Is it normal that... I can't get my daughter out of my bed?

I just need a good night’s sleep. Can anyone out there help me?

There’s something lovely about sleeping with your kids, right? Snuggling up to them at night, smelling their darling little heads, them wrapping their gorgeous skinny kid limbs around yours…

Yeah. Except, no.

My four-year-old has been in our bed every night for months, and it’s making me crazy. I wouldn’t mind so much if she just crawled in, cuddled up and went back to sleep (although maybe not when she was 13), but that’s not what happens.

She goes to bed in her own bed just fine, but inevitably, some time between 10pm-3am, she will appear in our room, with a sad face and one of several statements:

‘I’m tired of sleeping.’

‘Billy woke me up.’ Billy is her little brother. Sometimes he has indeed woken her up. Sometimes, he’s sleeping like a log. 

Or the irresistible, ‘I’m scared.’

Once she’s talked her way into the bed, she will wriggle and kick and sometimes complain, and often just lie there, Not Sleeping. Which means I lie next to her, feeling her Not Sleeping, while her dad snores away on the other side. We don’t sleep.

We’ve tried the reward stickers, we’ve tried just repeatedly taking her back to bed (she just gets up again), we’ve tried late night negotiations that turn into screaming tantrums that wake the baby and the neighbours.

So we live with it. But the problem is, we’re tired and she’s tired. She fell asleep at preschool the other day. I’m trying not to fall asleep right now. My coffee habit is out of control.

So, help. What do we do?

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