Separation anxiety at night is one of the very common reasons for kids under 3 years to cry at night. You can tell if your child is waking due to separation anxiety because if you are nearby to reassure them, they will settle back to sleep.
This article will cover why your baby calls out to you when sleeping alone, and how to handle separation anxiety at night time.
Little kids are of course always looking forward to getting attention and affection from us, especially from parents. Although we love to keep and embrace our children when we go to sleep, it is a vital fact that we should let them sleep separately as they grow. It is an important thing for the children as well as for the parents. But the most difficult part of making them sleep separately is that they tend to call parents or come to parent’s bed in the middle of the night. Let’s talk about why kids do this and how we can solve this problem.
01. Why kids walk or call out to parents at night
Normally as the kids were used to sleep with you, this process of keeping them separate is making them worry and sad. They always want us to stay by their side while they are asleep. By eight or nine months of age, babies have learned that their parents exist even if they can’t see them and they often get frightened when they wake and their parents aren’t there.
They think that they can keep you near them by coming or calling you at night. Sometimes kids wake up at night because they want to go to the toilet or to drink some water. Sometimes they might have some pressure or tension over something, which has happened in the past. That might make them wake up at night. However, whatever the situation, you need to tolerate and act patiently.
02. Try doing these…
You should go to the child if you feel that the child calls you because he/she needs your help or sometimes it might be an urgency. But, if you feel the reason they are calling you is that they are mentally pressurized or something was worrying them, take them to your pediatrician or a suitable doctor and get advice.
03. Apply these tips
These won’t banish separation anxiety at night forever (It’s a developmental milestone, after all), but they will help you minimize the effects of separation anxiety and make it easier for everyone.
- Arrange a habit pattern before they go to bed. (Taking dinner, brush teeth, read a book, go to sleep)
- Do not play music loud
- Do not let them use phones, computer, TV before they go to bed
- Do not try and sneak away. This will only increase their separation anxiety at night time and in the long run make things worse.
- If the child takes a lot of time to fall asleep, take him to bed bit early
- If the child takes more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, stay attentive and figure out the time he normally falls asleep. (Eg, at 8.00 PM, etc.)
- Sometimes, though their sleeping time has passed, kids keep playing or stay awake eyes wide open. In times like this do not let them stay awake or let them play. If the time has come to sleep, take them to bed and make them sleep
- Before you go out of their room, ask them whether they want water, whether they went to go to the toilet and whether they have brushed teeth
- After you have checked everything for the child to sleep safe, turn the night lamp on
- And just before you leave the room, wish your child a good night’s sleep
04. If your child still has separation anxiety at night. Try these…
If the child still keeps on calling you at night, although you have checked everything for a good night’s sleep, try ignoring his call. Pretend that you cannot hear him. It is a bit of a difficult situation for a parent to ignore. But for his well being and your freedom, you have to hold it for your self.
If the child keeps on coming to your room, calmly take him back to his bed. Do this once or twice. But if the child keeps on coming back, tell him nicely, if he comes back another time, you will close the door of your room. Because he doesn’t like you to close your door; he will be calm and go back to sleep in his room.
When he sleeps alone, appreciate him the next day and get him something he likes, as an appreciation. He will learn to sleep alone very soon.
How has separation anxiety at night affected your child’s sleep? Share your tips and stories with us!