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How do I get my three year old to sleep more soundly at night?

This just recently started, my daughter won't go to sleep at night, she keeps saying she's afraid. Finally when she does go to sleep, she wakes up at 3 or 4am wide awake. The only way I can get her to go back to bed is to put her in bed with me. I know, big mistake. But if I don't she will scream. I have to think about my other school aged daughter who has to get up for school the next day. I have tried reading to her at night, making sure her tummy's full. My mom says its because her imagination is working in overdrive nowadays. I need suggestions!!

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Asked by jhall052501 at 9:43 PM on Mar. 28, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • Maybe she is hearing noises outside that are waking her up and that what she is afraid of. We have a fan in my son's room to block out noises and he never hears a thing. (I always have it blowing away from him so it doesn't make him cold) It can't hurt to try.

    Answer by Julia0331 at 10:52 PM on Mar. 28, 2009

  • Maybe try a night light, a radio playing softly, or reading a nice story before bed??

    Answer by WadeMom313 at 10:56 PM on Mar. 28, 2009

  • I agree with all of the above answers and I would change one more thing. When she wakes up screaming in her own bed, go lay in her bed instead of bringing her to yours. Eventually you can move from laying in her bed to sitting in her bed, to standing by her bed, to standing by the door etc. HTH!

    Answer by epoh at 12:11 PM on Mar. 29, 2009

  • What is she afraid of- does she say? Is it a noise, a bad dream, the dark, or 'monsters'? I think you need to talk to her and find out what exactally is scaring her. Once you know what it is you can take steps to help her get over her fear. One thing we did with our middle son was we had some 'monster spray'(air freshener). Before bed we would spray the room with it and it would keep all the 'monsters' away. We also put a night-light in his room, and he would sleep with his favorite stuffed toy. Those seemed to help. Maybe buy a white noise machine and turn it on to block out sounds. I agree with the above mom- instead of taking her into your bed, go in her room with her and sit on her bed (then after a few days, stand by the bed, and then in the doorway, until you are no longer needed). I wish you luck!!

    Answer by MizLee at 11:44 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

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