Monday, October 26, 2009

Any ideas?

As most of you who have been reading this blog know, we have had trouble getting (S) to go to bed in her room and stay there.

We have solved the problem with getting her to go to sleep in her room. We set up a DVD player and let her watch movies in her bed until she falls asleep. While it is not something I would normally condone, we think it is best that she fall asleep in her own bedroom instead of on the couch in the den.

What we still haven't solved is the getting up in the middle of the night and coming to sleep on the floor in our room. At one point she had mentioned monsters so we sprayed her room with "Monster Elimination Spray" (available at fine stores everywhere). That seemed to work a little bit for a couple of days, but it is no longer solving the problem.

We haven't been sure what to do because we didn't know why she preferred sleeping on the floor in our room. Last night something happened that I think says it all.

(S) had fallen asleep in her room and I had turned off the TV and tucked her in for the night (or at least until she woke up and came into our room). DW and I were still in the den watching TV and we heard (S) get up. We figured it wouldn't be long before she was in the den, so we waited. Next thing, we are just hearing some crying that is more than the normal crying. I went out into the hall to see her walking back into her bedroom fron our bedroom crying. I spoke up and she turned around and came to me and hugged me.

It turned out that when she didn't see us in the bedroom she thought we had left. I don't know where she thought we had gone, or what she was going to do in her room alone, or why we had even left.

While most nights she sleeps next to DW on the floor, on a rare occasion she will sleep next to me on the floor. Either way, it is near impossible to move out of the bed without nearly stepping on her, and probably waking her up. The answer now is becoming clearer. I think she is just afraid of losing us. That would also explain why it started when she was visiting with bio-mom and dad in their "home to be" where she had her own bedroom and there were unsuprvised visits. There had to be talk about her living there, and since she has no real memory of living anywhere but with us, it obviously caused her a great deal of concern.

OK, so if we have correctly identified the root of the problem, we should be able to solve it, right? So what do we do? Any ideas are appreciated.


  1. How heartbreaking that (S) has that fear every single night. I don't have any ideas but want to hear what others have to say, because I'm sure that I'll have to deal with similar situations once I have kids in my home.

  2. maybe a video or audio baby monitor so she can see you are in your room if you are comfortable with that?

    or an alarm on the front door and tell her it will go off if anyone leaves so she will know?
    I just put some christmas jingle bells on my door and my kid's door, and she seemed to be comfroted by that.

    or a prize if she stays in her bed?

    or teach her how to turn the tv back on in the middle of the night, my kid likes this. Also books on tape on a CD-alarm clock.

  3. Oh no! I have seen many big problems with friends trying to break the DVD-player-in-bed habit. But you have to focus on one step at a time, and certainly her own room is better than a couch in a living area.
    Our bio-kids did this until they reached about 3 or 4, and then they usually grew out of it - although my husband will say he didn't really like the situation, I didn't care that much to hassle with it.
    We haven't had foster kids with this problem (yet), but I've heard other foster parents talk of putting a little cushion in the corner of the room for the child. This way you don't have to worry about stepping on her but she knows she still has a place there. There are mini fold-out couches at places like Target that are perfect for this. Over time, theoretically, you can move the cushion to the hallway and then her room, but most kids are too smart for that I'd bet.

  4. I don't see anything wrong with the DVD player in the bedroom. Many kids have a difficult time with transitions and that has helped with the children I've cared for at the crisis nursery and at home.

    If you wake up when S comes into your room at night get up and tell her that it's night night and that she needs to sleep in her own room. If she comes into the room again don't say anything just lead her back to her room and place her in bed without talking to her. Repeat this until she stays in her bed.

    If she says anything about being scared when you first put her to bed or during the first trip to your room reassure her that she is safe with you and that you will never let anything happen to her.

    Good luck!!!

  5. Our 9 year old still climbs into our bed (ours, not a foster child). I put him back in his, and he will either climb into one his brothers bed or sneak back into ours! I think it's because we always co-slept with our kids when they were little. Our older 2 transitioned to their own beds no problem but he was our baby and he always slept with someone. So maybe S just doesn't like sleeping alone. Our son says that he is scared of ghosts, his bed isn't comfy, he gets too hot, etc etc... So I don't know. I think maybe some kids are more insecure than others. Of course S has reasons to feel this way, but our son doesn't. And he is 9! We have always played musical beds with our kids because we co-slept. I don't recommend it! LOL! Maybe S co-slept.