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Cleo Smith's parents say the four-year-old has suffered from nightmares following her WA abduction

Ellie Smith holds a photo of her daughter Cleo after she went missing last October. (ABC News: James Carmody)

The parents of Cleo Smith say their four-year-old girl has suffered from nightmares in the aftermath of her abduction.

Ellie Smith and Jake Gliddon described the ordeal in an interview on Nine's 60 Minutes, detailing the night Cleo was snatched from their family tent on October 16 and the months that have followed.

"Every day and night is different. But she's OK. She's, happy, she's bubbly," Ms Smith said.

"She's sad, she's angry. But she's getting there."

Cleo was taken from her family tent at the Quobba Blowholes campsite, north-east of Carnarvon, while they slept.

A massive land, air and sea search was launched, but there was no trace of the little girl, or the sleeping bag she was in when her parents put her to bed for 18 days.

Cleo Smith in hospital after being found safe and well in November last year. (Twitter: @WA_Police )

She was eventually found in a home at Carnarvon, several kilometres from her family home.

Ms Smith explained the relief she felt having her daughter back, but she noticed that her daughter had changed.

"[It was] 7:00am in the morning after we got her back, and she was jumping around, you know, dancing, singing. She was just so happy.

"And that was such a beautiful moment, just to see her as the old Cleo, there was, like, for us, you know.

"We've seen her do it a million times before, and now a million after, and it's still different.

A fresh start for Cleo and her family

A lot has changed for Cleo following the international headlines.

For example, she gets a fair bit of attention when she goes to the shops. 

"She loves it [the attention], she just loves it," Ms Smith said.

"We were in Perth, at the end of last year, and someone went up to her and they were like, 'Hi, Cleo!' ... we walked away and she was like, 'Mum, how does she know my name?'"

Cleo Smith was kidnapped from the tent she slept in with her parents in October 2021. (Facebook: Ellie Smith)

Ms Smith said the family are now focusing on the healing process, and a move away from Carnarvon is part of that plan.

"We're going to move. We're going to tour WA as much as we can," she said.

"Hopefully we find somewhere that is pretty similar to what we love and what we do because we don't want to let go of everything that we are and who we are. 

"We want to build our girls' childhoods the way we wanted with fishing and camping, we're just going to do it on the road for a little bit. 

"They're going to have such an amazing life."

Ellie Smith and her daughter before the horrific ordeal. (Instagram: Ellie Smith)
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