Sleep training a 9 year old — The Bump
School-Aged Children

Sleep training a 9 year old

Hi there.  I've been lurking here for a while.  I have a (almost) 9 year old SD.  We had every other week custody, but she's coming to live with us full time this week (!) as her mom is going overseas.

I need your advice.  She is always afraid to go to bed.  She sleeps with her mom still when she's at their house. 

I understand that it's an adjustment and she's the only bedroom on the second floor of our house.  During her month with us this summer, we tried a lot of different things - tons of nightlights, stories, special dolls, etc.  I'm now looking into maybe a meditation type CD.  We try to shut off all electronics an hour before bed.  We've even let her read in bed until she falls asleep.  It usually degenerates into her screaming and throwing a tantrum.  We can't keep this up during the school year.  Once she's asleep, she stays asleep.

? TTC#1 since 2/10 ?

DX: Me - Slight androgen PCOS Him: Mild MFI Official DX: Unexplained IF

2/11 - 8/11 - 6 cycles Femara (5mg) + TI = BFNs

2/12 - 5/12 - Femara(5mg) + IUI = BFNs

6/12 and 8/12 - Femara (7.5mg) + IUI = BFN :( - considered IUI#3 and 4 by RE

9/12 and 12/12 - Femara (7.5mg for 3 days) + Ovidrel + IUI = BFN

After 8 unsuccessful IUIs and no explanation for IF, moving on to IVF Feb. 2013.

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S/PAIFW appreciated

Re: Sleep training a 9 year old

  • Can you do regression hypnosis therapy and find out if there's a root to this problem? A tantrum over sleep at 9 is absurd. There's got to be more to the picture than just her unhappiness that it's bed time. Something else is linked to bedtime with this kid, and hypnosis may unlock that and help you solve problems.
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  • One of the suggestions we had from our sleep specialists for our baby to sleep in his crib was to play a movie on a portable DVD player for a few nights to distract him. The cover the screen and only let him listen to it. She said he could have the sound playing until he goes to college! Maybe something similar could work.
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  • All I know is that as your stepkid with a Mom that she was with EOW and is now not going to see this will likely me the least of your issues. Is she in therapy? If no get her in ASAP and ask their advice. Let me tell you from someone that has been there done that, she needs someone to talk to or eventually she is very likely to struggle. Really, please get advice from a professional and not a board of people who have only "sleep trained" infants and toddlers.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
    MelissaJT
  • We have a counselor lined up to talk to her when she comes to us full time. I was looking for interim help in helping her sleep while she works through her mom leaving. We have always had issues with her sleeping at our house since she sleeps in her mom's bed.
    ? TTC#1 since 2/10 ?

    DX: Me - Slight androgen PCOS Him: Mild MFI Official DX: Unexplained IF

    2/11 - 8/11 - 6 cycles Femara (5mg) + TI = BFNs

    2/12 - 5/12 - Femara(5mg) + IUI = BFNs

    6/12 and 8/12 - Femara (7.5mg) + IUI = BFN :( - considered IUI#3 and 4 by RE

    9/12 and 12/12 - Femara (7.5mg for 3 days) + Ovidrel + IUI = BFN

    After 8 unsuccessful IUIs and no explanation for IF, moving on to IVF Feb. 2013.

    [IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/rigcd3.jpg[/IMG]


    S/PAIFW appreciated
  • First thing i would do is talk to her pediatrician and a counselor. 

    Married: 10/2003
    TTC: 07/2005 - diagnosed with PCOS
    IUI# 1: 10/2006 - BPF! Daughter born 07/2007 :)
    TTC: 06/2010
    IUI #2: 12/2010 BFN
    IUI #3: 08/2011 BFN
    IUI #4: 09/2011 BFN
    IUI #5: 02/03/2012 BFP!
    Beta #1: 50
    Beta #2: 132
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  • At that age tantrums at bedtime/fear of going to bed is a red flag. Now, a single red flag doesn't necessarily mean anything, but its good you'll be getting her therapy.
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  • Haven't read the replies, so I apologize if I'm repeating something that's already out there.

    I suspect that the screaming and tantrums are a front for panic and anxiety.  She's in a panic because she wants to be able to sleep, but she's used to falling asleep in a certain way.  She may have the panicky feeling of not being sure she CAN fall asleep in this new way.  But she has proven that she can fall asleep by reading.  That may be your best bet for transitioning her away from sleeping in bed with someone else.

    FWIW, I don't think there's anything wrong with having a reading lamp and reading before you fall asleep.  Both of my kids do it every night.  We occasionally have to turn my son's light off before we go to bed.  We're working with him on making sure he turns the light off when he starts to konk out. 

    Above all, be gentle and understanding with her.  If someone told you that you had to fall asleep in a dining room chair for the rest of your life, and "just be a big girl and you'll get used to it!!" you'd be stressed. 

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • so I have a kinda similar situation. It was just me and my DD for a long time. She slept in my bed with me everynight until she was 6 years and 8 months old. Then we moved in with my boyfriend in august of 2010. She had to start sleeping in her own room. She still hates it. I've tried a lot of different things. but every night she still asks to sleep with me, or on my floor etc. She prolongs bed time as long as she can. She just wants the company, she never got used to sleeping alone. Some nights she cries and has tantrums, other nights she doesnt. She was better when her tv worked and she could watch a movie until she fell asleep. I give her extra kisses and cuddles as part of her bed time routine, but it doesnt really help any. Like you say, once she is asleep, she stays asleep.

     I guesss my only advice is to be consistent. And maybe a radio or tv so the sound can comfort her. And dont expect it to get better quickly. Its been 2 years for my DD.

     Honestly, I slept on my parents floor at least once a week until i was 13, and I am still afraid of the dark :) I think its just the way some kids are. But obviously a professional to talk to, is a huge help as well.

    Liz baby #2 due 2/11/2013 BabyFruit Ticker
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