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7yo daughter difficult to get to sleep.

Suze_81Suze_81 Member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi, my daughter has always had issues with sleep. She has severe separation anxieties from me. If I settle her she will fall off to sleep but if she goes to bed herself she will cry and sob until she works herself into a panic attack. I have to sit with her in her room until she falls asleep or settle her and then carry her to bed (praying she doesn't wake). I have left her to cry explaining I'm down stairs and that she and I are safe (she worries I'm going to be hurt or go missing) but she just sobs and calls out for me for hours, into the early hours. On some occasions, 2/3 nights in two weeks I will settle her out relaxing music on and she will sob quietly and eventually drift off. I don't know what else I can do or try as this effects the whole house. My son 11yo is kept away by her and obviously myself and partner (not her dad), she herself is often tired too. Please help. Thank you. 

Replies

  • SleepPractitionersSleepPractitioners Member Posts: 43 Courageous
    Hi Suze
    You say you are sometimes letting her fall asleep somewhere other than her bed, you also say you are letting her listen to music to fall asleep, you have to remember that what ever condition she falls to sleep in needs to stay the same, i.e if she fall to sleep listening to music it needs to stay on all night. we all wake during the night and as self-settling adults we roll over and go back off but if the circumstances had changed i.e I am no longer on the sofa I will wake fully and may struggle to get back to sleep.
    For the separation anxiety we would ask you to get an object of reference, you would buy something like a teddy and make a lot of fuss of it for a week, always having it close by, once she see's how important the teddy is to you, you can ask her if she would like to take care of him during the night, always remember to ask for it back in the morning. The reason we use the object is because a lot of children don't realise how important they are to us and may not realise we will still be there in the morning, however, they see us placing a lot of importance on inanimate objects.
    We would advise you to follow our routine http://www.scope.org.uk/support/families/sleep/routine after you have said goodnight we would ask you to sit outside the room and every time she calls for you, you go in and lay her down and leave the room, this is done with no verbal or eye contact.
    Remember that it can take at least 3 weeks for us to learn a new behaviour, so stay strong and consistent.
    Good luck 
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