom of this. Perhaps there is a way to work this out, but first you have to know exactly with what you are dealing.

- Response by pushkins, A Thinker, Female, 66 or older, Miami, Who Cares?

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You need to be the parent and not let her call the shots. Give her a nightlight if she needs it. Be firm and don't give in. It will take some time and tears to break a 3 year habit.

- Response by singledad281, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Houston, Hospitality

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You may want to entertain the idea of taking her to see a child psychologist.
Have you set down with her and try to ascertain why she feels the way she does?
Get her to open up with you. Maybe a small wall light will help out.
Good luck.

- Response by amandasboy, A Father Figure, Male, 66 or older, Atlanta, Retired

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I know this is going to hard for you time she comes in your room during the middle of the night and YOU HEAR her, you are going to have to TELL her to GO BACK in her room and go to bed. It Sucks but that is what you are going to have to do.

- Response by handsomedetroitguy, A Father Figure, Male, 36-45, Detroit, Political / Government

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you are going to have to break her of that
and it wont be easy

- Response by vank356, A Guy Critical, Male, 56-65, Technical

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