Timeout with Nanny Robina: Sleep Training for a Six-Year-Old
April 15, 2010
April 15, 2010
Lately my six-year-old daughter has begun to cry and scream at bedtime after we tuck her in. After our 30- to 45-minute routine there are pleas to tickle her back, questions asked over and over, demands to lay with her, claims that she is scared or has a sore stomach. After our final “no” she ‘freaks out’. This is upsetting for everyone, including our three older children. She also has come into our bed in the night since she was a toddler. Any suggestions?
Your daughter is no longer able to put herself to sleep. She needs sleep training. Her climbing into bed with you for years, however, may slow the immediate results. Just don’t lose faith – there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Follow these steps:
Every two or three nights, move closer and closer to the door. By week two you will be outside the door. She can no longer see you but has the reassurance that you are there by the sound of your voice. Before long she will be able to sleep unassisted.
SHARING YOUR BED
When she comes to your bed in the middle of the night:
It’s tough, but short-term pain equals long-term gain. Stay strong and see it through.
Note: Whoever starts the routine must stick with it each evening – no switching. The next night your husband can take over so you catch up on sleep, but be sure you’re both on the same routine.
Good luck and, ultimately, sweet dreams.
Published May 2010