I have a nearly 3 year old daughter who has always slept in her own bed, and has always previously been able to just read and book and then shut the door and leave her to fall asleep by herself. I have recently started taking her to a childminder for 3hours a day twice a week. And since this as soon as we go to leave the bedroom she screams and seems all panicky, we don’t need to touch her she doesn’t try talking it’s just as long as she can see us there she will eventually go to sleep. But most nights now she also wakes in the middle of the night around the same tome screaming for mostly daddy 🙄 and then we have to sit in till she falls asleep again. We have massively creaky floor boards which is super annoying now and completely gives out sneaking away game away. Does anyone have any ideas, I have just tried staying by the door woth her for hour and half and now it’s daddies turn coz I needed a break. We did initially try the no talk just put back to bed.....continuously, and after a week I think the last one took 3 hours it lasted until I Gave up and just sat by the door(which is where I have then sat on till she falls asleep started) because just putting her back in and leaving was making her worse. She also has a night light with lavender oil to try and help... which I feel it does not. Please can anyone help, I just want to be able to do what we did before, put her to bed have a evening have a full night sleep, and not have her waking every night and every morning crying. It is draining

  • How well do you know the childminder? Obviously, your daughter is not coping well. "...I just want to be able to do what we did before..." For this, you'd need to stop taking her to the childminder and go back to your old routine. You are suffering, but I guarantee you, your daughter is also suffering equally if not more than you are. You have an adult perspective on the world; she does not. Oct 4, 2020 at 15:20
  • Hi, she has never been away from us like that and hasn’t really been able to socialise either. She is starting to come out of her shell now and interacting with the other children, she is only there for 3hours, and they are nice older people. I don’t feel they are doing anything they shouldn’t be or treating her in a way that they shouldn’t, therefore I don’t have a choice but to get her used to it. She managed to fall asleep today after 40mins sitting in with her and hasn’t awoken as of yet tonight
    – Sam
    Oct 4, 2020 at 23:02
  • Good to hear. I hope, along with you, that it continues to improve. Oct 5, 2020 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


It sounds like she has - as yo point out - regressed. I'm sure it doesn't happen to everyone but I'd say at least that it's completely normal, given the newly introduced separation at daytime.

It also seems, from what you describe you've tried, like you're approaching this as though she hasn't regressed at all. I don't think you'll have much luck just pushing on, expecting to continue where you were before the setback. You'll likely need to take a few steps back.

I don't know what that might look like in a manner that is feasible for you; if it's cosleeping, sleeping in a bed in her room or something else. But in one way or the other, I think you need to regress in your sleep training and rebuild the sense of security that may have been challenged by the introduction of a childminder.

  • Yeah I didn’t know what may have caused the change to be fair, I didn’t realise there was a common sleep regression at 3, but I also didn’t know if it’s the case or mixed in together. Thank you for your reply. I know we have allowed if she wakes near 4 we allow her to come sleep with us because just waiting in her room to fall asleep isn’t worth the time of loss of sleep when I have work, but if she wakes before hand then I do. Do you think playing in her room more during the day and then waiting in her room till she sleeps will help?
    – Sam
    Oct 4, 2020 at 6:27
  • I think the scariest part for small children when it comes to sleeping - alone or at all - is the separation from the parents. I think more parent-child time close to bedtime is the best way to boost them with closeness. Being with her till she falls asleep provably helps, yes.
    – user36162
    Oct 4, 2020 at 7:57
  • "...it's completely normal" While some regression may occur, I'm not sure the extent to which the child has reacted is completely normal. Oct 4, 2020 at 15:22
  • @anon: oh, you think? Is it a three year old sleeping alone who wakes up screaming every night you're reacting to? Or the "just go back to sleep alone" approach not working? I'm wholeheartedly unsurprised by both.
    – user36162
    Oct 4, 2020 at 16:01
  • 1
    @anon: apologies if it came across that way. My intention was merely to stress that I do think this is within the normal range; that it wasn't just an unreflected routine reassurrance, as may sometimes be the case with such phrases.
    – user36162
    Oct 5, 2020 at 17:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .