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My Child Won’t Sleep!

Sleep problems are the most distressing of all early childhood challenges

When a child has sleep problems parents get exhausted. And exhausted parents act on ‘auto-pilot’ and can over-react or act wrongly and harm the parent child relationship.  So rest issues need fixing, fast!

The problem is that most sleep interventions focus on sleep as a behavioural problem. Most often, rest problems in children have nothing to do with the behaviour, but everything to do with an emotion. Treating an emotional issue as if it’s a behavioural one will do a lot of damage to the parent-child relationship.  This intervention helps you diagnose which of the 3 categories your child’s sleep challenges fall into and then outlines a relationship building intervention to get them to rest easily.

Sleep problems and children fall into 3 broad categories:

1. Bad Habits can cause sleep problems:

A child has an habitual bed time routine where they are dependent on something external to help them go to sleep (a bottle, a cuddle, a song, Mum or Dad in bed with them). When a child wakes in the night, or comes into a natural ‘light sleep’ rhythm, they are unable to return to their slumber without this ‘prop’. So they seek Mum or Dad, or bottle etc. to help them return to sleep.

2. Fear can cause sleep problems:

A child might wake because of nightmares, or some other disturbance – thunder storm, loud truck on the road etc. Because a child seeks closeness when afraid, they then wake Mum & Dad. If you think your child’s challenge could be due to fear, then consider purchasing our ‘anxiety’ intervention.

3. A need for closeness can cause sleep problems:

Sometimes children who are away from Mum and Dad for long periods of the day (e.g. full time in childcare) need extra closeness. They seek proximity with those they love. Having been separated during the day they resist being again separated at night. This can result in an emotional battle between a tired, but connection hungry, child and an exhausted parent. Other times they wake in the night and climb into bed quietly hoping Mum and Dad won’t wake . . . or something similar. This is the most common and the most frustrating form of sleep challenges. It’s also the most difficult to understand.

Understanding which one of the three is causing your child to resist bedtime is crucial. Your change approach must match the right cause! There is no use trying a habit correction technique if the child is seeking closeness (and vice versa).

Most books and web sites offer sound advice on how to solve habitual sleep issues, but there are very few that look at the most common cause of sleep problems parents encounter: a need for closeness.

This $10 resource helps parents understand and fix the sleeping challenge associated with a need for closeness.  Go to our online store now to purchase this guide. If the behaviour and fear causes don’t fit your child, then this may be your answer to your child’s slumber problems. For advice on strengthening your parent – child relationship, see our Attachment Tutorial.

This resource is available for immediate download as a PDF file after purchase.

Price is in US Dollars.  You will be able to download this intervention as soon as you have completed payment.

Our guarantee: If this intervention does not meet your expectations and value for money we offer you a free, 30 minute telephone or skype consultation, and your money back.

If this article or web site has helped you, please consider:


Check out our sister company, Kakapo Creek – a boutique early childhood centre on Auckland’s North Shore, New Zealand.

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