How to handle a child with odd sleeping habits

It seems strange, but almost every family has one: the child who just won't sleep regular hours in a bed. Whether they sleep walk, are night owls, or you find them in strange locations (the floor, a chair, under a table) in the morning, what are some tips you can share with moms whose children just don't sleep in bed at night?

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24  Answers

5 4

I know it is a practice in most countries to make children sleep independently in their rooms, but in india its very common for children to sleep with their parentssometimes even as late as 8 yrs of age. The. Security a child feels sleeping with his parents is unmatched ,its like being cradled and protected, so even though this may seem odd to u it might work giv it ashot till he gets t habit to sleep thru! All t best!

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114 20

My son is 2.5yrs, he's slept thro only a handful of times. He's been in a big bed for about a yr now & until recently he needed someone lying next to him to fall asleep. He's walked down the hall to our rm every night since he had his big bed. Initially I tried to take him back each time but I was getting angry & neither of us were getting enough sleep. So he ended up sleeping inbetween us every night. I've now purchased a folding chair-bed &put it at the base of ours ~ this seems to satisfy everyone, he can be near us & everyone is able to sleep well. It's not ideal but its a compromise.

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4 6

I have a daughter of 11 who has never slept for more than a couple of hours a nite even as a baby .
I would say don't panic some kids just don't need a lot of sleep I have done everything even changing the colour of her room and nothing has worked she was put on melatonin but she gets awful nitemares when she does go over.
She has lots of toys in her room to occupy her when she wakes but more often than not she just reads a book. There is very little that can be done so just accept that your child is a little but different from other kids . I do feel for my daughter because she never gets asked to sleep overs and if we have them she gets excited so she can't sleep at all .she functions well at school but all she says is why can't I be normal . I just want mums to no u are not alone and there are a lot of kids that don't sleep .

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9 5

I know that kids are all different, and some just have strange habits. But I would first look at diet. Are they eating sugary foods or foods high in carbohydrates that make them sleep restlessly or stay up late. Don't feed them foods with sugars in them after dinner, not even like yogurt or crackers. Cheese sticks, cottage cheese, turkey lunch meat, foods high in protein. Try a different bedtime routine than you have been doing. Sometimes you just need to change things up to change the behaviors. I slept walked as a kid, and my oldest sleepwalks too. Mildly, but I have noticed that if they don't go to the bathroom before bed, and have to wake up to pee, it can make those prone to sleepwalking do it more.

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737 0

My uncle wouldn't care where we slept, as long as we went to bed. On several occasions, I put my stuffed animals across my bed to sleep, and I slept on the floor. As long as they aren't hurting themselves or anyone else, it's nothing to worry about. My uncle would pick his battles.

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2 0

Maybe someone can help me my now 19 month old baby screams all night every night this has been going on for over a month the whole family is exhausted she settles if I put her in bedf with me but then I dont sleep anyway because I am worried about the blankets etc going over her. But nothing really seems to work she will scream herself into a stupor

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2 2

Hello Tiffany, It sounds as if what you may need is some evidence to put your mind at rest about your little one sleeping with you. If your baby is screaming because she is alone she will not settle herself to sleep. There are definitely save ways to sleep with your child, google James McKenna, he is a sleep researcher and leading researcher for SIDS campaigns etc. He has a lot of information about sleeping with your baby that might relax you enough so when your bub comes into bed with you, you can sleep too! Or if you are still unable to get some sleep, why not try a bed at the side or bottom of yours so she is still in the vicinity of your bed. You may have a bit of a clingy baby for a while as she gets over being left alone screaming in her bed (last comment is not to be judging, just that sometimes kids do need to have a little extra encouragement and gain trust again if they have had a negative experience with their sleep etc). Good luck!

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27 18

My son is 11 and he can never fall asleep at his bedtime which is 8:20pm so he reads a book by the light of his DSI game till he gets tired and then goes goes to the bathroom before going to bed. He always wakes up at 6am every morning and is ready for school before his two younger brothers.

Meg

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24 12

Put a child's safety gate in their doorway so they don't hurt themselves. :)

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0 24

Both of my oldest kids (11 and 8) slept through the night at two weeks old and NEVER slept with my husband and I. Now, we have a 2 yaer old who goes to sleep just fine at about 8pm everynight, but around midnight he wakes up crying and refuses to go back to sleep in his bed. Unfortunatly he sleeps in between us in our bed almost every single night. I have had to fall asleep sitting up at the end of our bed several times due to his crazy tossing and turning throughout the night. It's getting a little tiring, but I am just holding out hope that he will grow out of it soon. It is hard to explain to a 2 year old that he must sleep in his own bed. It's nice to know I am not the only one :)

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0 27

my daughter has this thing like i will put her to bed at 7-7.30 and shel go straight to sleep then at about 10pm il have to go back into her room and re tuck her in because she crawls out of her blackets and sleeps on top of them her room isnt a very warm room ether so we had to go out and buy a few pars of onezys other wise she would catch a cold. after i have re tucked her in at 10pm about a cupple hrs later shes back on top of all her blackets she is 1yr old and has done this ever since she could crawl... she sleeps thu the night tho till about 9am and has a morning sleep at 11am till 1.30pm then a afternoon nap at 4pm till 5pm and this doesnt afect her sleeping thu the night.

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4 13

My ten year old son has a hard time falling asleep at night and so we turn on his lamp and let him read or listen to a audiobook...that sometimes helps him to settle down. I also agree with being careful what foods to feed kids after dinner-if my son eats anything sugary he's usually up all night long. His system is just really sensitive that way.

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8 39

My son is 4, and he won't fall asleep in his own bed and its been like this for over a year now. He won't sleep all night, still gets up 1 to 3 times a night and when I put him back in his bed I have to lay beside him or he won't go back to sleep. If anyone has any advice on how to get him to sleep all night please let me know!

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84 23

My 4 year old daughter is the same. I have gone against everything I did with my first child with her...I just let her sleep in our bed when she comes in. I figure it will pass.

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13 0

My 2 boys 14 and 9 are both completely different, the eldest is the only 14 year old I know that sleeps at 8pm nearly every night! Whereas my youngest would not sleep till gone midnight many nights, but now he's been on melatonin for about a year it's about 9-10pm. He still wakes up in the night, and has trouble getting back to sleep. He sleeps on the floor or in his bed or some camp he makes up or any other weird and wonderful place.

I have had tonnes of advice on how to get your child to sleep and it is yet to work! I accept that he doesn't appear to require as much sleep as the rest of us. If we were all the same the world would be a boring place!

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0 15

My son is nearly 9, and has high functioning autism. He still wears diapers at night but tends to soak through them pretty early on in the night. He can get to sleep, but when he wakes in the night has a whole lot of trouble getting back to sleep. It's been a few weeks now that he hasn't really been able to get back to sleep at all, whether he wakes at 5 am or 3 am. He is a total mess and having trouble functioning on a day to day basis. I hear that 'eventually he will sleep' but meanwhile it is really affecting his life in a very negative way. Any advice anyone has to offer would be hugely appreciated, the poor kid needs help!

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0 0

I have the same problem with my Downs Syndrome son. We have switched to UnderJams -- they work pretty well. We also "try" to limit the intake of fluids before bedtime, but with a special needs childs that is difficult. Good Luck

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13 29

My son is 3 1/2 and I had problems with him sleeping through the night. then for some miraculous reason he started sleeping through the night. One time I actually had to wake hime up. Then he got sick and now I am having a hard time again getting him to go to bed and sleep through the night. I think my biggest mistake as a mom was letting him sleep with me as a baby. He occasionally falls asleep by 10/1030 sometimes not till almost midnight. then he comes out about 2 or 3 in the morning and sleeps with me. there have been occasions where I will put him back to bed and other times I'm just too tired to get up and put him back in his own bed. I know i need to stop doing this otherwise my son will become dependant on sleeping with me which I dont want. I think the one thing I need to do is have his daycare cut out his naps but then I have the problem with him falling asleep in the car.

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8 39

I did the same thing and im still going through it with my 4 year old getting up. I just don't know what to do

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3 8

I have a 3 year old daughter that has been going through "night terrors" for over a year and a half. She has also had sleeping issues even as a baby. We have tried Atarax (sp?) per doctors prescriptions but too many side effects. She seems to be getting over them though.

My 1 1/2 year old is my concern now. She will be 2 in march and has always been a GREAT sleeper. She goes down at 8pm and wakes up between 8am and 9am (no wake ups in between). She used to take an 1 to 2 hour nap during the day as well. But now she refuses to take a nap and I don't know if I should be enforcing it or not. She doesn't get cranky or anything and remains in a GREAT mood all day. She has also starting fighting going to sleep at night. We used to be able to just sing a song read a book and lay her down. Now we do the same routine but as soon as we lay her down she starts screaming and banging on her door. She will do this for like 15 minutes and then go back to bed and sleep the remainder of the night.

Any suggestions would be great! Thanks.

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0 28

Thats surprising to be prescribed a medicine? My daughter is 3 1/2 has had night terrors since she was a year old. What were the side effects if I may ask? I want to know before we see her pediatric dr again. They talked about maybe putting on her medication. So I would love to hear your thoughts.

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45 6

Have you ever heard "You can lead a horse to water..." Well it is the same with kids, you can send them to bed--but you can't make them sleep. My 6 year old needs at least an hour of quiet time before he can fall asleep, it doesn't matter if we send him to bed at 7 (his normal bed time) or 10, he just needs that time to wind down. My 3 year old gets up bettween 5 & 6 every morning no matter what time he fell alseep.
We enforce a pretty strict bed time during the school week with a little more leanancy on the weekends. The rule is you must be in your bed with the overhead light off and quiet. We don't "make" the boys go to sleep. They have a blue light that lets him see well enough to sit on his bed and play with legos or some other toy or even to look at a book. Once he has had enough he goes to sleep. We use to have a child lock on their door knob so the youngest couldn't wander around the house when he woke up before us, but now we set the TV to PBS and he will get up and watch a few kids shows if nobody else is up. I'm due with our 3rd in a few days and the three year old has started coming into our room in the middle of the night so we just let him sleep on the floor, we have an extra pillow and blanket set aside for him although he usually brings his own.

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3 4

i need help with this too, my daughter slept right through from 7weeks old, since potty trained she wakes every 3 hours-she is now 6 and has started sleeping through but she cant drop of to sleep till gone 9pm, so im shattered.
my son didnt sleep as a baby but started to now he is 3, unfortunately they share a room so it hard work, they always wake each other.
we tried them going bed seperately but they wake each other and if they go together they fight over sharing/swopping thier beds. ive read stories, sat with them, used a night light, put stair gate up and off, bribery, bathing, and got to point of shouting. im at whitts end.

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4 12

Try having "bedroom" time...gives kids much more control...when starting give choices...would you like your bedroom time in 5 minutes or 10 minutes...would you like one story or two...would you like two hugs or three...ok, now it's your bedroom time...we can't hear you or see you and you can go to sleep anytime you want...consequence the grumpies the next day if she isn't going to sleep right away...

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14 25

Laugh about it and enjoy your child!
My oldest will fall asleep anywhere and everywhere during the day, but always has to have a little fresh air before bedtime at night. He is 15 and I am still taking pictures of him asleep in odd places. He has slept on the floor of a laundry mat, under the table at the regional science fair, and curled up in the sunlight streaming into the house on the hard floor. He's healthy and a little quirky and I love him.
I will say that he had sleep apnea when he was young and these habits developed then, but even after having his Tonsils and Adenoids out he kept the same sleep habits, just with better breathing. I strongly recommend the surgery for any child who has trouble breathing at night. It affected my child's ability to read, pay attention, and learn.

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39 8

They eventually go to sleep:) tell them to TRY NOT TO GO TO SLEEP. now give me your results and read some Milton:) Thats right:) Dawn

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4 4

My youngest has too sleep issues... she will not sleep unless she has her blanket with its "tag" and the tag is in her hand up by her face as she falls asleep and during the night she often wakes up looking for that tag. I find if I do not stay with her for ten minutes or so as she is falling asleep she tends to wake up more often during the night. I sit by her bed hold her hand and hum even though I can't carry a tune. I know she will eventually outgrow the need for me to be there as she falls asleep however the tag thing I am not so sure. I guess it could be a sensory issue? Each child really is different. One of mine would be up in the middle of the night looking at his books or quietly playing with toys. To this day his sleep scheduled is different. He works on a 36 hour day rather than 24. He is 19 and it has made it hard for him to function in our world. My husband did some studies and says his bio rhythms are different than others. We haven't yet figured out how to help him. But he is a great kid and there to help me with the second set I am raising.

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0 13

My daughter slept with her blanket and its tag for years. Her 2nd word was "tag." She is now 9 yrs old and has outgrown the tag (thank goodness, I can only sew it back on so many times.) However, she still is quite attached to her blanket. She is the most well adjusted and independent of my children. Yet, she suffers from horrible insomnia without the blanket. I say... Let the children have their "constant" whether that is a blanket, a tag, or a stuffed animal. They will let go when they are ready.

9 14

I'm trying to figure this one out too, our son is 2 and since he has had the cold his sleeping habits has changed from sleeping in the night to sleeping in the day. We tried to keep him up during the day so he would be tired in the night , but he still wakes up during the night. Anyone that has any suggestions as to what to do would be helpful as well.

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4 54

As long as they sleep, we dont care!

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4 54

My question is what do you do about the one who sleep eats? and not anything good either, he "sleep hunts" for candy, sweets, junk...He will search it out and eat every last thing he can find. All in his sleep and doesn't remember a thing in the AM. He has problems sleeping anyways and also with mood and emotional issues. So he is on Seroquel and Intuniv. I am sure this is one reason for it. But aside from hiding everything, I dont see what can help this...Changing meds is not an option right now, these are the only ones we have found to have the best effect, which is not much, but helps some.

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