How can I get my 9 year old son to stay in his own bed?

Jessica - posted on 08/10/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )




I am a single mom of two boys, 12 & 9. My 9 year old is very close to me & was very sick his early years that he did sleep with me alot. He will sleep in his room for awhile but then starts acting scared & needing additional light & eventually end back up in my bed. I hate fighting with him. Just ends up making me feel guilty & neither of us end up getting good sleep because of it. Any advise on how I can get him to stay in his room?


Neva - posted on 08/10/2011




Your 9 year old has figured out that making you feel guilty works. He may feel a little anxious when he wakes up at night because he is used to sleeping with you, but you can help him learn that he can stay in his own bed, which will lead to his confidence. I would start out the first night by having a talk with him. Let him know that he is 9 years old, there is nothing in his room in the dark that is not there in the daytime and that you know he can stay and sleep in his own bed and that is what you expect of him. Have a regular bedtime routine, snack, bath, potty, brush teeth, read story, etc. This should remain constant every night. You can have a little night light if needed, but children actually sleep better without extra lights in the room. When he gets up, simply walk him back to his room and say good night. If he keeps getting up, walk him back to his room each time, but no longer speak to him. He can't argue with you if you don't speak to him. Set up a reward system for sleeping in his own bed, like marbles in a jar. Start with 10 marbles in the jar. For every night he sleeps all night in his bed add a marble, for every time he gets up out of bed take away a marble (explain this before you start the first night) When he has 17 marbles (one weeks worth) then he gets a reward, special time with you, a special activity etc. If you've removed marbles during one night, then he doesn't get the marble back until he sleeps a whole night in his own bed. You need to set a pattern that you are in charge. If you allow your child to argue with you and guilt you into getting their way they will use this in a number of different situations. The first night, you may not get any sleep, but if you are consistent, he will know that you mean what you say and he will be able to stay in his own bed. If you give in, it is going to take much much longer.

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