3 year old WILL NOT stay in his room all night! What do we do?

Megan - posted on 01/06/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My 3 1/2 year old son wil fall asleep in his bed and stay there for part of the night. But for the past 6-8 weeks he will not stay in there all night! Sometimes it isnt long after we all go to bed and a couple times he has stayed in there till early morning. We got tired of him hogging the bed every night so we made him start laying on some blankets on the floor. (is that mean?) It is getting frustrating and not sure what to do...

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Ally - posted on 12/11/2010

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lately for me its been somewhat like that. We have a 4 month old too and so we lock the baby gate and Evan our 2 1/2 year old will wonder out and start crying and I've been making the mistake of sleeping in his room lately. My mom tells me I need to flawlessly put him back in his room stay awake then leave after but its easy for her to say she doesn't live with me!

Evie - posted on 01/07/2010

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The monsters during the day are turning into big scarey ones during the night, it sounds like he has a wonderfully highly imaginative mind. Try cutting down the monsters during the day especially toys that look like monsters as they in a small imagination can become big bad monsters at night and every dark place and shadow in his room has monsters. Talk to him about them show him all around the room when the light is on that there is nothing there leave the nightlight on and never shut the door to the room this will traumatize the child. Calming rhythmic music like the sound of gentle waves or sea birds playing in his room and lavender aromatherapy left in the room will also help to settle him, he will grow out of it once he knows he can combat his own fears. Cheers
Evie

Kimberly - posted on 01/07/2010

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You could also go to the store and let him pick out a special monster teddy that he can sleep with and will protect him from the monsters.

Kimberly - posted on 01/07/2010

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I have a few suggestions for you. One it may be simply that his bed isn't comfortable or big enough for him. My son was doing the exact same thing and I finally realised it was because his toddler bed wasn't big enough for him to sprawl out on. As soon as we got him a new bed our problem was solved.

You could also try to make him a bed on his floor and let him sleep there if he wants. My son loves sleeping on his floor.

We made a monster box out of a shoebox that he decorated and every night before bed we give it to him to go through his room and catch all the monsters. We then put the lid on and tell him that they are stuck there and can't get out.

Me-anne - posted on 01/07/2010

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Hi!I'm me-anne from Philippines. What you can do is to let your son realize and appreciate how nice is having his own room and bed.Pinpoint the beauty of his room and the comfort of his bed, Or maybe you can re-decorate it with his help.Ask for his ideas and suggestions on how he would like his room done. Give him choices as to what color of curtains, pillows, blankets, wall decors he would like to put. This way,he will feel that sense of belongingness and identity... that this is my room and i belong here. I hope that helps.

Megan - posted on 01/07/2010

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Thanks everyone! He has a nightlight and refuses to let anyone shut the door to his room. He is a very big boy for his age so I think he might just climb over the baby gate. Betsy- I think that the am treat may help. We will have to try that out! When we ask him why he is scared he says there are monsters outside and there are monsters in his bed. It is wierd because during the day he LOVES monsters! He draws them all day.

Megan - posted on 01/07/2010

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Yeah we were thinking that maybe if he was on the floor and not in our warm comfy bed he might not want to come in the room anymore. Well...that didnt work. Hopefully it will for you! Good to hear we are not the only ones with a bedroom buddy! :)

Evie - posted on 01/07/2010

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Hi Megan,
My son when he moved into his own room he was really good for the first few months, then he started to get scared and would crawl into bed with his father and me. so I eventually set up a night light in his room made sure I did not read any scarey stories to him when he went to bed (I always read to my 3 kids right from the day they were born) then I set a little camp bed at the end of our bed so he had some where to go, not with us. I also made sure he had no large toys with big large eyes as they turned into monsters during the night. This was the case with my eldest daughter she still hates dolls or pandas with big eyes. They just need a lot of reassurance and cuddles. Shadows become monsters in small children's minds no matter how loved they are. I will recommend you have secure lock on the front and back doors incase your son is a true sleep walker and wanders outside. I hope this helps. cheers
Evie

Chrissy - posted on 01/07/2010

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For our son we bought the caps that fit over the door knob on the inside so the can't open the door. We had to have them because we have a doggie door in the house and couldn't risk him going outside in the middle of the night.

Colleen - posted on 01/07/2010

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Maybe he's feeling a little lonely, left out or scared on his own. Have you tried a nightlight in his room so that he doesn't wake up in the dark? Also does he have a favourite toy or something to sleep with as that can help as company. My sister started that habit pretty young and it took my folks ages to get her to sleep in her own bed which disrupted their time together as well as their sleep, so I would start discouraging it asap. Having him sleep on the floor is a good idea as it teaches him that he can't hog your bed and it's also uncomfortable which may encourage him to decide his bed is better. Have you tried to ask him why he's doing this?

Kristen - posted on 01/06/2010

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my son did this when he was two. he would come into our room and sleep in our bed. when we put him back to bed he would come in and sleep on our floor. He outgrew it eventually. don't worry they won't do it forever.

Lindsay - posted on 01/06/2010

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We kept my daughter's up for about a month. My son actually did better than expected when he was switched and his was down within a week. We took them down when they no longer tried to get up through the night. They are 4 1/2 and 3 now and if they get up through the night it's to use the restroom and return to their beds....

Erin - posted on 01/06/2010

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Quoting Lindsay:

You could try a babygate at his door...We did this when the kid first switched so they weren't wandering the house through the night.



yep, this is what I do. just wondering though how long do you keep it up?

Brooklyn - posted on 01/06/2010

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NOW WHAT DO WE DO,MY THREE YEAR OLD DO THE SAME THING. I TELL HIM TO READ A BOOK TILL HE FALL ASLEEP.HE BE MAD AND SAD BUT THEN WHEN I WAKE THE NEXT DAY HE SOME WERE IN THE BED WITH ONE HIS SISTERS. I WISH I KNEW

Lindsay - posted on 01/06/2010

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You could try a babygate at his door...We did this when the kid first switched so they weren't wandering the house through the night.

Betsy - posted on 01/06/2010

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My 3.5 year old son sleeps 5 out of 7 nights in his room and the other two nights (on ave) he ends up in our room and we also make him lay on the floor. It was worse before, and we rewarded hiim in the AM with a treat if he stayed in his room all night. That worked for a while until he had a terrible nightmare. If we're not too exhausted we'll take him back to bed and sit in his room quietly until he falls back asleep. Hope this helps.

Nicole - posted on 01/06/2010

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OH onemore thing...I dont think that is mean...I am going to try that...maybe if he is not in the bed with you anymore and gets used to that he will slowly start to be more independant and go into his bed...??? IDK...maybe

Nicole - posted on 01/06/2010

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I have NO idea...My son is 3 and doing the SAME THING! We have had a few good nights (1 or 2) where he stayed in his bed all night but for the most part every night he falls alseep in his bed and waked up between us...Good Luck!

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