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I’ve tried laying beside him until he falls asleep, then go to my bed only to find he wakes me during the night to sleep with him in his bed. I’ve tried this for 3 weeks but can’t break the cycle! I’ve given him a favourite teddy to sleep with but that doesn’t work either. I’ve reassured him there’s nothing to be afraid of as my room is right next to his. I leave a night light on for him also, but nothing seems to work! HELP!!


Posted by Zaklukky, 6th June 2022


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  • Did you tried to talk with him? Maybe there is something he is worried about ect .


  • Maybe try a mattress beside the bed..


  • For starters, please don’t lock him in his room as someone else suggested. Not only is it illegal and unsafe, I can assure that is only going to make things worse. We have been through a similar situation with our now 8 year old. She has bouts of separation anxiety, and staying in her bed was part of this. We’ve made her bed warm and inviting with soft bedding she loves and an electric blanket. She has her comfort toys and a nightlight. If she gets out of bed, we just return her to bed. She can usually hear me pottering around in the kitchen or hear us watching tv quietly in the living room. So she knows we haven’t left her. Sometimes we have to ask what’s going on in her head, because her anxiety means she also overthinks things. So on the bad nights, maybe stop and take a breathe to keep yourself calm before asking the same thing. Otherwise, because my girl is ADHD, she also has trouble just relaxing and shutting off at night. So we ask her to “do the boring four” (she named it) with her toys. These are, 1) get comfortable, 2) lie still, 3) close your eyes, 4) do gentle deep breathing. It doesn’t always work, but it helps. We have also seen a psychologist and spoken with our paediatrician regarding this issue. Before getting their advice, we had her coming into our bed several nights a week and had issues with school drop off. The paed and psych agree that sticker charts and the like often don’t work around this age. But you can set expectations and set short term and long term rewards. We used a bracelet making kit to reward with a bead or charm each day our Miss went to school with no fuss, and eventually made a bracelet she could wear and had something to show for persevering with going. At the end of each week, we got a reward of her choice (she chose a breakfast at Maccas!). So perhaps sit down with your child and work out what his currency is, and from there perhaps you can set some goals of staying in bed. Make a short term goal (say a treat in the morning) and a long term goal (a treat in a week). It might be enough to help break the habit of always getting out of bed and encourage him to stay in his own room.


  • I went through this with my son. He’s an adult now and it didn’t last forever! Fighting it just seemed to make it worse. I think we had nearly 2 years of him not wanting to sleep in his own bed. My advice would be just to go with the flow for a bit and not make too much of a deal about him sleeping with you if you can put up with it.
    At one stage we put a mattress in the floor in our room. His problem was he was scared.


  • My daughter doesnt like her room, she has just let me know the reason she doesnt like her bedroom is because it is too far away from me.

    Perhaps ask him why he doesnt want to sleep in his room?

    I have asked my daughter a million times and she only told me the other week why,
    So we are discussing what we can do with the aim of her sleeping in her bed.

    might be worth a try


  • Perhaps there is something that scares your son? Or he just wants to be close to you. Can he sleep on the floor in your room if you don’t want him in your bed? These moments won’t last forever


  • When my kids were younger they slept on a mattress on my floor instead of in my bed, maybe that is a suggestion instead of in your bed? Have you tried asking if there is any underlying issues why he is coming to you in the middle of the night?


  • He’s coming to you because you’re his safe place.

    Whatever you decide to do, DO NOT use locks to keep him from you. Not only is that ILLEGAL but its also an issue in case of an emergency (imagine if there was a fire).
    In all honesty, why can’t he sleep in the same room as you til he’s secure on his own? He won’t be doing it at 18 but if you allow him his emotions now, he’ll open up to you more in his teenage/adult life.

    Also, don’t tell him theres nothing to be afraid of, he’s clearly afraid and telling him not to be isn’t helping. Instead, tell him its ok to be afraid but you’re always right there for him.
    Also ASK him what hes worried about. It might be that he thinks you’re not going to come back one day. So show him you will. Tell him you just have to get a drink and will be back in a minute. Leave but go back in in a minute. Over the next few days /weeks extend the time you’re leaving for.

    Your child needs reassurance, not to be bullied or bribed into staying where hes not happy.


  • could you work on revamping his room together?
    One of my 5 yr old twins does this , but I remind myself that they wont be doing this forever, and that in the future I’ll miss these times.


  • Try motivation (bribery). I have a friend with a daughter of a similar age who is working with a rewards chart. For each night she sleeps in her bed she gets a star and at the end of the week she gets a Ty Beanie Boo (one of her favourite things). And if she does it for a month, she gets a bigger item. My friend said I will do anything to get her to sleep in her bed! I agree. Don’t think of it as bribery, but as motivation as a counsellor once told me.


  • You must nip this before it becomes a habit. Try to find out what is worrying him as most children are very happy to sleep in their own bed until they wake up in the morning. Why is he waking up in the middle of the night and then needs support? If you get that answer than you can fix the problem.


  • Have you asked your son why he wants to sleep with you? What are your reasons for not wanting him in your bed at night? It is very biologically normal for children to want to sleep with their parents or older siblings, and it is only in western society that children are expected to sleep alone from a young age. If you are a light sleeper and your son wakes you and you can\\\’t get back to sleep yourself, maybe bring a blow-up mattress or something into your room, where he can sleep if he wants, so he is still close to you but doesn\\\’t wake you. If your own sleep is not suffering, I would recommend you let him sleep with you.. He will sleep alone when he is ready. All children are different but boys generally mature slower than girls, so it is perfectly normal for a 7 year old to sleep with you. My son is 9 and has slept with me all his life. He has his own room but doesn\\\’t sleep alone. Like yours, if and when he falls asleep on his own, he comes into my bed during the night. He has told me that he will make an effort to sleep in his own bed all night when he is 10, so that\\\’s what we are working towards.


  • He will 100% not be doing it at 18… but I would try to sitting next to bed as falls asleep, then further away, next to door, just outside etc. As a gradual way of doing it over a week or 2. Otherwise you can seek help from sleep consultants who deal with this age group


  • I know a lot of people won’t agree with this, but get a lock for the outside of his door and lock him in. If you don’t want to do that, lock your door. It’s time to play hard ball. Self soothing is very important and it’s never too late to start, but you’re going to need a strong will and maybe buy some ear plugs. I know this because my brother and partner didn’t nip this in the bud with their daughter. She’s now 15 and still comes into their bed…


  • It is a phase. As much as it is mentally exhausting, be patient. It may take some time longer then expected but he will grow out of it. Try not to be forceful or show stressing about it as it may make it worse.


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