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Why is my 3 year old waking up repeatedly in the middle of the night from a dead sleep saying he is scared, but cant say about what? after a little reassurance and he goes back to sleep but then it takes me for ever to get back to sleep. help! exactly when do kids sleep through the night?”

4 replies so far...

  • Thanks for your input and help. so far this month we are all doing better. I really liked the comment about leaving other things outside the door. I think I was rushing through bed time. we always started bed time with a couple of books but then i would leave as soon as he was close to sleeping. now I stay until he is asleep. we listen to music on my mp3 player, helps me to relax too, while I tickle his back. its nice to share the music. when he started to wake up I started telling him he was safe over and over, give him his stuffed animal and tickle his back again. it has really helped to take a lighter view of this and not that I was failing to get him to sleep all night.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by cricket on 31st August 2009

  • we put the baby monitor back in my 3 year olds bedroom recently. he kept waking up saying a dragon was in his room. we explained to him that we could hear everything that was going on in his room and even showed him how it worked. it made him feel safer that all he had to do was see that the light was on and I was listening in all night long :)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Tricia on 7th August 2009

  • I can tell you what worked for my 3-year-old daughter, who had that problem. I started telling her that she is safe, as part of her nightly ritual. It's one of the last things I say to her before I leave the bedroom. You can put it in the words of whatever spiritual tradition you practice.
    It worked almost immediately for us.
    Of course, it works much better when I remember to leave whatever is on my mind outside the bedroom so she doesn't pick up any stress/tension from me.
    My sympathy and understanding on the interrupted sleep! I take a homeopathic medicine that can calm me down when I get too keyed up to go to sleep (but doesn't put me under like an actual sleep aid would). If you don't care for homeopathics, perhaps a cup of herbal tea would help. If it takes you an hour to get back to sleep, you might as well try your own ritual.
    I hope this gives you some ideas that will fit your situation.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Laura on 3rd August 2009

  • has some good articles on understanding your toddler (for instance, asking the right questions and in the right way to get a more detailed answer - remember, they don't think like us. For specifics or to better understand when they say, "I'm scared", we have to think like THEM) which may go a long way to figuring out why he's waking up.

    Kids sleep through the night at varying ages and in fits and starts. Our daughter has been sleeping through the night since she was 6 weeks old, but she does go through periods of a few days or even a week straight of waking during the night, crying. At 15 months, it's almost impossible to know what woke her or scared her, but it's easy to get her back to sleep.

    This can go on for years or may stop by the time they're 4 or 5. It's really child and parent dependent. If your child is waking for a specific reason, it's incumbent on the parent to find out why and help resolve it. Sometimes though, kids just wake up and decide to play.

    Good luck!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Phe on 31st July 2009