Help with separation anxiety at bedtime? — The Bump

Help with separation anxiety at bedtime?

As a s/o to the post right below about separating, we've been dealing with a new anxiety at bedtime.  DS1 (3) has always had a hard time going to bed, but the past few nights, he's waking up multiple times, screaming "See Mommy!" or "See Daddy!" over and over until he is hysterical.  The other night I went to comfort him, and tried to give him water, give him a hug, and tuck him back in, but he worked himself back up into hysterics when I tried to leave again.  I ended up laying with him until he fell asleep, and then went back into my room.  Last night, same thing happened with DH trying this time, and he ended up falling asleep in bed with DS, who then woke up even more to try and play, etc.  I also don't want sleeping in bed to become a habit.  I don't want to go the CIO route is possible.  Any ideas on leaving the room without him being hysterical, but so we can all get some sleep?
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Re: Help with separation anxiety at bedtime?

  • Have you tried any props, like a stuffed animal, blanket for him to hold, etc? Or, maybe soothing sounds from one of those machines. If the sounds are on when he falls asleep and they are still on when he wakes up, maybe he won't be scared. 

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  • I am no help here.  I got tired of the bedtime fight everynight.  I have been doing it for 2 years.  So now he just goes to bed with us and I move him after about an hour or 2 whenever I wake up.  He does fine moving to his bed.  I get more rest and there is no fighting.  I think it is a win win.  Plus I figured when we move him to his big boy room in a few months we can work on sleeping in his bed. 

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  • We had this problem with our daughter.  We left her closet light on and shut the door a bit.  It gave off more light than a typical night light did.  She also put almost every single stuff animal in her bed at night.  She has a dream light she received for her 4th birthday, so she leaves that on the timer (runs for 10 minutes) and falls asleep to that.

    My husband & I started giving her stickers on her calendar for every night she sleeps in her room by herself and doesn't come to our bed.  When she fills up an entire month, she gets to pick a place to go for lunch.  This month is Steak n Shake.

    I'm not sure if this would work for your situation.  We had a lot of sleep problems with our daughter since day one and things didn't start to get better until a few weeks before her 4th birthday.
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