Monday, September 19, 2016

3 year old stops sleeping well, what is going on?

At three years old, children are starting to understand even more complex concepts like:
  • relationships, 
  • relationships ending, 
  • adding relationships, 
  • death, 
  • and separation. 
So separation anxiety peaks again around three years old. Sometimes you have to reestablish your secure base. Talk about the permanence of your relationship. Talk about how you will always be his mom, even when you're sleeping, or at the store, or out in the evening with dad. 

If there has been a death in the family, talk about how grandma is still grandma even up in heaven. Maybe she is watching you, and you can think about her and she thinks about you.

 If your child gets upset when dad goes to work, talk about how dad is still your dad even when he is at work. Talk about how we think about dad and can talk about dad and can call dad on the telephone just like he can think about you and call you on the telephone. Because he is still your dad even when you can't see him. 

For bedtime, sometimes extra attention is needed and a longer wind down period is necessary. Start earlier to get a bedtime snack and spend more time in the tub and more time potty practicing and teeth brushing independence and spend more time talking about your day.

Continue to follow the tired signs to make sure you are catching the sleep window. This is just as important now as it is for a young baby.

For bedtime, maybe you need to stay for a while.

For early wake ups, go into the room right away and stay with them until the wake up light comes on. 

You can go through the steps of your gentle sleep plan again just for the early rising if that is the only problem. Lots of attention for the first three days and then do less and less and less over the course of two weeks. This will help establish a re-connection and increase security.

A child who feels secure sleeps much better.

For help with your gentle sleep plan, contact me.
Tracy Spackman


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