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Hi ladies,

My DD who is normally a great sleeper (and I'm talking 7pm to 7am ish) has suddenly started waking in the night.  She sounds almost as if she's in a panic, she grabs all her comforters and stands up at the side of the cot crying and waiting for us to come in.  Sometimes we can lay her back down and she'll go back to sleep but other times she's so upset we have to pick her up.  This has been going on about a week now and happens every night. 

Last night at 4am I got her out of her cot to comfort her and she wriggled down onto the floor, took my hand and led me into our bedroom as if she wanted to sleep with us.  This is something she has NEVER done before so Lord knows how she knew that's what she wanted.  Anyway, she still kept waking with a start and then flopping back down when she realised we were there.  I'm wondering if it's sudden separation anxiety?

Anyone had anything similar happen to them, or can offer any advice.  She's been such a great sleeper up to now I want to do all I can to keep her feeling secure.

Thanks for reading.

Shill x
 

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Hi

Ds2 suddenly started waking in the night at roughly the same age and I was at a total loss until someone suggested a nightlight.  And then he slept right through again.  We were talking about this at playgroup one day and the consensus was around that age they become aware of being in the dark and need a bit of light to reassure them.

Worth a try.

Annette
 

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Is it the same time ever night?? If it is then its either becoming a habit or could be night terrors. If its different times try the night light. I would try to settle her back in her own room and not get into putting her in your bed if needs be sleep in her room. Its hopefully just a phase :)
 

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I agree with both Mel and Anette -but also have another suggestion.  We went through this with DS at the same age ... and the same time of year.  Turns out I was so worried about overheating him that he was waking up cold bless him!  It has been so cold at the moment (assuming you are UK) that it might be worth trying laying an extra blanket on her or adding a vest under PJs if she doesn't already wear one.

Worked for us - after about 2 weeks of him waking heartbroken before we tried the extra blanket - we thought he was scared and tried to calm him down - he just needed warming up!
Hope youget some sleep
DC
 

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From what you describe it sounds as if she is scared, and so I would guess it's night terrors.  My DS had them too and we just had to do whatever it took to comfort him, stay in the room, cuddle him and then put him back, etc.  He often couldn't remember them or that we'd been in with him, and I could sometimes tell that although he was communicating with us, he wasn't entirely awake.

My DS also never slept in our bed as a baby, but he eventually worked out that we sleep together in one bed and he's alone in another, and then he began to come into ours whenever something was wrong - scared or ill.  I personally wouldnt worry too much about it becoming a habit, it may do for a short while, but all habits can be broken and my DS has always gone back to sleeping right through in his room when he's better.

My DD on the other hand co-slept with us as a baby because of feeding and sleeping problems, still doesn't sleep well but now she's older she never sleeps in our bed - even if she asks to come in, she lasts about half an hour max before she asks to go back to hers!

By the way just to reassure you I would say you can tie yourself in knots worrying about habits but in my experience so far (not just my own but that of friends and family) is that there will be all manner of phases, illness, clock changes and bad dreams before they're about 8 years old and you just have to go with it and do what it takes to get them back off to sleep.
DD is currently wearing socks to bed as she's not too keen on her duvet and she was waking up cold.    DS was waking up last week and getting in with us because he had a bug.....a few months before he couldn't stop his mind racing and he had nightmares. The older they get, the more issues start to crop up and affect them, it seems. 

C x
 
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