Help! My 4 year old will not stay in his bed all night!

Jennifer - posted on 01/18/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )




It started a few months ago when our dog threw up in the middle of the night in front of our son. Now he is so scared at night and wakes up 2 or 3 times a night to come into my room. He wants to sleep with my husband and myself. We have not had any of our children sleep in the bed with us before. We feel he is to big and should be in his own room. I have reassured him over and over that it was a one time thing and the dog will not throw up again. I am up all night with him and don't know what to do. I finally started making him a bed on the floor next to our bed and he comes in and lies down in the middle of the night and goes to sleep. I feel so bad and wish he would sleep in his bed, Any suggestions on what to do???


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Linda - posted on 01/18/2011




My first child hardly ever came to our room at night, but our 2nd was constantly in our bed. We did the same thing with the mattress and this worked well, he's 7 now and still occasionally comes in in the middle of the night. Doesn't bother me and sometimes I don't even know he's there til the morning. My 3rd child is the same. He's nearly 4 and goes through phases with waking. Not worth fighting with them in the middle of the night. Much more peaceful to let them sleep on the floor, they're not hurting anyone there are they. He'll get over it, but probably going to stress him out further by refusing him the safety of your room.

Amber - posted on 01/18/2011




My problem was a little different, but maybe it can somehow help you. My son was afraid that there were monsters hiding in his room. So, I took a can of air freshener (lavender because it's supposed to be calming) and I made my own label. I wrote "Monster Be Gone" or something like that on it. I would walk in his room and spray it around before bed time. Then he wouldn't be scared to sleep that night.
I'm not sure if something like that would help, but with a twist. Something like "Scared Be Gone" then it focuses on making him feel better, but doesn't promise that the dog won't throw up again.

I agree with Amy about what to do if he gets up in the middle of the night. Put him back to sleep as quickly and quietly as you can. Don't engage him in long conversation. Just say that it will be ok and that it is imporant for him to sleep in his own bed. When he realizes that he's not going to be getting into your room to sleep, the behavior will likely stop.

Karla - posted on 01/18/2011




We tried to be nice with our daughter and that was not working out so good. Her bed time was 830 and she would be popping out at 1030 with some reason to not be in bed. Now she gets a warning and if she comes out we take a stuffed animal. If it happens again we take another. This has been our only choice. She hasn't been allowed in our room, that is going to be a tough one to break. Try reminding your son that you are right there when he needs you even if you aren't in the same room. Good Luck!

Amy - posted on 01/18/2011




Reassure him that the dog throwing up is just a part of life. People get sick, dog's get sick. I wouldn't say he'd NEVER throw up again. He may. Wouldn't have ever had him sleep in your room at all. Just let him know he needs to stay in his bed. If he gets out, calmly with as little talking as possible keep putting him back in bed. If his excuse is dog puking, tell him you can either shut his door so dog stays out or he can just deal with it. You will probably have a few stubborn nights of "but mommy......can't i just sleep on the floor???" insert puppy dog eyes. No, sweetie. One of us almost tripped and could have really hurt you. None of us want hurt, you need to stay in your own bed. Or....offer to shut dog in your room, so he doesn't go in son's. Honestly, my 4 year old will say ANYTHING to try and not sleep. she'd say she was scared of air if she thought of it.

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