How do I get my son to sleep in his own bed?

[deleted account] ( 18 moms have responded )

How do I get my 5 year old son to sleep in his own bed? I'm getting frustrated and want my bed back.

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User - posted on 06/28/2012

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This last spring, I claimed my bed as adults only!

I went to the dollar tree and bought bags of bouncy balls, so I had enough for one each day of the month. I also got a pretty container to put them in. I told her that each night, if she slept in her bed she got a bouncy ball. If she got them all for the month she would get something special. I was astounded at how easy it was with the right motivation... She went in there willingly, and went right to sleep - and hasn't slept in our room since. It was amazing, because this was a child that would throw tantrum after tantrum, hours on end - until we gave in (that was the problem!) Now, months later, she prefers her bed, and and even will just go on her own when she decides she is tired!

Debbi - posted on 06/17/2011

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I've gone through this a few times with my autistic 5 yo ~ first when I moved him from the crib to toddler bed and there have been times {right now is one of them} where we do it all again.

It's not easy and it's exhausting but what has worked for us each time is I start off the first night sitting on the side of his bed {I don't do back rubs because they are hard to stop!...learned that with my oldest}, and gradually after a few days I will then sit on the floor beside the bed...and I will work my way every couple of days closer to the door and then out the door. It's worked every time but it can be an exhausting process ~ right now what I'm dealing with is the waking in the middle of the night and we are at the end phase...it's been a very long 6 weeks but it's working! Tonight I added a behavior chart he has 3 things on it...
1. I will go right to bed and go to sleep.
2. I will sleep in my bed all night.
3. If I wake up in the middle of the night I will try to get myself back to sleep.

He has two days left in this week and I told him if he can earn 2 of the possible 6 stickers he'll earn a prize....we are going to Wal-Mart tomorrow to make a prize bag. Tonight was the best bedtime we've had in 6 weeks and he's really excited to start his chart!!

Last night was a long, exhausting night ~ it took 3 hours to get him back to sleep and I ended up finding an old stuffed animal his brother had given me years ago and gave that to him to sleep with ~ so maybe if you have something of yours he can take with him that might help? Good luck! Being sleep deprived stinks!!!

Katie - posted on 06/30/2012

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Be strong and be consistent. Have an established bedtime routine. Make the expectation clear (sleeping in their own bed). and then EVERY TIME they go to your bed, you promptly walk them back to their bed and remind them of the expectation. If they cry so be it. They wont be scarred and children need to sleep in their own beds. Its healthier and more restful for them and for you. You can use a positive reinforcer like a sticker chart that has fairly immediate rewards and that can help motivate but in the end, you will have to instill some "tough love" on those that want to keep wandering back in! Katie Sullivan, M.S, SLP-CCC

Mariella - posted on 06/13/2012

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Okay, I've had this problem too.
My son's fourth birthday was coming up, so with his help, we chose his sheets and bedspread of his favourite character. He got to choose his nightlight. These were all his presents he was to recieve on his birthday so, as a BIG BOY now, he could sleep in his own room, from his birthday onwards. Making him a 'partner' in the process helped because they were his sheets, that went on his bed etc.
Then we set up a ritual. We always read a book before bed time, then prayers, then mummy stays with him for a bit, and leaves quietly. We practiced going to the bathroom a couple of times with his nightlight (it turns into a torch) so he wouldn't be scared. Practical things that might overwhelm a child.
In the morning, we made a really big deal that he slept alone and praised him a lot.
These methods worked sporadically at first. What I mean is that for the first three nights, everything went smoothly because he felt so proud of himself. Then he would have an off night, or a couple. When he' call me, I would go sit on his bed for a few minutes and that would calm him down. Or if he comes to our bed, I ask him if the sun is shining yet. Obviously he says no, so I explain that he can only come to our bed if the sun is up. He mostly accepts this.
But you've got to stick it out. Don't give up because eventually your child sleeping alone will become routine.
Anyway, I don't know if any of the things I have done might help you. Every child is different.
You have to keep trying different strategies until you find the one for you.
Good luck :)

[deleted account]

Set the stage and get them excited about their own room. Praise them and let them know they are a "big kid" already and big kids sleep in their OWN room. AND, If they want to DO something or HAVE something, tell them: THat's just for kids who sleep in their own room. You aren't doing that yet, so you aren't ready for _______. THIS has worked WONDERS for me! In addition, I bought my child a brand new set of big kids sheets, a ladybug twighlight toy(THE BEST THING!), and now am getting her an OK to Wake! alarm clock. It has worked so far! Good Luck!

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Nisi - posted on 08/15/2016

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my son 15 months old as of today! He been sleeping with me and my husband since he was born. And I want him to start sleeping in his own bed... Hellppppp

Kate - posted on 07/24/2012

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The most important thing you can do is find out WHY he doesn't want to sleep in HIS bed. In the case of our step-son, he shared a bed with his step mom until he turned 5, so this was the root of why he wanted to sleep in our bed. When he got his own room at our house, he was beyond excited - he loved the new big bed and the pictures we put on the walls and the furniture, etc. Let him take ownership of his room and maybe he'll be more willing to want to spend the time in there! I like the idea of setting up some sort of incentive system where you can give him a marble for every night he sleeps the whole night in his bed. if you have him find something he wants to work towards (a new movie/video game, trip to the zoo, etc.), he'll be more likely to follow through. whatever you chose, BE CONSISTENT.

Alicia - posted on 06/30/2012

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my five year old has autism and he would sleep on the couch half the time (we were able to make sure he wasnt sleeping with us) until we moved his bed into the back of the living room in our apt when we rearranged furniture last summer to make way for his little brother. After that he started sleeping in his bed fine. We have never had an issue with him going to sleep or really staying asleep it has just been sleeping in his actual room/bed. His bed had still been in the living room until about a month ago when he all of a sudden decided that he wanted his bed in his BEDroom with his younger brother. So far the only incident we have had is when we had a thunderstorm and the power went out and their room got totally dark...but that is normal!! Maybe your child will realize it on their own too that they are ready!!

Debbie - posted on 06/29/2012

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Me too, this is my issue, but i'll try to wait my son till he's asleep and transfer him to his own bed.

Nicole - posted on 06/19/2012

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If you figure it out..please share! Our son turned 5 in March and loves our bed!! When I suggest he sleep in his own room/bed, he says,"no, I like your bed better." HELP!

Janet - posted on 06/15/2012

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I tried a lot of different things and no change. Maybe she isn't ready my oldest had no problem. But my youngest lord help me. We tried the whole buying a bed and sheets but no change, we even let her sleep with her older sister and no change. I'm just going to hope for the best. Thank you for your support..

Stephanie - posted on 06/15/2012

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when i was a kid i could only sleep with my dog it made me feal comfortable and safe. but every kid is diferent im haveing trubbles with my kid doing the same thing shes 4. look at the outher posts there are some prity good ideas. try them all one has to work

Janet - posted on 06/13/2012

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I am having the same problem. My 4 yr. old daughter refuses to sleep on her own bed even if its in my room so I figured I would have her sleep with her big sister. Well that only worked for one night and then she was back in my bed. She was breast feed also could that have something to do with it. My husband and I wake up with back pain because we are so stiffed as we sleep knowing we could smash her at anytime.

Anca Letitia - posted on 06/11/2012

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My daughter slept on her own until 2 years old.Since then i sleep every night with her.I can+t find a way to make her to sleep on her own, she will cry and cry and cry...I am so exausted of crying.I gave up, i just go sleeping with her.

Lizanne - posted on 06/10/2012

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Oh, I see I'm not the only one 'losing sleep' over this - literally! Our daughter (she'll be 6 on Aug 13th) will only sleep on the couch, which is just meters away from her own room. This has been going on for years, so we got her one of those princess beds that she decorated all by herself, and that worked temporarily. She's been back on the couch now for about a month. If she sleeps in her own bed, she wakes up EVERY NIGHT around 2am and will NOT go back to sleep! If she sleeps on the couch, she sleeps through the night. Don't know how to get her back into her own bed but I'm hoping it's a phaze and that she'll eventually miss it and want to sleep in it again... Good luck to all of us on this!

Anna - posted on 06/03/2012

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My son was the same, Firstly I put him in his own room and put a safety gate up. He could not get out of his room and all he had in the room was his bed, wardrobe and a few teddy's. Just make sure he is safe and that he cant break anything or hurt himself then leave him too it. It may seem a bit harsh but he needs to learn you both need to get sleep. As a parent you just dont sleep properly when they are in bed with you. Once he has got into a sleep routine he wont even want to sleep in your bed any more. Good luck

Ashita - posted on 06/21/2011

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Me too facing this issue. My 4yo had started sleeping on his bed (just next to ours in the bedroom)... But now every night he wakes up and calls me to sleep with him.
For a few days I used to escape out once he slept, but now he's started waking up several times to 'keep a check on me'...
He says I shouldn't sleep with his dad, but with him.

Tamara - posted on 06/07/2011

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I also have that same issue. She'll be 6 one the 30th and we can't get her to stop. She was breastfed and she's also the youngest. I've tried everything, warm bath, warm milk, bed time story a foot massage (her fav) nothing works. So when you get answers please share. Thanks!

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