6 year old wont sleep in own bed. Help!

Melissa - posted on 09/29/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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For months now, I have been struggling with my 6 year old daughter to get her to sleep in her own bed. She keeps wanting to sleep in bed with me at night. I have tried putting a tv in her room so she could watch cartoons while going to sleep. Didn't work. I have tried new sheets/bed - she picked them out. Didn't work. I have tried just making her lay in her own bed. She sits there and cries and cries for two hours. In the meantime, she keeps trying to get out of her room. Each time, I calmly walk her back in there. I can't keep doing this 2 - 3 hours each night. I need my sleep too! She starts getting ready for bed at 7:30 and then its supposed to be in bed by 8:00. I am ready to pull my hair out! Last night, I compromised and let her sleep on the couch in the living room. It worked until about 2:00 in the morning and then in my room she came! I have even tried locking my bedroom door so she doesn't come in while we are sleeping and she will stand outside and yell "Mommy?, Mommy?". What do I do????



PS need to add that I am a single mom!! :)

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Alana - posted on 08/11/2012

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i am in the same boat hun, i am also a single parent. for 18months i battled with my 5year old constantly screaming at night because she doesnt want to sleep on her own, i would do the silent treatment, bribary, laying with her til she fell asleep everything and the second i leave the room she screams. i moved places and straight away she was good as gold for 4months she slept fantastic now its gone down the pan and again she does nothing but scream. im at the end of my tether, she shares a room with her 3year old brother so it then wakes him up screaming. i let her fall asleep on the sofa and then carry her to bed, she is back out of bed faster than i get down the stairs. she doesnt even scream for up to 2hours she will keep going and going unless i let her sleep in with me. on the odd occasion i manage to get her to fall asleep in her bed but i will wake up early hours to her in my bed again! iv got a constant migraine from the screaming i dont no what else to do! help!!!

Jaclyn - posted on 09/29/2009

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I'm not taking credit for this idea cause I saw it on Supernanny and it's a long and tedious process but it seemed to work for the family on the show.

Here's the plan:
Have a set bedtime routine, bath, pj's, brush teeth, ready story, hugs and kisses, tuck her in... whatever your routine is, consistency is key!

Put her in bed and sit with her.

Ignore her crying. Coddling her will only prolong the process and make it worse. You are giving in to what she wants and neither of you is getting to sleep any earlier!

If she gets up put her back in bed.

Don't speak to her. But don't act angry.

Gradually move further away from her bedside slowly turning your whole body away from her the further away from her you move. Eventually you will be sitting with your back to her nearly all the way out of her room.

Continue the process as long as you can without losing your cool until she falls asleep.

If you get really frustrated, leave her room for a few minutes but close the door. When you have regained your composure, go back in a try again.

I know it seems cold but she needs to know that you are there if she truly needs you but that you aren't going to baby her. Be firm but kind.

Once she falls asleep, quietly leave her room.

If she wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to get in bed with you, calmly tell her that you love her but she has to sleep in her own bed.

Bring her back to her room and repeat the bedtime process.

I know this seems like you will both be having a lot of sleepless nights, but considering your current situation, it seems like that is already the case. How much worse could it be? Worth a try, right?

Dawn - posted on 10/01/2009

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Trying sitting or laying by her bed. The object is to keep her in her room. I went through this with my daughter it took 2 weeks. I went from her bed with her to sitting next to her bed, to moving across the floor from her to sitting at the door, to sitting outside her room. She finaly got it. She is 17 now and doesn't want me in her room. There is hope! Good luck



OH- try a warm bath at bedtime too with some lavendar.

Amber - posted on 09/30/2009

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You just quoted the story of my life! My girl is also 6 and I only recently got married myself. I totally agree with Jaclyn and her "Supernanny" suggestion. I watch that show religeously and her tactics really do work. It is definately tedious and you have to have to (no wishy washiness) be consistent...I have to admit that it really was a big help when my husband moved in because I pretty much brain washed my daughter that once "daddy" moved in she could no longer come to bed with us...Good luck and stay positive...The best advice that I have ever been given is "the first one to get angry loses" so try to keep the control in your court :)

Erika - posted on 09/29/2009

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when I became a single mom again it took me a while to get my son in his own bed finally I had to take the TV out of the room, and make bed time a process as a single mom with two kids one in elementary school and a 2 year old, I also needed my sleep because I had to wake up at five to be at work by 8 and everyone had to go to school and day care. the earlier bed time starting is a great idea it takes time though I went through about a month 1/2 of it and it does get less and less each time some times sooner sometimes longer , I also have a step daughter now that had this problem with her daddy temper tantrum city and his sanity was on the line because he was looking at it as a struggle so this is what I did and even though it takes time you can do it just make it work in you own way you know your child better than anyone . we started bedtime right after eating =no TV ( TV has over 10,000 flashing lights per second if not more simulating your child ) shower/bath time -helps relax and set the stage, talk calmly then pj time let them pick out there favs. ( for now) now time to get into bed and lay down ( no sitting up, if you can ) this is time to talk about the nice parts of our day in a quiet voice and how long it was and what they did and how long there day was then it is story time ( you can make one up if you like ) stories about bedtimes or where they go to bed at the end are always a good idea( helps set the mood), on days where my son sill wasn't very tired I would rub his back and sing calmly nursery rhymes . then give him a kiss and hug if he wasn’t asleep and leave the door cracked nightlight on and walk out of the room , this is where the battle starts I know sometimes crying sometimes screaming ( but this get less ) you let them cry you go in and let them know it is ok that you are in here this is your room this is a safe place just for you , there is nothing to be afraid of ( tricky hint don’t give them a reason to be scared do not ask and give them an opening , do not talk about monsters, or bad guys, if they bring it up show them it is safe while they are in bed turn out the lights and kiss good night and leave the room, from here on out you do not go in unless they come out , it will be up and down so you might as well cop a squat out side the door the first day or so and redirect them back to the bed if they get up otherwise the crying may just have to happen a few nights just walk by once a while if they stay in bed and say sweet dreams once or twice and then sometimes kids just have to cry them self’s to sleep , e-what ever you do be consistent if you are not a rock you child will know that they can get there way and they will walk all over what you want to get what they wan because they can set boundaries and stick to them you have to be strong and when you feel like you are loosing your mind you have to be calm and soon it will just happen they just realize this is what I am supposed to do and it is amazing they just do it , my kids watch a 30 min video before bedtime on weekends , and it is ok for them now because they know what there boundaries are now and what the routine is ( we still do not watch TV during the day because they do better in school without it :) I hope some of these suggestions work for you ......... you won’t loose it, you may feel like it but it is worth it in the end if you can get a bedtime set for your sanity :) good luck

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Christine - posted on 10/01/2009

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When my children wanted to sleep in my room, I always made them a bed on the floor beside my bed. I insisted that they fall asleep in their own bed, but if they woke during the night and came to my room, they had to sleep in the "bed on the floor".

Linda - posted on 09/30/2009

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I went through this with one of my children. I laid down in his bed with him , said prayers with him .I laid down with him until he went to sleep. In time he went by himself.

Angie - posted on 09/29/2009

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Hey Melissa, you don't mention a hubby? or if her sleeping in your bed affects you so I'm presuming with my reply... My boy is five and slept with us until only recently and still slips in every now and then. My hubby and I decided from young that it's important to get your sleep and if that's what made him happy then fine. Could you ask her if she would consider falling asleep in her own bed if you promise to take her to your bed later? and then do that, always keep your promise. If that goes well or if she does not want to do that then ask her to compromise, have a star chart and make her a special bed for her on the floor. Tell her for every 5 nights she sleeps in the "special" bed you will buy her a toy, sweet or treat.

Honey again going on the assumption you have a hubby and you need alone time, to try and get her to at least fall asleep in her own bed (or you'll have to get creative-lol), Baby steps, I think the more emphasis you put on it the more she feels you're taking a security that you've given her for the past 5-6 yrs. You are effectivly her security blanket and at the end of the day there are no 21 yr olds sleeping with their mommy's, and by that stage we'll be begging them for a cuddle.

Wow, so after my speech hope it helps!

Ang

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