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3 year old having nightmares

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mig
LIF Adolescent

Member since 11/10

888 total posts

Name:

3 year old having nightmares

My 3 year old daughter has been having nightmares for a few months now and it has caused her to be up several times throughout the night coming into our room refusing to go back to sleep or just crying, thinking of any excuse not to have to go back to her room to sleep. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on what I can do to make it better. My 9 month old is sleeping through the night but my 3 year old is up 3-5 times a night every night. I know she is not having nightmares every night but it has become a daily thing. Help please!!! We need sleep!

Posted 9/9/13 9:30 PM
 
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Domino
Always My Miracle

Member since 9/05

9922 total posts

Name:

Re: 3 year old having nightmares

First, you need to find out WHAT she is afraid of. Then let her talk about it. It becomes less scary when they talk about it. Then come up with creative ideas to combat it.

For us the fears ranged from penguins in the wall to tigers in the room to monsters and spiders in the closet.

For the penguins I asked DS WHY he thought the penguins were in the wall. He said they were lost. So we drew a map of a globe indicating where antartica was so the penguins could find their way home.

For the tiger he said he was afraid to go to sleep because of the tiger coming into his room. I asked what the tiger would do. He said it would look at him while he was sleeping. I then asked why a tiger looking at him was scary and he said the tiger was going to eat him. I explained that in dreams you can be anything and you could turn yourself into a lion, give a really big roar and scare the tiger away. Alternatively I told him that maybe the tiger was lonely and just needed a friend to sleep with. He then promptly let me know that the tiger could not sleep in his bed because it was too big and would break the bed and that it would have to sleep on the floor. So we put a blanket on the floor of his room should the tiger need a place to sleep.

For the monsters and spiders, I filled a spray bottle with a special antimonster/spider potion and before lights out, i would go around and spray the corners of the room yelling "Go away spiders...go away monsters...this room has been protected by a special potion...YOU SHALL NOT PASS..."

Happy to say we are penguin/tiger/monster/spider freeChat Icon

P.S. I never let him stay in my room. I always put him back in his bed. I also got him a nightlight.

Posted 9/9/13 11:02 PM
 

nycgirl
Angels!

Member since 3/09

7721 total posts

Name:

Re: 3 year old having nightmares

Wow! Above is much better advice than what I do.
I bring DS into bed with us.
Chat Icon
My little sister had nightmare at that age too & she'd come into bed with me.
I figure it will pass!

Posted 9/10/13 7:04 AM
 

GioiaMia
Let's Go Rangers!

Member since 1/07

14818 total posts

Name:

3 year old having nightmares

DD just started this.

I give her one nice mommy time and then after that its mean mommy time LOL the first time I am sweet and hug her explain that there is nothing to be scared of. The second time, I go in there, tell her its fine, but I am not sweet and lovey I am just matter of fact, turn on the light, no monsters, tuck back into bed, give a kiss and goodbye.

Before I used to be nice every time and I was in there 5-6 times a night. Now, after boring mommy time. . .she gets over it LOL and she won't call me again b/c its not bringing her what she wants.

Posted 9/10/13 7:08 AM
 

NervousNell
Just another chapter in life..

Member since 11/09

54917 total posts

Name:
..being a mommy and being a wife!

Re: 3 year old having nightmares

Wow it must be common because my 3 year old DD is scared almost every single night.
Not sure if it's an acutal bad dream or her waking up and being frightened in the dark. Either way it's like we are back to the newborn stage where NOBODY sleeps.
Chat Icon
I am glad we are not alone though- I thought it was just her.
I am going to follow this thread for some advice - because I have no CLUE what to do!

Posted 9/10/13 8:50 AM
 

lcherian
He is the reason!

Member since 2/06

2512 total posts

Name:

Re: 3 year old having nightmares

My kids did the same thing at 3. I would try to comfort you dc, this phase should go away soon. Chat Icon

Posted 9/10/13 8:56 AM
 

mig
LIF Adolescent

Member since 11/10

888 total posts

Name:

Re: 3 year old having nightmares

WOW ladies...some really great advise! THANK YOU!!!! I am glad (and sorry) that it's not just my daughter having these issues. The good thing is that she doesn't want to sleep in my bed...BUT...she is waking us/and herself up too many times a night. Hopefull it will get better for all of us!!! Good luck to all!!!

Posted 9/10/13 4:38 PM
 

mrsboss
my little love

Member since 12/09

5054 total posts

Name:
Me

3 year old having nightmares

DD is 2.5 and does the same thing. She says "the dragon is coming", and is up. This was going on while in her crib and now toddler bed. Some good advice on here, thanks.

Posted 9/10/13 6:35 PM
 

MrsDamonSalv7319
Somewhere in Westeros

Member since 10/10

4495 total posts

Name:

Re: 3 year old having nightmares

Posted by Domino

First, you need to find out WHAT she is afraid of. Then let her talk about it. It becomes less scary when they talk about it. Then come up with creative ideas to combat it.

For us the fears ranged from penguins in the wall to tigers in the room to monsters and spiders in the closet.

For the penguins I asked DS WHY he thought the penguins were in the wall. He said they were lost. So we drew a map of a globe indicating where antartica was so the penguins could find their way home.

For the tiger he said he was afraid to go to sleep because of the tiger coming into his room. I asked what the tiger would do. He said it would look at him while he was sleeping. I then asked why a tiger looking at him was scary and he said the tiger was going to eat him. I explained that in dreams you can be anything and you could turn yourself into a lion, give a really big roar and scare the tiger away. Alternatively I told him that maybe the tiger was lonely and just needed a friend to sleep with. He then promptly let me know that the tiger could not sleep in his bed because it was too big and would break the bed and that it would have to sleep on the floor. So we put a blanket on the floor of his room should the tiger need a place to sleep.

For the monsters and spiders, I filled a spray bottle with a special antimonster/spider potion and before lights out, i would go around and spray the corners of the room yelling "Go away spiders...go away monsters...this room has been protected by a special potion...YOU SHALL NOT PASS..."

Happy to say we are penguin/tiger/monster/spider freeChat Icon

P.S. I never let him stay in my room. I always put him back in his bed. I also got him a nightlight.



Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon Especially the "You Shall Not Pass" part! Chat Icon

Posted 9/10/13 6:48 PM
 

Octobermom
LIF Adult

Member since 1/09

972 total posts

Name:
Anna Maria

Re: 3 year old having nightmares

Are you sure she is scared? My son woke up several nights with nightmares this week and it turned out he had an ear infection.

Posted 9/10/13 7:46 PM
 
 

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